It seems like it gets harder as you get older to make new friends. And the friends you have start to fall into categories—there are the people you still talk to from high school, your college roommate, the friends you made at your first job post-college, and the list goes on. Yet making new friends in the digital age, once you are settled in life, becomes a little less personal. In a time where you can connect with people on social media and instantly call them friends, does one even remember how to properly get to know someone?
This concept came to me as I’ve been getting to know people in my somewhat still new-to-me office. As a blogger, when I want to get to know someone, I connect with them on the appropriate social media platform. And, voilà, we are now “friends.” But in real life, the transition to instant BFF’s is not as seamless.
Growing up, I felt like making friends was easy. I was an avid equestrian for many years, so I would become friends with other people who had a shared love of horses. Then, I went off to college and had to adjust to life in a new city—along with others who were in the same boat—which made making friends relatively easy. But then came those post-graduate years, where I was no longer and equestrian nor was I still a student, and finding my tribe was infinitely harder.
So, here are a few of my tips for making friends as an adult:
Put yourself out there: I’m an introvert by nature, so getting to know people always seems a bit daunting to me. But as the saying goes, you have to be in it to win it, so putting yourself out there is a crucial first step. Ask your new potential friend out for coffee, so you can learn more about them and see if you have any common interests.
Ask questions: Personally, I feel like asking questions can be slightly intrusive and it sometimes makes me uncomfortable. But making people feel like you are interested in learning more about them is important and will actually make for a stronger friendship down the road. You don’t have to ask anything incredibly personal or profound, but make sure you cover the basics.
Don’t rush the process: Making new friends doesn’t happen overnight. You need to spend time with the person and learn about them in order to potentially have a strong friendship down the line. Don’t worry if you aren’t instant text buddies or meeting up for lunch every day. It will come.
What tips do you have for making friends as an adult?