Making friends as a kid seemed easy. Your friends were in your class or played soccer with you during recess. As an adult, socializing is a bit more daunting. You never know what people are thinking. Adults have to deal with work, play, romance, friendship, and responsibilities. There’s so much advice out there, but it isn’t as easy as going to a pottery class or joining a Facebook group.
Reconnect with old friends
Old begins with new. Making new friends is a big feat, so how about connecting with the old? The comfort will be there, but time apart means new interests, life events, and jobs. Reconnecting means finding old friends, whether on Facebook or through mutual relationships. Of course, some friends have been dropped for a reason. So we aren’t suggesting going back to ex-friends, but rather reconnecting with friends that have drifted. Go for coffee and share memories. But don’t just focus on the old, ask them about the new.
Be genuinely interested
Sometimes in conversation, it can be very one-sided. It might be exciting to tell your old or new friends all about yourself but don’t forget to listen to them every once in a while. It shows genuine interest in their lives and shows them that, as a friend, you can be kind and compassionate. When listening, don’t forget to look for ways to connect with what they’re saying. For example, if they are describing their family, you may find that both of you have older siblings. This is a great way to relate to each other and the more connections you find, the closer you will get.
You can’t start a relationship on lies and this includes friendships as well. Be confident in who you are and your interests. If someone judges you for them you wouldn’t want them as a friend anyway. Don’t forget to be vulnerable as well. Be honest about your feelings and don’t try to act disinterested for the sake of your ego. If they know that you are open to sharing your horrible day at work, or a tough family situation, they will be more likely to share with you as well.
Keep in touch
Once a connection has been established it takes a little bit of work to keep it up. The most common thing friends fight about is the amount of time spent together. This is how friends drift apart in the first place. To be someone’s close friend, research suggests that you should check in with them at least every 2 weeks. The best way to do this is to have a periodical time to catch up. For example, have a lunch date once a week or take a class together where you can meet up and even meet new people together.
Most of all, the first step to hanging out with someone is just asking. So, to make a new friend all you have to do is invite them out. This is the first step to a long friendship, but often the one we never take. The worst thing that can happen is rejection, but if you are confident in yourself you can take rejection like a champ.