Here is the thing about adult friendships: Once our post-college years are behind us — that glorious time of going out, meeting new people, and enjoying it? Do you remember this? — we get into the boring, mundane groove of work-parent-repeat that we forget how good it felt to unleash our wild side of staying out past 9 pm.
In essence, we become complacent, which causes us to feel less confident, which prevents us from putting ourselves out there in striking up conversation with the mom at Target.
Why? We’re terrified of being rejected.
Tell me what sounds worse. Going through adulthood friendless because you’re too scared to branch out, or waking up at 45-years-young regretting your missed potential friendship opportunities.
They both sound terrible. The bright side? We have the power to stop complaining about how hard it is to make friends, and instead try to make them! What a concept.
Here Are 6 Practical Ways To Find Friends Right Now
Start a book club
Did you think friends would magically appear on your doorstep?
As far as I know, there is not yet an app for this, so we get to find friends the old fashioned way.
Starting a book club is a fun, no pressure way to get people together to chat about favorite authors, books you’re reading, and, let’s be real, how our roommates (aka our partners) are annoying us.
Start a wine club
How can you have a bad time when wine is involved?
Keep it small so no one feels left out, and take turns hosting wine tastings + snack pairings.
You can get creative with it and attach themes to your wine nights if you’ve got the time and energy for that sort of thing.
Dedicate one day a week (or month) to a local charity
We can’t say we don’t have time for this sort of thing anymore. If coronavirus is teaching us anything, it’s proving how central community and giving back is.
That said, people are attracted to like-minded people. Odds are, if you’re volunteering at an animal shelter on Saturday morning, you’ve already found three things in common with someone — your love for animals, your kind spirits, and your willingness to wake up at 7 am on a Saturday.
Finding common ground with someone makes the convos easy, not forced. And, like dating, you will feel that spark of chemistry with your new friend.
Use your dog
Bring your pup to a dog park. This is such an easy way to chat up other dog parents.
If you don’t have a dog, go get one! Or foster one.
Use your children
Where there are kids, there are moms.
Whether you’re at school drop off or a neighborhood playground, strike up a convo with a mom who seems like your friend type.
At best, you schedule a playdate for your kids (aka a chance to hang out with someone who isn’t your husband or child) and see where it goes. At worst, you made your day better by having a pleasant conversation with someone.
Give compliments out like they are candy
When in doubt, compliment someone. On their hair, their sneakers, their accent, whatever. Us ladies love to be complimented — even though we shrug them off faster than we snag our morning coffee — compliments are the oldest friendship trick in the book. So hand em’ out.
Important: The compliments have to be genuine in order to work. So don’t walk up to someone who looks like hell in the Starbucks line and tell them they look great. Keep it real.
Having things to look forward to — especially when those things involve the company of others — is a guaranteed way to feel fulfilled in your life. Little life enrichments like weekend picnics with neighbors and Sunday brunches with your running club are what makes life awesome.
And, not to be so serious — but we have to remember that we get one life. I really think we forget this most days. Why waste our one, fabulous life on being afraid of something as ridiculous as chatting up Sarah at CycleBar?
Important Reminder: You are not the only one desperate to find good, quality friends. We all want meaningful friendships as adults, so don’t take someone’s cold shoulder or eye roll personally. That’s usually a sign someone has their guard up out of fear of not being liked or accepted. That’s another thing we all have in common — insecurities.
Go get yourself some friends. And let me know how you did it!
As always, thank you for reading. If you have questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you. And if you enjoy this newsletter, please do share it with your friends, and consider subscribing (if you aren’t already subscribed).