Friends – How to Make Them

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.

Friends: How do grown-ups make them?  Part of a mini-series on friendship

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.

Friendship - A mini series


Places to Meet People

If you need a nudge out the door, here are some ideas to get you social.

  • work
  • 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
  • volunteer
  • 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

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  1. says

    It’s not easy and can be pretty risky. Invitations to our home, walks with our dog. It’s not easy at all. Bible studies, political committees. Go overseas with a team. Reading it sounds ridiculous but it works.

  2. says

    Thank you so much for posting this! It’s a topic that I’ve been thinking about a great deal lately…and your suggestions about making the first move and putting yourself out there is exactly the kick in the pants I needed! <3

  3. says

    Here in the blogosphere, I’ve met some wonderful people with warm and caring hearts. I’ve also found that joining anything anywhere is helpful.

  4. says

    Volunteering at stuff is definitely the best way that I’ve found. Also, finding groups to join, frequenting the same coffee shop around the same time on the same days, trying to find someone else just to start chatting up. Oh, wait, maybe that’s stalking… I get so confused. :)

  5. Katie says

    I am an introvert and it has been really hard for me to make friends, especially as a mom with young kids. I joined a MOPS group and I have made some wonderful friends. I have also joined a bible study to feed my faith and to be able to talk with a new group of ladies. I also get together with some friends solo once a month. It takes alot of work for me, but it is so worth it!

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