As you get older, making (and retaining) friends can be more difficult. Some friends move away, others get into relationships never to be seen again.
Making friends when you move to big cities like NYC for instance, can be especially hard. Not everyone has a close knit group of people like in the TV show Friends.
Yet as humans we are social creatures and having a group of quality friends can do wonders for our mental health.
Want to expand your network and meet some like minded individuals? Here are some great ways you can make new friends as an adult.
Take up new hobbies
Perhaps the most obvious way to make new friends is by taking up a hobby. It could be a yoga class, an improv class, rock climbing lessons…whatever floats your boat.
Talk to people in the class and perhaps suggest going for a drink after the class is over. You can chat about your shared interest and get to know each other a little better.
Attend conferences and industry events
Another great way to meet people is by networking in your own industry.
Attending conferences is always fun, since there are lots of seminars and networking events where you can meet interesting and inspiring people. If you don’t want to splurge on a conference ticket, look out for industry mixers you can attend in your home city. Sign up to email lists and check out Eventbrite to see what’s happening in your area.
Try Bumble BFF
No joke I met one of my best friends on Bumble BFF, which is like the dating app, only for friendships. I swiped right for her and the rest is history. It turned out we lived a block from each other, we both liked wine and we both liked going out for dinner. We both deleted the app straight after that and we never looked back. Just like a modern day love story.
Talk to people
I’m a chatterbox, so I’ve made a few friends just by talking to people. Sit at the bar and strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you, or chat to someone in line at the coffee shop. Be more present and get your head out of your phone…you never know what conversations you could be missing out on!
Have you ever swapped numbers with someone and said “we should totally hang out some time!” yet never actually text them? Make an intention of following up with people you meet.
It’s easy to feel like it’s the other person’s responsibility to reach out to you, but that can result in you just feeling bitter. The other person might be waiting for you to contact!
Squash that fear of rejection
If you want to make new friends you’re going to have to get over that fear of rejection. Instead of assuming that the person must hate you because they didn’t get in touch, have a mode positive mindset. Realize they’re probably just busy and it has nothing to do with you.
If you want to have more confidence, try to believe that people will like you and that you have something of value to offer. Don’t be afraid of knock backs, act with complete certainty about what you want.
Travel can be a great way to meet new people, while at the same time, getting to experience new places and cultures. If you don’t have anyone to go with, you could consider traveling solo and staying in a hostel so you can meet other world travelers. If you feel like you’re a bit too old for hostels, stay in a hotel with a social atmosphere, where you can strike up conversations by the pool or in the hotel bar.