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Making New Friends as an Adult Isn’t Easy, but Luckily, We Have 11 Expert-Backed Ways To Do Just That

Making New Friends as an Adult Isn’t Easy, but Luckily, We Have 102 Expert-Backed Ways To Do Just That

By VenuPublished about a year ago 3 min read

Good friends are worth so much. Few things in life are more important than supportive, close friends. Eleanor Roosevelt even once said, “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” Looking back at the friends that have come and gone in your life, you can probably appreciate how accurate that is. However, it can leave a lot of us wondering how to make friends as an adult—when school doesn't force us into social situations.

How to make friends as an adult

To learn some of the best ways to create lasting friendships, we spoke to some of the top therapists and mental health experts. Here are their biggest tips for how to make new friends.

1. Take initiative

If you find people around you, you don’t need to wait for anyone to reach out to you and take the first step. Instead, become a kind initiator even if you’re an introvert, Amber O'Brien, therapist at Mango Clinic, explains. Start talking to a person and share something about yourself. Likewise, let them share about themselves. There’s no need to be so personal at the very first interaction, but exchange a few words or stories that can break the ice.

2. Join a new club or organization

Get involved in an activity that matters to you, where you're likely to meet others with similar values and interests, says Susanna Guarino, MS, LMHC. You'll have something to connect over and some of these relationships might become long-lasting friendships with time.

3. Show that you're friendly

“A person that has friends must show themselves to be friendly,” notes Dr. Markesha Miller, licensed psychotherapist. “I often help my patients understand that you must be that which you seek. What qualities are important to you in ‘a friend’? Make sure that you are exemplifying those.”

4. Don’t look for similarities

If you don’t share a similar vision and hobbies with someone, it doesn’t mean you can’t develop a friendship. “A true friend is like a deep ocean who observes all the flaws of another person,” says O’Brien. “Therefore, don’t judge someone if he/she belongs to a different mindset. Not doing so will allow you to make new friends.”

5. Be a good listener

If you notice your attention wandering when someone is talking, try to bring it back to what they're saying, Guarino explains. If you're listening well, others will feel respected, understood, and warm up to you.

6. Create friendships with friends of friends

“This is excellent if the goal is to expand your circle,” says Dr. Miller. “Many also consider it convenient and safe because they probably share a lot of the characteristics of your shared friend.”

7. Stay in touch

Once you have interacted with a person and exchanged contact numbers, don’t forget to call or message them, O’Brien states. Call them and ask for the next meet-up. Or you can also communicate over the phone call. Opening up to someone frequently is a great deal to develop a strong friendship—until it doesn’t bother the other person.

8. Say yes

This is a guideline actors use when doing improv and it applies to making new friends too! Guarino explains that saying yes can look like openness to trying new things, but it can also look like just being open to wherever the conversation takes you.

9. Increase your self-confidence

When you are confident in yourself and like yourself it makes it easier for others to see those qualities in you as well, notes Dr. Miller. Liking yourself and being in a healthy mental and emotional place is an important step before acquiring new relationships. The goal should not be to only create friendships but to maintain them.

10. Smile

Smiling while keeping eye contact with someone will create a positive effect on the other person, O’Brien explains. Talking with a warm smile and consistent eye contact makes the other person feel comfortable and interested in the conversation.

11. Find a group that’s meeting online

If you don't want to join in-person activities due to anxiety, Guarino recommends finding a group that's meeting online. For example, there are online book clubs, business networking clubs and more.

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    VenuWritten by Venu

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