I'm about to blow your mind with something you probably didn't know before. Are you ready? Making friends as an adult is way harder than it was when we were kids. I know, I know. It's crazy to me and yet it's true.
While it might not be the easiest thing in the world to make new friends as an adult, there are ways you can do it. In fact, it's been proven that you need to start putting in more effort to be sociable as you get older. As soon as you get older, life plays a big role and you start to lose touch with people more frequently. Between having kids, balancing multiple jobs, working overtime, or needing the time to yourself, our friends sometimes get lost in the shuffle.
So, if you just moved to a new city or new neighborhood, lost touch with some old friends, or are wondering how to meet new people and how to meet new friends, here are some of the suggestions we have for you.
Meetup.com is pretty much a godsend if you're looking to meet new people. I know this sounds like a plug, but people in my family have met some of their latest friends from this website. Why? It's simple. This website offers tons of different things for you to try in and around your area. You can join a movement, hike a trail, attend a lecture, join a sport, or learn new skills like dancing or cooking. Once you decide the kind of activity that's up your alley, you click on the link and the website shows you a variety of different events happening based on your selection.
If you're someone who deals with social anxiety or shyness, feel free to bring a support buddy with you. This website isn't a one-ticket admission, so if you need someone you're familiar with to tag along, bring them. Together you and your friends can see new things around your area and meet new people while you're at it.
There's also no commitment. You don't need to attend every single session that's set up for your interests. If the group you're with decides to host another meeting, but you weren't really feeling it, there's no obligation to go. This grab-bag of events is a terrific way for you to meet new people who are interested in the same things as you. Right there's your icebreaker.
Here's a great way to meet people while also doing some good for your community.
If you've ever wanted to volunteer at your local soup kitchen, animal shelter, or clinic, you should look into it. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities available near just about everyone. Charities and organizations are always looking for new people to join their team, so you'd be doing some good and meeting new people who are interested in the causes you love.
All you need to do is make a call to your charity of choice, visit their website, or drop by in person and inquire about their volunteer opportunities. Even if they have nothing available in that particular location, they're usually quite helpful in directing you to similar opportunities that you might like. From there, you can put in as many hours as you'd like and meet new people. You'd all be working towards a larger goal and the fun, carefree environment is a good place for you to strike up a conversation. You can ask people why they joined, why they're interested in this particular cause, how long they've been volunteering, or just introduce yourself when you see a new face.
Plus, the chance to spend a few hours every week with an adorable dog? Come on...
Joining a book club might not sound that interesting to some, but it's a terrific way for others to engage with like-minded people.
A book club is a great way to ease yourself into a new group of friends or people because you're all on the same page... literally. You and your fellow book clubbers will more than likely meet once a week or month to discuss what you learned, motifs, themes, favorite passages, and your overall thoughts on the book. What's so great about this idea is that you're not forced to come up with anything on the spot. The conversation is usually started by the book club leader and from there all you need to do is join in on the conversation whenever necessary. There's no awkward obligation to ask unnecessary questions or go around the circle and tell everyone one weird thing about yourself.
A book club is also wonderful for the avid reader. You'll more than likely have a new book recommended to you that you can enjoy and you'll learn from others what they thought about it and have something else to add to your bookshelf.
No one said that school had to be boring.
Skip the essays, headaches, and all-nighters to instead focus on meeting new people. As you may recall, high school and post-secondary education were riddled with too many classes and work that piled so high we had no time for a social life. But, if you take one class you won't have to worry about all that because the workload will be way lighter and you won't have to compete with 600 other students for the attention of your teacher.
You'll not only be learning something you've been putting off for a while (like a new language), but you'll also have icebreakers for your fellow students. If you need help with anything you can initiate a study group, you can always ask someone to tutor you, or just join in on a conversation you hear happening around you. The good news is that with continued learning, everyone is there for a specific goal and you don't have to worry about some know-it-all 17-year-old kid who rags on you for mispronouncing a word. People (hopefully) mature as they get older, so going back to school is a place you're bound to find a new friend.
Oh, yes. We're revisiting the dog thing.
Pending that you don't have any allergies or fear of dogs, dog parks are another way to meet new friends... and I'm counting the dogs as well. If you have your own canine companion at home then leash them up and bring to your local dog park so they can meet new friends and you can get to know the people in your neighborhood. What helps for any shy people is that you have your furry friend to keep you company and take some of the pressure off, while also acting as the star of the show. Dogs are pretty hilarious animals and they're always a good talking point for people at the park.
Not to mention, you'll have a ton of different questions to ask people too. What breed of dog they have, if it was adopted, how old the dog is, what their dog's name is. Trust me, when you get through those questions you almost always find a way to keep the conversation going. And even if you're not the best at keeping up a convo, the person on the other end might be. If you take your dog more than once a week you'll also be sure to run into the same people, which will only lead to more conversations.
Say you've been looking at this list and thinking how scary it is to meet new people or worrying that your small talk might come off as forced. Well, there is one surefire way to put your mind at ease: mutual friends.
Let's be real. Your friends have friends that you probably have never met or even heard of. We all have different jobs, different hangout spots, and attended different schools for various degrees. Naturally, this all adds up to having a few friends the other doesn't know about. Well, if you're wondering how to meet new people you can always turn to a mutual friend and ask them to set something up.
Bring a friend or two of your own and have them invite a friend or two. Together you all can attend a board game cafe, go see a movie, go to dinner, host a party, or any number of things you all agree on. This way you'll have a support group of people you're comfortable with and you can use them as buffers when they introduce you to new people. Not to mention, if they're friends with your friends, they have to be pretty cool in one way or another, right?
Alright, so going back to school might not sound like the best idea for some. Sure, the workload is lighter, but it's still a workload. So how about attending a class that's solely for hobbies?
If you hit up the internet and browse for various hobby classes you're guaranteed to find something that you'll love. There are tons of classes available for cooking, baking, music, dancing, and painting (to name a few). These classes are about an hour long and you don't need to worry about writing any essays or reading a 500-page novel before the end of the month. You can attend once a week, learn something new, and meet lots of new people. The classes are usually fairly small as well, which just makes it easier to talk to new people and not get lost in the shuffle. You can gab to your seatmate about how to do something, how goofy your creation looks, or even just turn and compliment them on their work/awesome dance moves.
It's not like all the pressure falls on you either. Who's to say that you won't be the star of the class? People could very well be lining up to talk to you.
Here's something else that you can bring your friends to.
Take a look at community boards around your area or hit up the trusty internet to see where all the best events are happening in your area. The great thing about attending events in the area is that a lot of them are free or pay what you can, so you don't need to break the bank for a night out. This is also a good time for you to meet new, like-minded people because you're all there for the same thing. So, whether it's a lecture from your favorite author, a community play, a free concert, or a comedy show, you'll have a lot of things to talk about with the stranger next to you.
You can also bring your friends along with you and they can act as a buffer in case you need one. It's always a good idea to bring someone with you who makes you feel more at home in unfamiliar surroundings. They'll also help you come out of your shell a little bit.
Here's a way to kill two birds with one stone if you've been thinking about joining a gym, but something was holding you back.
Despite popular belief, a gym isn't a place where you need to remain quiet. You're working out, not in a library. Though a lot of people refrain from a conversation because they're busy busting their butts, that doesn't mean that a little bit of small talk won't go a long way. This isn't to say that you should stand next to someone when they're on the treadmill or make a joke to someone reaching for a dumbbell, but you're not out of line talking to the receptionist, your personal trainer, or someone standing at the front desk. Plus, if you go continuously then you're bound to run into some familiar faces.
If that seems a little daunting, you can always join a class at your gym. Doing something stress-free like yoga or something a little more intense like a spin class will inevitably introduce you to new people. There's also ample opportunity for you talk to someone after or before class and the environment is way more social. Remember, oftentimes people are going to the gym to work out and are too in their zone to make small talk. But, in a gym class, you're more likely to get to know new people.
One of the biggest things you can do to meet new people is to make yourself available.
The next time your friend invites you to a party, wedding, or a social gathering, don't turn them down. The only way you're going to meet new people is to make yourself available and get out there. It can be tough and worrisome, but it's not like you're doing it alone! Your friends will be there to introduce you to new people, join in on conversations, and save you from any difficult situations.
So, the next time your friends ask you to come out somewhere, don't be so fast to dismiss them. You don't need to stay at the party the whole time or meet every single person there. But, it's a step to meeting at least one new person.
You'll need to step out of your comfort zone just a little if you're looking into how to meet new friends. It won't be easy, but you'll be able to do it with a little time, belief in yourself, and a bunch of new ideas on how to meet new people.