10 Tips on How to Make Friends as an Adult & 10 Things Not to Do

10 Tips on How to Make Friends as an Adult & 10 Things Not to Do

Making friends as an adult may seem impossible for some, especially in today's fast-paced world where social connections often take a backseat to career and family commitments. But creating new friendships as an adult is not only possible, it's also incredibly rewarding. With the right approach and mindset, you can open up your world to new perspectives, experiences, and support networks. Here are 10 tips to help you navigate making friends as an adult.

1. Leverage Your Hobbies

Nothing brings people together like shared interests. Join clubs or groups that align with your hobbies, whether it's a book club, hiking group, or a craft beer tasting circle. This naturally places you in the company of like-minded individuals, making it easier to strike up conversations and forge friendships.

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2. Embrace Technology

In the digital age, technology can be a powerful tool for building connections. Use social media platforms and apps designed for making friends to find people with similar interests in your area. Don't hesitate to reach out and initiate conversations online—it can be a great stepping stone to meeting in person.

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3. Say Yes More Often

Be open to new experiences and invitations, even if they push you slightly out of your comfort zone. Saying yes to social gatherings, work events, or community activities increases your chances of meeting new people. Remember, every friend was once a stranger.

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4. Volunteer

Giving back to your community through volunteering is not only fulfilling but also a fantastic way to meet people. Choose causes you're passionate about, and you'll find others who share your values and interests. This common ground can foster strong, meaningful friendships.

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5. Be a Good Listener

Listening is a crucial skill in any relationship. Show genuine interest in others' lives, ask open-ended questions, and give them your full attention. People are drawn to those who make them feel heard and valued.

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6. Keep an Open Mind

Be open to forming friendships with people who might not fit your usual "type." Diverse friendships can enrich your life in unexpected ways, offering new perspectives and experiences. Embrace the variety of characters you meet.

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7. Regularly Attend Local Events

Make a habit of attending local events, fairs, and festivals. These gatherings are perfect for meeting people in a relaxed, fun environment. Plus, attending regularly helps you become a familiar face, making interactions more natural over time.

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8. Take a Class

Education doesn't just expand your knowledge; it also expands your social circle. Sign up for classes that interest you, like cooking, photography, or language courses. This setup provides a built-in conversation starter with classmates who share your curiosity.

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9. Be Patient and Persistent

Building friendships takes time, so don't be discouraged by setbacks or slow progress. Keep putting yourself out there, and don't give up after a few failed attempts. Remember, quality trumps quantity when it comes to friendships.

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10. Be Yourself

The most important tip of all is to be authentic. Pretending to be someone you're not is exhausting and unsustainable. True friends will appreciate and love you for who you are, quirks and all.

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While we often focus on the dos, it's equally important to be mindful of the don'ts. Avoiding certain pitfalls can make the journey of making new friends smoother and more enjoyable. Here are 10 things not to do when you're trying to make friends as an adult.


1. Don't Overlook Small Talk

Small talk may seem trivial, but it's the foundation of many friendships. Avoid jumping into deep or personal topics too quickly; it can make some people uncomfortable. Small talk helps to break the ice and gradually leads to more meaningful conversations.

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2. Don't Be Too Clingy

While enthusiasm is good, being overly eager can push people away. Give new friends space and don't expect instant replies or constant availability. Friendships need room to breathe and grow naturally.

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3. Don't Ignore Boundaries

It's important to respect personal boundaries, including topics of conversation, physical space, and time. Pushing past someone's comfort zone can make them feel disrespected and hesitant to continue the friendship. Pay attention to cues and adjust accordingly.

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4. Don't Neglect Your Listening Skills

Talking too much about yourself without showing interest in the other person can come off as self-centered. Avoid monopolizing conversations and instead, focus on listening and asking questions. This demonstrates that you value their thoughts and experiences.

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5. Don't Be Negative

Constant negativity can be draining and may deter people from wanting to spend time with you. While it's okay to share struggles or vent occasionally, try to maintain a positive outlook. People are naturally drawn to positivity.

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6. Don't Be Judgmental

Being overly critical or judgmental about people's choices, lifestyles, or opinions can close the door to potential friendships. Embrace differences and keep an open mind; it can lead to richer, more diverse relationships.

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7. Don't Try to Change People

Accept people as they are instead of trying to mold them to fit your ideal. Attempting to change someone's habits, beliefs, or personality is not only futile but can also be harmful to the friendship. Appreciate the unique qualities each person brings to the table.

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8. Don't Flake on Plans

Consistently canceling plans or showing up late can make you seem unreliable or disinterested. Make a genuine effort to keep commitments, and if you must cancel, do so respectfully and with notice. Reliability builds trust and strengthens connections.

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9. Don't Bring Drama

Try not to involve new friends in personal drama, especially early in the relationship. It can be overwhelming and might make them hesitant to deepen the connection. Focus on building a solid foundation before sharing more sensitive or complicated aspects of your life.

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10. Don't Forget to Follow Up

After meeting someone new or having a great conversation, don't wait too long to reach out again. Failing to follow up can imply disinterest and cause the budding friendship to fizzle out. A simple message or invitation to hang out can keep the momentum going.

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