10 Tips for Making Friends as an Adult

12 min read

Photo cr: Rufino, flickr.com https://flic.kr/p/t9gZo | 10 Tips for Making Friends as an Adult | The Girl Next Door is Black

Photo cr: Rufino, flickr.com

Making friends as an adult is difficult for many of us. People date, marry, procreate, change, drift and relocate. Growing up, my family moved at least four times and I lived in three different states. While being the new kid often isn’t easy, it seemed so much simpler to make friends in school.

My first day of college, I befriended two girls in my dorm who I noticed chatting with the door open. I introduced myself, cracked a joke, and they invited me to eat dinner in the cafeteria with them. It turned out they had just met each other. Our trio became insta-friends that day.

I landed in San Francisco two years ago this month – after over a decade in Los Angeles (and several cycles of friend-finding) – armed with two cats, a new job, and the friendship of only one other person in the city. Making friends in San Francisco took more effort and perseverance than I ever anticipated. You could say I’ve learned a thing or two – sometimes the hard way – about making friends as an adult.

Perhaps you woke up one day and realized, “Holy loneliness! I don’t have any friends! (And I don’t know how to make new ones!)” Or maybe all of your friends seem to be married, paired up or wrangling children, with no time for single you. It could be you simply feel your social life needs a boost. Whatever the case, we’re social creatures. Even the most solitary of us crave regular, meaningful interaction with others. We need friends.  I hope that by sharing what I’ve learned in my friend-making efforts,  I can spare you some of the obstacles often encountered on a quest for new friends.

10 Tips for Making Friends as an Adult | The Girl Next Door is Black

Laying the Foundation

Before you undertake your search for new friends, here are a few things I recommend to lay the groundwork for being a friend magnet.

1. Be A Friend To Yourself First

When you meet new people, you’re marketing yourself in a way. The you that people meet is the whole package they intake from what makes you laugh to how you dress to what interests you. If you’re going to get out and meet new people, it’s important that you like yourself. How can you convincingly “market” yourself as someone’s next BFF  if you don’t believe in the package you’re presenting? 

What do you like about yourself?

What do others say they like in you?

Embrace What Makes You You | Inspiration | 10 Tips to Make Friends as an adult | The Girl Next Door is BlackTake time to think about what you offer as a friend. Friendship is about give and take.

What are your strengths? Are you loyal? Funny? Adventurous? A good listener? Nurturing? Embrace whatever it is that makes you you. Those strengths are what draw people to you. Lean on those strengths – your best traits – if ever you need a reminder of why you’re likable and lovable.

2. Make a Friend Wish List

You know you want to make friends. But, what does that mean? As with any activity we undertake, it’s helpful to have goals to guide us and keep us focused.

Ask Yourself:

  • What does friendship mean to me?
    • Think about what you’re looking for in a friend. Not who you think you should be friends with, but the kind of people with whom you think you’ll truly connect.
  • What kind of friends am I looking for?
    • Do you want a group of friends to chill at “Central Perk” with? Are you looking for a travel buddy? Are you longing for a confidante, a best friend, someone whom you can call to help you move a dead body, no questions asked?
  • What do I like to do for fun?
    • What kinds of activities do you hope to do with new friends?

Think about the friends you do have: How did you meet them? How did your friendship evolve? Being realistic about the investment involved in building a friendship will help temper your expectations.

3. Make Time

Finding new friends and building relationships takes time. Be honest with yourself about how much time you have to dedicate toward your friend-making efforts. Decide how important this endeavor is to you. Much like a romantic relationship, if you want new friends, you have to carve out time and space for new people in your life.

In my search for new friends in San Francisco, I met several people who confessed they wanted friends, but didn’t really have time to put toward the effort. One woman I met traveled for work several months out of the year. Another spent much of her spare time studying for the LSAT. Or as I’ve encountered many times over the years, the person who laments their lack of friends, but spends nearly every free moment with their significant other.

Time | Clocks | Photo cr: Sean MacEntee, flickr.com from 10 Tips for Making Friends as an Adult | The Girl Next Door is Black

Make TIME in your life for friendship.
Photo cr: Sean MacEntee, flickr.com

If your co-workers invite you out to happy hour and you routinely turn them down, one day they’re likely to stop asking you.

Spending all your time at work or even at home and not meeting people, will not get you closer to seeing your friendship wish list come true.

If you ditch or flake repeatedly, not only do people begin to see it as a pattern, often they take it as a direct offense.

Making time for friendship can be as simple as deciding you’ll dedicate one afternoon a weekend to making friends and socializing. Maybe you can target one or two lunches a week – or even coffee – for getting together with people. Find a way to integrate friends into your daily routine. For instance, if you have to study for a grad school exam, find a study buddy. If you’re a parent, find other parents with similar schedules.

If you’re serious about making friends, it requires time and effort. It’s worth it.

Ask Yourself: Does my busy lifestyle indicate to others: “I don’t have room for new people in my life?”

4. Keep an Open-Mind

Your next best friend, brunch buddy or running pal might arrive in a package you don’t expect. Life loves to throw surprises our way, so don’t immediately discount someone because of their age, how they dress, their socioeconomic standing (or god forbid, their ethnicity) or whatever other arbitrary factors we sometimes use in judging and assessing others. One of the benefits of friendship is how much we stand to learn from each other and our diverse experiences. Opportunities for friendship are everywhere. Don’t blindly turn away from what may be your chance at a rich friendship.

One of my closest friends is a white baby-boomer, 30 years my senior, from a farm town southern California. I met her at work, over a decade ago when I was just transitioning out of acting into my new career in tech. She is a treasure and I never would have expected a friendship like ours. When I join her and her husband on outings, sometimes I notice we get curious looks from people. On the surface, we couldn’t seem more different, yet as it turns out, we are far more similar than not.

Meeting People

Once you’ve laid the foundation for your friend search, it’s time to get tactical. How do you meet people?

Photo cr: Sue Waters, flickr.com Network from 10 tips for making friends as an adult | The Girl Next Door is Black

Lean into your network of friends and acquaintances to help you meet new people
Photo cr: Sue Waters, flickr.com

5. Use Your Network
  • Who better to recommend your next friend than a current friend you like and trust? When I moved to San Francisco, I was very open about my loneliness and difficulty in making friends here. A few of my friends in other cities reached out to connect me with their friends in the area. One of my new good friends is someone I met that way. What’s nice about using your network is your friends have already done some of the hard labor for you: they’ve vetted this person. Chances are your friends won’t hook you up with ax murderers or stalkers (unless ax murdering and stalking is what you have in common).

Don’t be afraid to let people in your life know that you’re on the hunt for new friends. There’s no shame in needing companionship. Your (true) friends have your best interests at heart and want happiness for you. Often you’ll find they are more than willing to help you expand your circle and relish the opportunity to connect the people they value.

  • You job is a potential friendship minefield. Some people recommend not mixing work and friendship. I think that’s unrealistic given many of us spend such large chunks of our lives at work. Obviously, one should be careful whom they choose to befriend at work. Be smart about it; use your instincts.

If you work for a large company, often there are intra-company clubs and communities you can join for everything from volunteer work to ethnicity-based groups to foodie outings to career advancement support and LGBT clubs. Smaller companies may have offsite events, happy hours or even poker groups, as I had one job. Some of my dearest friends are former co-workers.

6. Follow Your Interests

Another easy avenue to explore begins with you. Your interests. We like to have things in common with our friends, it strengthens our sense of belonging. Make a list of your interests, paying special consideration to activities you can share with others. Use this list to direct your search for activities.

If you’re athletically inclined, your options are many. There are sports leagues for adults of all ages for the fit and unfit alike. While I am not athletic – sometimes my anxiety dreams involve being back in middle school P.E.  – I did join an adult kickball league in Los Angeles at the recommendation of a friend. He promised I wouldn’t suffer humiliation and trauma if I sucked on the field. He was right. I had a good time, met a lot of new people, and when earlier this year – in a San Francisco league – I scored my first run, I felt so proud and vindicated.

An added benefit of taking part in activities you like, is that your positive energy will show through. Imagine how much more enthusiastic and engaged you are when doing something you enjoy vs doing something you dread or feel forced into. Like baking cupcakes vs. watching football. People are attracted to positivity. It makes them feel good.

If you like taking photos there are Flickr meetups and instameets all over the world. Maybe you’re really into your faith. Many religious organizations have social groups and events calendars for their communities. If you have a dog, take your dog to a dog park and let Fido’s cuteness guide you to your next friend. Perhaps you want to learn a new language. I enrolled in Spanish course when I moved to San Francisco. It gave me a reason to leave the house, kept my mind active, and I planned to reward my efforts with a trip to a Spanish-speaking country. Not only did I make new acquaintances in the course, a classmate asked me out!

A "Brony" Photo cr: Quinn Dombrowski, flickr.com from 10 Tips for making friends as an adult |The Girl Next Door is Black

A “Brony”
Photo cr: Quinn Dombrowski, flickr.com

I met a real-life Brony this year. If men who love My Little Pony can build a community, surely you’ll be able to find something to do around your interests. I’ve listed helpful resources at the end of the post.

7. Take Initiative

Have you ever met someone at an event or maybe a conference with whom you really clicked? Maybe you exchange numbers, email addresses or Twitter handles, and you agree you “must hang out again!” but nothing happens? You never hear from each other. Why did neither of you follow up? Could be any number of reasons: we’re too busy, too tired, too stressed, too lazy, too whatever. What if we missed a prime opportunity to bring someone new into our lives? What if next time someone says, “Let’s hang out soon” you say, “Ok, I am free next week on these days, how about you?” Make a plan. Set a date. Don’t wait for someone else to make the first move. 

If you hear of an event in your area that you’d like to attend, invite someone you know to join you.

Maybe there’s a co-worker you’ve wanted to go to know better. Invite him out to grab a beer.

The girl in your yoga class who always smiles at you? Strike up a conversation with her. Ask her where she got her yoga mat and how she likes it. Once you open the door friendly conversation, you can work your way up to asking her to join you for a post-workout protein shake.

If you like to entertain, throwing a party is a great way to bring new friends into your world.

Don't Wait for someone else to make the first move quote | 10 Tips for Making Friends as an Adult | The Girl Next Door is BlackBeing assertive and taking initiative can seem daunting, especially if you are shy. If you don’t feel confident, fake it. The truth is, many of us get nervous when meeting new people, we just assume we’re the only ones. Other people always seem so at ease with strangers. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. It’s just as possible that they’re just good at appearing comfortable under unnerving circumstances. Don’t be FAKE, just channel the comfort and self-confidence you feel when you are with friends. Remember what makes you someone people want to be friends with. No one has to know how awkward you feel, if you choose not to show it.

If you get nervous, ask yourself:

What’s the worst that can happen? What’s the best that can happen?

Be an active participant in building the friendship network you want. 

Cultivating and Maintaining

Once you begin meeting people and making connections, how do you build on your efforts and cultivate your new friendships?

8. Say “Yes!”

There may come times when you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone to make friends. Look at it as an opportunity to grow.

If you get invited to a party, go! Even if the idea of going to a party where you don’t know many people terrifies you, go! You won’t gain anything by not trying. Parties are a fantastic way to meet a lot of people in one setting. You always have the option of leaving when you like. Whenever I find myself at a party or a mixer, I challenge myself to meet at least three new people. That way I’ve given myself a goal. Three is a manageable number and after I meet my “quota” I can relax the rest of the evening knowing I’ve potentially made three new friends. If three seems overwhelming to you, start with one person and work your way up.

My motto is: I’ll try almost anything at least once. A few years ago, I went to a Thai restaurant famous for their insect delicacywith a group – some my friends, some strangers. Eating scorpions, crickets and beetles was never on my list of “things to do before I die”, and I don’t feel compelled to do it again, but the experience was as unforgettable as I anticipated. Today I can reminisce and laugh with my friends about our buggy meal. Shared experiences, especially unique ones, are the building blocks of strong friendships.

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Say “Yes!” to the opportunity to expand your horizons.

Typhoon restaurant, Santa Monica, CA.  Crickets | 10 Tips for Making Friends as an Adult | The Girl Next Door is Black

I said “Yes!” to crickets (with garlic rice to balance the taste) during dinner with new friends. (Typhoon restaurant, Santa Monica, CA.)

9. Let Yourself Be Vulnerable

Sometimes we worry that if we let on that we’re lonely, we’ll appear desperate. Almost everyone can identify with feeling the pang of loneliness at one time or another. Whether it’s that you’ve moved to a new city, are newly divorced or broken up or you find yourself drifting apart from your old friends, we endure friendship lows.

Years ago, I found myself looking for a new group of friends after an unfortunate break up with a best friend, followed shortly after by a break up with my long-term boyfriend. As my relationship had progressed, I’d neglected to direct enough energy toward maintaining and nurturing my friendships. I woke up one day to a desert of a social life. A triple whammy of loss that hit me like a sandbag.

I looked for a book club to join because I like to read. I ended up befriending a group of reading, traveling, foodies in Los Angeles, many of whom are still my friends. I recall during one book club meeting, how a discussion over the book Marrying Anita led to sharing of relationship stories. I admitted how lost and confused I felt after the loss of very important people in my life, to which others could relate. I began to look forward to our book club meetings and am grateful to the members for helping me get through such a difficult time. It’s scary to open up to others about our thoughts and feelings. It’s healthy to open up though. When we do let go, often it makes us feel better and it builds intimacy in our relationships. When a friend opens up to you, listen and make them feel comfortable sharing with you.

Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is key to cultivating a friendship. Self-disclosure brings us closer.

 Don't Give Up quote | 10 Tips for Making Friends as an Adult | The Girl Next Door is Black10. Don’t Give Up!

The search for friends can feel a lot like dating. Not too long ago, I accepted a lunch invitation from a potential new friend. After lunch, I remember dejectedly texting another friend, “I don’t think she liked me. She didn’t laugh at my jokes and she looked bored. Kept looking off at other things.” It felt like talking about a guy I’d gone out with! Imagine my surprise when a week later, she invited me out for drinks. She did like me! Turns out what I misread as disinterest was introversion at play.

Developing a friendship takes patience, resilience and repeated contact. Meeting someone once does not a friendship make. The more time you spend with a friend, the more you communicate with them, the more you self-disclose to them and create shared experiences, the more likely you are to grow closer. Friendships move through stages, from acquaintance to best friend. Not all friendships will traverse each stage. Consistency is key to deepening bonds of friendship.

Finding and making new friends isn’t always easy. If you’re one of the lucky ones, someone will take you under their wing and invite you into their circle. Overnight, you’ve got new friends! More than likely though, you will experience setbacks while on your friendship quest. That’s okay! Where there’s a valley, a peak is sure to follow. If you find yourself discouraged, keep in mind that making friends takes time. Not everyone you meet will become your best friend or even more than an acquaintance, but with each experience you have, you’ll become more comfortable with meeting new people. Over time, you should begin to notice your efforts paying off.

Have you found it difficult to make friends as an adult? What have your experiences been like? What are some of your challenges? Do you have tips for others looking to make friends?

Sports Groups
  • World Adult Kickball Association – a co-ed social sports organization, WAKA has leagues in 35 states for kickball, dodgeball and other “social sports.”
  • Running Clubs – A friend of mine met her fiancé through a Nike run club. Whether you enjoy running or want to start, it can be a fruitful place to meet people and get your workout in. Select Lululemon locations have run clubs (and yoga classes) and often local athletic and sporting goods stores will too. You can also find local running clubs at Road Runners of America.
  • Play Recess – another co-ed social sports organization. Currently, they only have leagues in San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. In addition to dodgeball and kickball, they have volleyball, ultimate Frisbee and soccer games.
  • Search for hiking and biking groups in your community. The Sierra Club has chapters across the country for hiking, outdoor and environmental activities.
Social Groups
  • Meetup – Meetup has been around for a while. It’s a large network of groups across the country organized by locals. Meetup types run the gamut from hiking to singles to art lovers to parenting to books. I find meetups require a greater level of proactive-ness than other avenues. This is largely due to the often ad-hoc nature of events that don’t engender repetitive contact among the same group of people. With that said, I know several people who’ve met with success on meetup.
  • Girlfriend Circles – Girlfriends Circles connects women looking to build female friendships. I’ve mentioned before how I met some cool women through the site. Members are matched with other members in their area based on age group. Monthly events are planned for groups of up to 6, so it’s manageable number of people to meet. Community members also organize their own events.
Volunteer Resources
  • Volunteer Match – Volunteer Match connects volunteers to the organizations that need them. Search for volunteer opportunities in your area based the cause(s) that interest you.
  • Idealist – similar to Volunteer Match, you can search for volunteer opportunities or post your own project ideas. Additionally, they have internship and job listings for non-profit organizations.

Other Resources

  • Check your local weekly paper (e.g., LA Weekly, Austin Chronicle, Chicago Reader, etc.). Use the Calendar of events to discover fun and new things to do in your area.
  • If you’re a college grad, see if there’s an alumni chapter if your area. My local alumni chapter has football game watching parties, BBQs and networking events.
  • Yelp has an events calendar and an active social community both on- and offline.
  • If you like dancing, find a local dance group. Another friend of mine met her husband and many of her friends through ballroom dancing.
  • Taking an improvisation or beginner’s acting class will allow you to learn a new skill and meet new people.

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  • denise low
    March 22, 2015

    Thank you for the tips. I have a hard time making new friends.

  • Divorced Kat (@1stYrDivorce)
    March 11, 2015

    Great tips! It’s so fun to meet new people. I wrote something similar on my blog. http://www.divorcedkat.com/2015/01/what-happened-when-i-got-brave-about.html

  • Home Jobs by MOM (@HomeJobsbyMOM)
    January 21, 2015

    I love this post! Making friends as an adult is so much harder than when you are in school. Things just fall in place there but in real life it takes some real effort. I need to put some of your tips to use.

  • Martha
    January 19, 2015

    I think your first point is so very important!! I’ve made much better, truer friends in the past few years as I’ve started to love myself more and believe that I *am* likeable instead of trying to change to make other people happier. Happy SITS day!

  • Bipasha
    November 6, 2014

    We definitely need people. Really liked your post, nicely written!

  • balmtomysoul
    November 4, 2014

    Making friends as an adult is a little different, but these tips are right on target. It does take accepting oneself, taking risks and making time. Great post.

  • Teresa
    November 2, 2014

    This is a very helpful post. Since my son and daughter have grown up I’ve been trying to get out and do more socially. I’ve joined a few local Meetup groups and a couple Blogger groups which has helped tremendously. I still haven’t found that person I would consider a true “friend” yet, but when I go out to eat or attend other events, I’m not always alone which feels great. Thanks for sharing your list and for the Resources.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      November 4, 2014

      It’s great that you’re trying. I feel like with most good things, if you put in the effort, you’ll get results. I’m glad you found the tips useful!

  • Heather
    October 25, 2014

    I loved your list and tips! This is something I have come to realize over time and our various moves that we’ve had to make due to the military. Always starting over and it can sometimes take its toll but all of your tips are great. Great read!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 27, 2014

      Thanks, Heather! I can imagine how exhausting starting over again and again can be. Every place is different and the people are different. Much luck to you. I wish you many happy friendships. 🙂

  • Jenny @ Honey and BIrch
    October 25, 2014

    I love this post – I’ve done some changing (for better or for worse) and have found myself growing apart from my long-time friends. It has been such a challenge to make new friends that I can confide in the way I did my old friends and I’ve kind of given up. Maybe I will try again and use some of your tips. 🙂

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 27, 2014

      Noooo, don’t give up! If you have friends now, you know you are at least likable. 🙂 Now you just have to find people who mesh with the newer you. It can happen!

  • Topaz
    October 25, 2014

    Wow. What a wonderful post on this subject. It really can be hard. I can really relate to what adrianscrazylife said in her comment. Those true friendships do not come around that often. I have acquaintance friends, but I think we have something in us that wants to find those “soul mate” friends. I need to put myself out there more for those “soul mate” friends. Sometimes it’s just as hard as dating. lol But you are right. We NEED these relationships…these tribes. Some family members and I just created our tribe bracelet. It’s important to celebrate our tribes…all of them….family, friends. I would love to have that circle of close girlfriends in my life, too. You know, that group you see in so many movies…doing life together…always belonging? You are right. It is harder as we get older. You have made some excellent points for just putting ourselves out there and doing it. I am looking forward to getting to know more bloggers and creating a blogger tribe. I am feeling much more connected to other observers and writers than I do to the average person. Bloggers tend to be more positive than most people, and I love that. I hope to find some local bloggers in my area, too. Great post, Keisha!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 25, 2014

      Wow, a tribe bracelet? What a beautiful idea.

      I agree with you about the blogging community. I’ve found people to be quite welcoming (and good call out on finding “other observers and writers”).

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment!

  • Theboxqueen
    October 20, 2014

    I love this post. I’ve been through this when I moved to the NW for graduate school about years ago. It does take a lot of putting yourself out there to find great friends. Sometimes it feels like nothing can beat high school/college/childhood friends but when you put time into it close friendships can be made at any age. Lovely tips, all so useful!! XOXO, Elif

  • adrianscrazylife
    October 19, 2014

    This has been a struggle for me and I’m never quite sure why. I’m a complete extrovert and a very positive and upbeat person. I have a ton of acquaintances, but true friendship only comes along maybe once a decade or so for me. I think part of it is that I’m a non-Mormon, older working woman in Utah and I just have a hard time finding a common bond with the ladies here. They’re very nice, but distant and they seem to be too involved with their homes and families to want to be friends with someone like me. I have tried being friends with men (I’m a Scout leader in my son’s Troop), which is a bit nicer – they are less prone to drama and more willing to give you another chance if you accidentally offend them, but it’s tough to have them as a confidante as we know men are not the greatest listeners. I think I’m going to try some of your suggestions and maybe check out some of your other articles on friendship. #SITSSharefest

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      November 11, 2014

      Good luck, Adrian! You may be the “odd” duck in your area, but I’m sure there are others out there looking for more people like you. 🙂

  • http://www.itsshellyscabaret.com
    October 18, 2014

    What a wonderful post! And timely, too :).

    I moved from Texas (where I had a ton of good friends) to Hawaii two years ago and have had the hardest time making new friends. I went straight to work (as a teacher) as soon as I got here and then had a baby four months ago. Needless to say, I haven’t had much time for friend-making.

    Friendship is so important to me though. I’m a girl’s girl and love being around other kind and fun women. I actually have a funny story about trying to befriend this lady I met recently. I seriously felt like I was a dude trying to pick up a woman. *blog post idea!*

    Thank you! I will surely link back 🙂

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 19, 2014

      I know what you mean about feeling like you’re picking up women. When I first moved here I joked that I had no time to date men because I was too busy dating women looking for friends! :Haha

      Thanks, Shelly! Where in Texas did you live? I lived in Houston and Austin.

  • Lifeplus1 (@mylifeplus1)
    October 18, 2014

    Awesome post, and a topic that isn’t often discussed. I learned the hard way that making friends as an adult can be quite difficult when I became an expat and then repatriated to the states. It seemed like if I didn’t go to someone’s college or work at their company they didn’t want to know me. It was so frustrating but once I accepted that I’d have to have a ‘few bad dates’ before finding some decent people it was a lot easier to tackle.

    You’re so right, you really just have to put yourself out there and not give up.


    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 18, 2014

      I like that: “a few bad dates.” I’ve found that people are sometimes unknowingly cliquish. They’re not necessarily in the market for friends and they stick with their group. I joke about having to “infiltrate cliques.” Get in with one person in the clique, they’ll start inviting you out with the group and you’re set!

  • Joanna
    October 18, 2014

    I love this post! I have such a hard time making girls friends for some reason. Probably because I find number 9 to be something I can’t do easily.
    Thank you for sharing this:)

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 18, 2014

      I think being vulnerable is hard for a lot of adults. It’s all too easy to build up walls to avoid getting hurt. I’ve found that opening yourself up to others encourages them to do the same. It’s like once one person lets their guard down, the other feels safer to.

      Good luck, there are friends out there for all of us!

  • MrsTee
    October 18, 2014

    What a great post! I am so this person. I have the hardest time finding and making new friends mostly because I never take the time. I am always so caught up in beinf Wife and Momma I forget that I need that time to be something for myself as well. Great tips and very real insight!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 18, 2014

      I think back sometimes to the friendships I remember my parents having when I was growing up. I know it was tough with 4 kids for them to find the time. But, when they did spend time with their friends, it was like my parents came alive, became younger even. Parents need time for their friendships too. 🙂

  • Savvy
    October 18, 2014

    Since I’m an introvert and need down time after work, I struggle to make friends as an adult. Plus, I’ve moved several times. Love all of your great suggestions.

  • Sheryl
    October 18, 2014

    This is such a wonderful post. I especially feel it is important to like/love yourself. Without that step, how can we expect anyone else to want to be around us? It also helps to realize that we each struggle with finding those true friendships as we become older. Finally, some of my best friends over the past few years have been individuals who 20-25 years older than me. It’s wonderful to have them in my life.

  • The Fit Empress
    October 18, 2014

    People don’t realize how challenging this can be. As successful and personable grownups, it’s surprising how quickly things can turn into that social pressure cooker of the 9th grade cafeteria at this stage in our lives!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 18, 2014

      Right? I once described a first day in the work cafeteria as reliving my first day in a new school in jr. high. People kind of sniff around you like, “Who’s the new girl? Is she cool?”

      Deep down, many of us are still the same kids who want to be liked and have friends and feel part of a group.

  • Renia Carsillo
    October 18, 2014

    Thank you for sharing this on SITS Girls this week! I needed it so much! Making friends is such a struggle for me and I’m in a rural town where people only seem to gather at church (and I’m not religious). Some of these tips where exactly what I needed to read today!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 20, 2014

      Hi Renia! I can imagine how difficult it must be trying to make friends in a rural environment. There are probably others just like you in your area, but no one knows where to find each other. Good luck in your search for your people. 🙂

  • izzy82
    October 16, 2014

    Thanks so much for writing this! A year and a half ago, my husband bought a house in the burbs (like wayyyy out in the burbs) and I love so much about our new home… but it’s been hard to make new friends, especially b/c I have the same job, just w/a really long commute now. I want to know more people local to me but it’s tough and time-consuming. Just recently, I decided I need to make an effort. This post is really timely for me! 🙂

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 16, 2014

      Hi Izzy, I am so glad the tips are of use to you! Maybe you’ll make some friends who are willing to come out to the burbs to see you. Hehe. Good luck! 🙂

      • izzy82
        October 18, 2014

        So far, no luck getting people up to the burbs! But I’ll keep trying 🙂

  • queenieweave
    October 16, 2014

    This couldn’t be more accurate! I was actually just thinking to myself the other day that I’m too old to make new friends (I’m 24) so clearly that’s a little dramatic lol. Really good tips!!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 16, 2014

      Lol, we all get a little dramatic sometimes. Why do you think you’re too old to make friends?

      Glad you liked the tips! 🙂

      • queenieweave
        October 20, 2014

        I think I feel “too old” to make friends because I’m no longer in school, which is where I used to make new friends constantly, and we always had the time to hang out and see each other. Now that I’m a working mother, my free time is limited, and the friends I make at work seem to be just “work friends”. So it’s become kind of tricky!

  • Nique
    October 15, 2014

    Odd I’m the oposite to you. As a painfully shy, overweight, in/out of hospital child I found making friends incredibly difficult. As an adult who’s now very comfortable in her own skin and socially more out going I seem to have no issues making friends. However I’ve learnt that I’m also a nutter magnet so I’ve become more careful about who gets to stay in my life and who I gently have to push out.

    Finding a boyfriend is my biggest adult issue (sigh). Maybe I should try your 10 Steps approach as it seems like solid advice.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 16, 2014

      Lol @ “nutter magnet’! I have had that problem too. Maybe I’ll write a follow-up post on the new types of new friends to avoid, hehe.

      I definitely think you could use some of these tips to boost your dating life. The more people we meet, the greater our chances of making new friends (and potentially boy/girlfriends). 🙂

  • Rachel K
    October 15, 2014

    It IS hard! Right in line with your #3, my other-half and I are new to Akron, too, and by way of a friend-of-a-family-of-a-friend we had dinner with a couple who we clicked with really well. And that was a month and a half ago.
    To my credit though, I went to three different meetups the first week I was hear, so I really tried to take advantage of the common interests part. And I’m almost official for working with a couple of non-profits. Give it time! I’ll conquer this yet!

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 15, 2014

      Wow, three meetups in one week. You were on fire! That’s really commendable. Yes, give it time. I hope you guys enjoy your new city. Sounds like you’re off to a good start!

  • inspiringmax
    October 14, 2014

    Well done. Great post and plenty to think about. I have used many of these skills as I have moved cities a few times in my married life.They work.

    • The Girl Next Door is Black
      October 15, 2014

      Thanks, Max! Glad to hear others can relate! When you move to a new city, having friends becomes so much more important.

  • valerietaglinedesign
    October 14, 2014

    Great topic! I particularly relate to how we need to make time for friendships and being open-minded about who turns out to be just the right friend.

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