The only way to have a friend is to be one. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Recently my son asked, “How do grown-ups make friends?”
He was honestly curious. We don’t go to school with a whole bunch of other “kids” our age. The neighbor’s don’t knock on the door and ask us to ride bikes, so how do adults make friends.
That got me thinking.
The way to make friends is to be friendly.
(I didn’t just make that up. It’s in the Bible.)
Now, that sounds way easier than it is, because many of us are not extroverts.
People usually get the idea that being outgoing is natural for me and perhaps, to an extent, it is; however, I most often have to make a conscious decision to go meet people. I purposefully have to step outside my little comfort zone and talk to strangers, neighbors, coworkers, whomever.
I can absolutely be the wallflower who sits back and doesn’t say a word. Sometimes I kinda like just observing. It’s easy.
Making friends as an adult isn’t always so easy. Most of the time it requires us to go out of our way for someone else.
Places to Meet People
If you need a nudge out the door, here are some ideas to get you social.
- join a book club
- take a class – even a hobby type class
- church – go to Sunday School or be part of a small group
- join a Bible study
- throw a block party
- invite people over for dinner
- have a girl’s night out and invite someone you barely know
- volunteer in school or walk your kids to school
- go to a dog park or a kid park (whatever…borrow a dog if you must)
- take an exercise class
- volunteer for town events
- if you have children, get to know their friend’s parents
Here’s the catch – whatever you decide to do is going to require you to make the first move. You’ll have to be the friendly one, the one who speaks first. You’ll have to do the initiating and the inviting.
For some, that may feel like the Chinese water torture. I promise it won’t kill you. The pain of social embarrassment is short-lived. Most of the time.
What are some ways you’ve made friends as an adult?
Part 1 – Friends: How to Stay Connected