Sign up for a class or workshop
Get out of the house and sign up for a class or workshop! This is a great way to meet people who share your interests. You can consider signing up for something at your local community college, a yoga studio, or even an adult school. Once you find places to look, it’s easy to find classes that fit your interests. For example, I’ve met many friends through ceramics, modern dance and strength training classes.
Ask others to do things with you
One of the easiest ways to make friends is by asking others to do things with you. You should have a general idea of what you want to do and activities you enjoy. For example, if you’re an avid reader, ask others if they’d like to join the local book club or meet up for coffee once a week.
If you don’t know anyone that shares your interests, try searching for clubs in your area (there are plenty on Meetup). Most clubs are welcoming and will let you come hang out as a guest without any obligation to join. If there isn’t a club around you, consider starting one yourself! It may seem daunting at first but doing so will force you to talk with new people. Remember: everyone was in your shoes once before too!
When inviting someone out for an activity, be specific about what it is and when it happens. This will help ensure that both parties are on the same page and gives them more confidence in agreeing to attend with you. If they seem hesitant, offer several options regarding when or where it will happen next time. The more specific the invite, the higher chance they’ll agree!
Go places you love and engage in activities you enjoy
Find places where you feel comfortable, and fulfill your interests. If you’re into art, visit a local museum or gallery. If music is more your thing, check out concerts at small venues. Go to bookstores if that’s what excites you.
Don’t force yourself to go to places you don’t like just because you think people there might have similar interests to yours—it likely won’t be a good use of time for either of you. On the other hand, if there is something that does interest you but seems intimidating (like rock climbing or joining a book club), try it anyway! It’s easier than ever to find information online about how beginners can get started in any hobby or activity they’re interested in, so don’t let nerves keep you from pursuing something new.
Be open and welcoming to others, even if it’s hard at first.
You don’t need to be a social butterfly, but you should make an effort to be open and welcoming to others, even if it’s hard at first. Though being friendly is a start, it’s not enough to just be nice. It can also help to listen attentively when someone else is speaking and ask questions as follow-up. This makes the other person feel important and helps you learn more about them too.
If you find yourself lacking friends, try to hang out with people you already know well—like coworkers or relatives—before meeting new people. Even if the people you have in your life aren’t your ideal friends, they’re still a good starting point for finding good friends later on.
Remember that all friendships come with difficulties and it’s normal to have arguments or disagreements.
As you build friendships, you may encounter some challenges. It’s normal to have disagreements or even arguments with friends. Maybe you both want different things out of a friendship or maybe certain habits of one friend irritate the other.
If the issues are minor, you can probably get over them. But if they’re huge and cause ongoing problems between you, then it’s probably time to think about whether these people can really be your friends if they don’t respect your feelings and opinions.
Keep in mind that not all friendships are meant to be forever. Some people just come into your life for a short time and leave once their role is finished. If a friendship isn’t working for you anymore, it’s okay to walk away from it without feeling guilty or disloyal.
It’s okay to feel vulnerable when making friends
It’s okay to feel vulnerable when you’re making new friends.
You might feel anxious, nervous, or even a little scared—and that’s ok! It’s actually pretty normal, and expecting that can help you take it in stride. Just remember: you don’t want your nervous energy to come across as awkwardness. A good way to keep these feelings at bay is by mentally preparing some topics of conversation ahead of time.
If you’re thinking “I like talking about the weather”, I have some bad news for you—that kind of basic talk isn’t going to make anyone’s heart go pitter-patter. You need matters that are more substantive than “How are things?” and “What do you do for work?” (which are great follow-up questions). Instead, think about what makes this person special—do they have pets? Do they love music or enjoy reading books? Why did they choose their career path? What are their hobbies and interests?
The most important thing when making new friends is sharing yourself honestly with them. Be open and honest about who you are and be interested in what makes them unique. Remember that vulnerability is not weakness; it takes strength to put yourself out there for others to see.