Finding Friends In The Adult World

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A hard yet rewarding pursuit.

Friends are important. They help keep life light and full of giggles. They offer support and alternative perspectives, and they keep you on your toes when necessary. Life is more fun with friends. The adult life, however, sees friendships slipping away. We grow apart, move to new locations, or just, you know, get busy. 

Making new friends in a grownups environment isn’t the easiest of endeavours, either. Whereas school and university offered up an entire buffet of potential friends who we were forced to mingle with daily, as we grow up, the exposure to kindred spirits-in-the-making wanes. Nevertheless, friends are good for the soul. And, we all owe it to ourselves to put new friendships atop our to-do list.

So, whip out your notepad and pen, and salute all the future buddies you’ll be making should you heed the following advice…

Go Places

From attending beauty workshops, a hiking group on Meetup, or taking your beloved pet to the dedicated dog park that one block further than your local patch of grass, these are the places where like-minded friends await. The places you’d like to go! A place where friendships may happen organically! What’s great about partaking in a niche workshop, activity, or standing around at a park, is that there’s no pressure. You’re there for a wider purpose. If you feel brave, strike up a convo with a potential future friend. It can be anything from discussing skincare routines, if you’re at a beauty event to how you’re dying and haven’t actually hiked in years (relatable) if you’re on a hike. Or, how cute their puppy is yapping around your greyhound if you happen to be at the dog park. If you’re in your element, the greater the natural flow of conversation will be. And if not, maybe someone else will make the first move? Just make an effort to remain open. And, always keep your eyes up off your phone. 

Make Work Work For You

Whether you want to get to know your co-workers or not, you spend the majority of your life with these people, so it’s worth giving them a shot. I once worked in a restaurant while in high school with people of all ages and expertise. A friend of mine was friends with everyone there, whereas I always felt shy (and if I’m being honest, a little jealous). Then one day I watched her greet her way through our co-workers. “Good afternoon, how was your week?,” She’d ask. “Do anything fun? How’s the house hunting? How’s Sylvia?” She really knew these people, and had forged genuine friendships because she was curious. She just asked questions. The response was easy and she barely had to shine the focus on herself. While it sounds obvious, our efforts can easily fall through the cracks. Or into the vortex of a computer screen. But, what a difference it can make! The more curious I got, the more these co-workers became people whose company I felt comfortable in. Not to say we went for tea and had sleepovers, just that spending a day at work is much nicer when you’re surrounded by friends.

Be Vulnerable

As adults, we feel like we’re supposed to have life figured out (lol). But, if we ask the people closest to us, the majority are still waiting for that ship to arrive! No one seems to ~know who they are~ or be living life perfectly. And that’s okay. What I’m saying is, we are all human. In letting our guard down—being honest about our fears and excitements—we give others permission to do the same. We create a cosy place to just be. Isn’t it refreshing when someone is honest? When that mask is removed, I feel my shoulders start to relax. So, when meeting new peeps, embrace those vulnerabilities. Rather than a weakness, they can be perceived as a strength, in that they help us to forge deeper connections. And potentially make some fab new friends! 

While there are these slightly calculated ways to make new friends, some of the best friendships grow from the most unexpected circumstances. We want to hear your stories! How have you met some of your closest friends as an adult? Drop them in the comments below.

Words, Sian Henderson