Making friends as an adult can be challenging, especially for women in their 30s and 40s. Between juggling a career, kids, and family obligations it can be difficult to find time to socialize and meet new people. Having supportive and understanding friends is vital to emotional and mental well-being. There are many reasons why you may need to make new friends. Moving to a new city, going through a divorce, or losing touch with people over the years can isolate you to some extent. Here are some ways you can try making new friends.
Be open to new experiences
A common but classic way to meet new people is to try new things. Take up a new hobby, join a book club or start visiting new places that interest you. You’re bound to encounter a few people to start a conversation with.
Put yourself out there
Making friends takes effort, so don't be afraid to initiate plans or reach out to people you've met. Send a message on social media or invite someone out for coffee. Chances are that the other person may be just as hesitant to make the first move and would appreciate the gesture more than you know.
Be a good listener
Get to know others by listening to what they have to say. Ask questions, show interest in their lives, and be supportive when they need it. This shows that you appreciate them and value their companionship.
Don't be afraid to be yourself. People will appreciate your honesty and will be more likely to form a genuine connection with you. It will also lead you to more like-minded individuals who “get” you.
Make time for friends
Maintaining friendships takes work. Prioritise scheduling time for your friends. It can be as simple as a weekly phone call or a monthly dinner. Friends may not always be available when you are. Be flexible and understanding when plans fall through and try to make arrangements that work for both of you.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable
As adults, sometimes we put up walls as a defense mechanism because of bad experiences from the past. This makes it hard to open up to someone you just met. However, without some level of vulnerability, you may reduce the chances of someone truly connecting with you. Trust your gut and take your time getting to know the other person.
Reach out to old friends
If you have old friends who fell out of touch, try to make contact. Even if you can’t meet face to face, technology has made it convenient to stay in touch via social media or video conferencing.
Making and maintaining friendships as an adult is worth the effort. Without friends and family, life could get pretty lonely. Admitting to yourself that you need to make friends is the first step. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to building a strong network of friends that will last a lifetime.