As adults, it’s often a lot harder to make friends as it was when we were kids. The office proves to be a much less friendly space than the typical school classroom.
However, it is definitely possible to find meaningful and even deeper relationships as an adult. It might take a little more time, but it’s worth the effort.
Here are 4 tips to help you make friends as an adult.
1. Taking an effort to at least join in
You probably get invites to events all the time. Things like birthday parties, office events, weddings; all from people you don’t know very well. And because of that, you probably avoid going at all costs. Perhaps you feel like you were only invited because everyone else in the office was. Or maybe you think you won’t click with the other guests there.
It’s easier said than done, but attending gatherings or events is the best way to meet new people. Sometime all it takes it that one party to open you up to the group of friends you never knew you wanted.
So the next time someone invites you to an event, even if it seems as minuscule as their dog’s birthday party, say yes.
If you get there and really do find that you hate it, you can always choose to leave early. But make sure you at least get your foot into that door and make an effort to join the crowd.
2. Become an active part of a community
Whether it’s your neighborhood, your workplace or any group you’re a part of, make an effort to let your voice be heard. Take part in activities, play a role in organizing events and don’t be afraid to speak up. When you let yourself be heard, you attract more people. Those around you are more likely to notice you and might want to get to know you better.
If you struggle to relate with communities you’re currently a part of, try joining a new club! It would be best to find a group of people who are passionate about the same thing as you. So if you love cooking, join a cooking club! And if you love hiking, join a hiking community! With like-minded individuals, it’s very likely you’ll find people you’ll relate to.
3. Open up
The most important ingredient for any meaningful relationship is vulnerability.
You can’t make small talk with someone forever. Soon enough, you have to make an effort to be open and honest with whoever you’re trying to connect with.
Most people shy away from getting too close with someone in the beginning. It’s possible you have a fear of rejection or attachment which might be keeping you distant.
However, understand this habit of protecting yourself could be doing you more damage in the long run.
The strongest relationships are often built on honesty and trust. Those around you will be most attracted to you when they see you as someone they can confide in.
4. Strengthen the relationships you do form
So you’ve done it. You’ve made a new adult friend. Now what?
Relationships don’t form themselves.
You have to work on strengthening this new friendship. The best way to do this is to regularly meet up and make time for your new friends. Ask them to accompany you to events. Suggest to do an activity they enjoy together. Always work on building new experiences together that will bring you closer.
Over time, your shared experiences and journeys will help form a relationship that is both meaningful and worthwhile.