Making friends as an adult can seem like a daunting task. It can be awkward, uncomfortable, stressful, and confusing. You may be asking yourself, what should you say to someone you want to be friends with? How do you even meet people anyways? While no one answer will work for everyone, there are a few things you can do to make those crucial connections and make new friends.
Choose to be in social spaces to make new friends
Taking part in an organized activity is a great way to meet new people because it gives us opportunities to interact with others that we don’t have once we leave school or work.
If making friends is your goal, it is essential to consider that not all activities are geared towards friendship building. Choose to do something where you will likely be partnered with someone, or at least in a smaller group of people where a conversation is likely. Choose to participate in something like a walking group or team activity. If you live in a seniors living community, then they will often have daily activities and outings that you can choose to take part in. These activities are often geared towards friendship-making and social connectivity.
Think about your own interests
Many senior living communities offer an array of classes and groups geared towards a multitude of hobbies and interests. It can be something you’ve done for years, something you’ve always wanted to learn about, or even just something that catches your fancy.
Pursuing activities geared towards things that actually interest you will help you to find people who have the same interest and help you make new friends. This will give you the opportunity to start a connection that could quickly turn into a great friendship. Other places where you may find groups or classes are places like
- your local library
- the bulletin board of a store that supplies your hobby (think quilting/crafting stores), or even
- social sites like Meetup which lists groups and events catering to a wide variety of interests.
Volunteering is a great way to meet up with others while pursuing something you care about. Find a cause that interests you, and there will likely be a group or organization related to it that gets together to volunteer and help out. If you just want to help out in your local community, a local church or hospital will often have meaningful ways in which you can contribute your time. When you volunteer at these places, there will usually be a group of people similar minded people who in attendance.
Use your life stage
Going through significant life changes can really disrupt your existing friendship groups. Use this time to strengthen old friendships where you can by making a conscious effort to connect regularly, but also use it as an excuse to try something new.
Your local seniors living community will likely have meetings and activities designed around getting you settled and connected when you move in. Even if you are not new to the community, try and take advantage of a new activity, maybe even something you wouldn’t usually try. Trying something new at a senior living community near you can be a great way to stimulate yourself, as well as give you an opportunity to meet people that you wouldn’t otherwise come into contact with.
Be flexible and persistent
Stepping outside of your comfort zone or usual routine is so important. If you always go to the same places and do the same things, you are unlikely to meet new people and could end up missing out on some great friendships. Challenge yourself. If you don’t meet anyone the first time, try again. You never know who may show up, and at least if you are doing an activity you like, then you got to go out and do something you enjoyed. Repeat interactions are so important. It’s often the thing that gives us the courage to approach someone for the first time or to suggest getting together in a different context or environment.
Know that you are not alone in your desire for friendship and meaningful connections. There are very few people in this world who would say no to making a new friend.