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It can be really frustrating trying to make friends as an adult. Regardless of the friendships you’ve made over the years, the friendships that have stuck are few, if they even exist.
Losing friends is natural; people move on with their lives. However, the need for social connection is lifelong, so how exactly do you make friendships that count? Here’s how to build stronger social connections so you can have more fun.
Look For High-Quality People
The point of having friends (other than dissipating feelings of loneliness) is to add value to your life. Knowing this, you only need friends that uplift you, inspire you, and make your days feel more fulfilling.
Stay away from places where you know negative people gravitate. Check out networking seminars instead; you’ll have greater luck finding positive people who can add value to your life in such spaces.
Keep It Light
The deep friendships you see on TV are not reflective of reality. If you’re fortunate enough to have a friend, you can lean on like that, kudos to you. For most of us, however, that level of platonic intimacy is unlikely.
Instead of expecting the best of the best, keep it light and set your expectations on a more realistic scale. Make it your mission to find nurturing friends with whom you can shop for funny halloween costumes, not those to share heart-to-heart stories with. You don’t need a ride or die.
Put Yourself Out There
You might be tired of feeling like the one to extend the invitation, but the truth is that everyone feels that way. Just do it- if someone seems cool, ask them to get a coffee or a housewarming gift if you’re invited to their new place.
Unless you’re willing to try, you may never get a chance to see if you and this person could spark a friendship. Let go of your pride, be the bigger person, and take the initiative to form friendships where self-improvement is the focus.
Go To Public Events
You can find other people looking to make friends at public events. Look for activities you know you’ll enjoy so that you’re linking up with like-minded people. Individuals you share interests with will likely make better friends than those drastically different from you.
That’s not to say that opposites don’t attract, but when it comes to friendship, shared interests can help break the ice. See if you can find a running group or a book club in your area if those hobbies interest you. Take it daily, and gradually get to know those in the groups you attend.
Take a Class
In a class, everyone is attending for a shared purpose, so it’s not strange to say hello. Consider drawing and painting for beginners, or check out that mushroom foraging workshop.
It’s a lot easier to get to know people when there is already an excuse to get talking. If you take a class for fun, you’re more likely to have success interacting with other students than you would, say, trying to initiate a conversation with a stranger.
Start Searching For Your Tribe
Building social connections and friendships takes time, especially as an adult. Look for activities that link you with individuals with similar interests to start making friends over time.
Keep your expectations reasonable, and when you’re feeling lonely, don’t forget you can enjoy your own company. The right friends are worth the wait, so don’t settle for people that bring you down. Adulting is hard, but friendships make it better, so start searching for your tribe.