6 effective strategies for making friends as an adult

When I was 9 years old, my family moved to a new town. I had to leave all my friends behind, and I found myself in a strange place, where I didn’t know a soul.

Of course, being at school forces you socialise, and within weeks I had a whole new circle of friends.

As an adult, making new friends can be more difficult.

There are a variety of reasons why you might find yourself in a situation where you want to meet new people. As people change jobs, move to different locations, get married and start families, you may find your current circle of friends is not as big as it used to be, or people are not available as often as they once were and you can start to feel a bit lonely.

You might have some really close friendships that will always remain, but you are keen to expand your social circle. You may have previously had no need to make new friends as an adult, as you have had the same group of friends from years back with no strong desire to meet anyone new and that you are wondering where to start.

The people you surround yourself can be so important to your life. This means the easier you find it to make friends and meet people, the better.

Personally, I have recently moved from Johannesburg to Budapest, where I don’t know anyone, so I want to make new friends as soon as I can, in order to establish a good a social life. I’d like to share 6 key tips I use for meeting new people:

1) Be open minded
The more open minded you are, the easier you will find it to make friends. You can socialise with people who are very different from you, if you only spend time with people who have exactly the same views, life could get quite dull. Try not to make a quick judgment of people at first impression, spend time getting to know people and really give them a chance. This should help you build up a diverse network of people in your friendship group.
2) Join a group

One great way to meet people is by joining a group. You can join in with something that you are passionate about, this way you are more likely to meet like minded people who also enjoy the same activity. You can find many different groups on-line in all major towns and cities, whether it is sports clubs, language groups, knitting clubs or a whole range of other things. The great things with clubs is that as well as meeting people, you get to carry out a hobby you enjoy.

3) Say yes to everything

When you are looking to meet new people, saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way can be a good technique. Sometimes you may be tired and it is tempting to stay in and not socialise. When you are trying to make new friends, this is probably not the best approach! You need to try and say ‘yes’ to every invite you get, every suggestion of going somewhere and every possibility that you will meet new people. The more you say yes to, the quicker you will meet new people and make more friends.

4) Hunt out friends of friends
It’s amazing how small the world is these days. It’s well worth asking friends if they know anyone in the area you are based in. You tend to find that people are usually very happy to meet up with someone a friend has recommended. You can mention to your friends that you are looking to expand your social circle and see if they can put you in contact with anyone they know in the area. You’re more likely to get along with them if you have a friend in common.
5) Online forums

Meeting friends online has become nearly as popular as online dating. There are many different forums such as City Socialising, Internations and Meet Up Group. The connections are made online, but the meet ups are face to face. It’s a cool way to connect people in similar situations looking to meet others in the local area. All these forums allow you to search for people in the same area, all with the same goal of looking to meet new people, make friends and socialise.

6) Use social media
People are so well connected online these days it’s worth putting a message on social media that you are looking to meet people in the area and see who responds. You may find friends responding who didn’t know you were in the area, or that you would be keen to meet new people. You may get people you don’t know responding who are just looking to meet new people. As long as you are careful and sensible about how you meet up with people you have never met before, it can be really fun.

You might feel embarrassed and a bit awkward when you first start out, but most people are happy to make new meaningful friendships and if they are not, they are probably not worth bothering with anyway. Get out there and give it a go!

I’ve given all these things a try since I have moved to Budapest and have met lots of lovely people in the first few weeks. I’d love to hear if you have any other ideas or tips for making friends in the comments below.

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  1. Why your friendships make you happier - Bestselfology - January 26, 2016

    […] Every time I move countries, my confidence gets a bit of a battering, because you have to start again. You move from having that tight knit friendship group around you, to getting to know brand new people and becoming friends. I am truly blessed with the friends I have around the world, but its obviously important that in the place you live, you have good friends nearby and this takes time. The advantage of moving around a lot is that you get to meet lots of different people and get much more familiar with the process of making friends as an adult. […]

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