Knowing how to make friends is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. No matter who you are, how old you are, what you do, or where you live, making friends and building up your social life is something you should not disregard. That is why I currently do what I do. To help people who find it difficult to make friends and socialize. I do what I do because I know how important it is to have decent social skills to make friends properly.
Having good social skills, in turn, will allow you to have a healthier personal and mental life. You’ll have good friends around you who’ll lift you up and assist you at every turn. The fortitude of your mental health will be strong and sound. It will do wonders for your professional life as well. For as long as you have people around you who will support you and cheer you on, you’ll be even more motivated to be the best version of yourself.
On this website, you will find an abundance of articles that will help you how to make friends, get over shyness & loneliness, make conversation, and completely build up your social skills. Below, you’ll find a handful of tips that may or may not be applicable to you, so scroll down for your perusal. That said, let’s learn how to make friends!
- Make Friends as an adult, in your 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond
- How to make friends as an introvert
- How to make friends if you’re shy or have social anxiety
- Make Friends as a couple
- As a full-time working, busy person
- How to make friends in a new city
- How to make friends in specific cities
- Making friends at work
- How to make friends online
- How to make friends in college
- The formula for making friends
- Why is it hard to make friends?
- “How To Win Friends and Influence People” Still Relevant?
- Making friends during COVID
- Making Friends after COVID
- Why It Is Important To Make Friends
- Making Friends is a Skill You Can Learn
Make Friends as an adult, in your 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond
Making friends as an adult can either be very easy or incredibly difficult, depending on how you’ve socialized up to this point in your life. The good thing is, socializing as an adult can be much simpler than it was when you were still a student or back in your early 20s.
However, one of the best things you can do to make friends, no matter if you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or anything beyond that, is to mingle with groups of people that are within your age group. Of course, a friendship between a 20-year-old and a 40-year-old can happen, but those tend to happen more naturally. If you’re actively seeking new friends now, go up to people that are close to your age.
You can do this by joining groups and communities that are mainly joined by people in your age group. You can usually turn to community boards and Facebook groups for this one. Another thing you can do is to find pubs or bars and cafes in your area that are mainly visited by people in your age group. You can pretty much capture the feel of a location by the age group that hangs out there. Just ask around in your community and you should be able to find a place that’s right for you.
To make friends properly, you must first learn how to cope with loneliness. If you’re in your 20s and this is something you’re going through, check out this article on Coping With Loneliness in your 20s.
Related: How to make friends as an adult or after college.
How to make friends as an introvert
Introverts have it tough when it comes to the social arena. If you’re an introvert, you know this fact well since you live with it. However, it is also important to note that introverts can make friends just as well as extroverts.
The main difference between introverts and extroverts is that the former have a lower social battery than the latter. This means extroverts can go on socializing for a long time because they actually feel energized when they’re around other people. Whereas introverts get energized when they’re alone, at home, in a place they consider their comfort zones.
This is why most extroverts have more friends than most introverts. It’s simply because they spend more time socializing because of the fact that it’s an activity that energizes them. If you’re an introvert who wants to make friends, then you need to do so at your own pace. Learn when to stop socializing so you can energize yourself and when to actually go out and face people for the sake of your social life.
For articles on how to make friends as an introvert, refer to the articles found on this tag revolving around articles on introversion.
How to make friends if you’re shy or have social anxiety
If you’re shy, you might think that everyone else is bold and confident socially, and that is why it’s so easy for them to make friends. This behavior is normal and understandable. That’s just your brain noticing only the exceptionally popular people.
I’ve been to countless events and social gatherings, and I can tell you that most people are NOT socially confident and aren’t so bold to make new friends. If you’re one of those people, know that you are not alone.
To make friends as a shy person, you have to teach yourself to notice those who are reserved, introverted, and quiet. You can start there. Talk to those you feel like they’re also feeling particularly shy at that moment. They’re not as intimidating compared to those who are the “life of the party” and they could also use that lift up, as do you.
You also need to improve your social skills gradually. You need to manage your expectations. It’s not reasonable to go from 0 to a 100. Rather, you wanna learn social skills, one by one. Try and talk 5% more often, be bold or more talkative, little by little.
Each step in making friends seems easier than before because you’re not expecting yourself to go from shy to 100% confident in one single step. This will take time. Just learn to be patient with it.
For more articles on how to overcome shyness, loneliness, and deal with social anxiety, click on the link.
Make Friends as a couple
Even though most couples consider each other best friends, it can still serve them better to make friends as a couple, whether married or not.
The easiest and most reasonable way to do this is to seek out other couples. Double dates are always fun, as long as everyone involved is informed and onboard. Find a friend who’s also in a relationship and ask them if they’d be willing to go on a double date with you and your significant other.
Of course, there are so many more ways you can use to make friends as a couple. Be sure to explore the article I just linked to.
As a full-time working, busy person
If you’re busy, even if you’re motivated to make new friends now, it can be hard already to keep the discipline to try socializing. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. Here are some of the simplest things you can do to make friends, even as a full-time working, busy person.
- Set up recurring events in your calendar (call it “Social Hour”, for example.)
- Set up reminders a few days prior to the event. That way, you can have time to prepare for them.
- When the time for socializing finally arrives, be sure to take that time to develop your friendships as well as form new ones if you can.
- Enjoy! Workdays can be long and tedious. Be sure to enjoy these moments of relief.
Use that “social hour” to follow up with people you met recently, reach out to potential friends, make plans for later in the week and/or the weekend, and look for local events and local communities you can consider for meeting new people and making friends.
As a busy person, the way to make friends is to make time for it. If you don’t, it’s never going to be done. If you set a predictable time for it and act on it, then it’ll be efficient and effective. You can be as busy as you want, but you will not forget to be social, because you have that weekly notification that will always remind you.
How to make friends in a new city
Moving to a new city can be lonely. You get busy just settling in and managing the logistics, so you barely have enough time to meet new people so you can enrich your social life. Before you get too deep in that “new comer” loneliness, you need to get moving and do something about your social life.
One of the things you can do is to go to local events and social gatherings and go often. Make a plan of doing something social on a weekly basis if you can. And by something social, we’re talking about places, events, and groups where people go to meet new folks. We’re not talking about restaurants or concerts here.
Go meet new people as much as you can, get a sense of how things work, socially. Make sure you remember that as a newcomer, you have an advantage: you have a different perspective, you have knowledge and culture from another part of the country (or the planet). That’s part of what you bring to the table when making new friends.
Related: how to make friends in a new city.
How to make friends in specific cities
Different cities have different particularities. However, one thing that remains is how you approach socializing, no matter where you go. Get to know your city so you can get to know the social scene. That way, you’ll develop an idea of where the kinds of people you want as friends hang out.
You can also learn about the city’s culture and background. The people you meet who are from there will appreciate the fact that you took the time to get to know their hometown. Know which sports teams they favor, popular and hidden tourist spots, the history, and the economic climate.
Other than these things, you can pretty much employ the same strategy mentioned in the previous point where we talk about how to make friends in a new city. Be sure to also read the article linked there. Other than that, keep exploring any city you’re in so you can easily and effectively meet people near you.
Making friends at work
Your workplace is one of the easiest and most reliable places to make friends, for as long as you’re approaching socializing correctly. The good thing with socializing at work is that you spend most of your time there, so getting to know another person is pretty much routine and expected. However, if you do something wrong, that can stick out like a sore thumb. So one of the most important keys here is to be careful and mindful.
Just socialize with your co-workers on a daily basis and attempt to know what they’re like outside the office. You and your co-workers will most likely be more comfortable when you socialize elsewhere. That said, once you get to know someone in the office enough, make sure you take that to the next level by asking them out for a coffee, lunch, dinner, or a drink.
For a more comprehensive reading on how to make friends at work, refer to the linked article.
How to make friends online
Making friends online is now something a lot of people do. In fact, studies have shown that it is indeed one of the best ways people go for to make friends in this day and age. The online world is something that revolves around us now, for better or for worse, whether we like it or not. Whatever your reservations are, this technology can indeed be beautiful and gracious if used correctly. Thankfully, one of the correct ways to use it is for making friends.
That said, making friends online can be an easier process than its real-world counterpart. You have more time to formulate your thoughts when chatting to strangers, you’re able to look up things on the fly for fact-checking for the sake of conversation, and you can easily search clubs and groups that suit your interests.
Be sure to read this article to know how to effectively make friends online and how to become friends with anyone over text or chat. You can also check out this article on the correct apps you can use to do your socializing.
How to make friends in college
Ahh, college. It’s both the best time and worst time in many peoples’ lives. As stressful as college can be, it can also be filled with memories and excitement. Friends can have a massive impact on the latter. It only makes sense for you to make friends if you’re a college student. If you want to survive life in a university, you need to make friends while you’re there.
That said, making friends in college is a task that needs precision. Take the time to read this article to know how to introduce yourself in college.
The formula for making friends
This friendship formula is what some psychologists call “friendship formation”. When I dug deep into the science of friendship, and compared to my own real-life research and experimentation, this is the formula that I found to be closest to reality.
The place in which you first encounter a person can have a strong impact on whether or not a friendship can flourish. This is why a lot of the strongest friendships either begin in school or at work. This is because that environment is a place you both share. It makes sense for the both of you to be there and it makes sense for the both of you to have a connection.
With that in mind, if you’re looking to form a really strong bond, start with the environments you’re in most of the time. This can work in parties and social clubs too.
For a friendship to even happen in the first place, the situation must be just right. What this situation refers to is the willingness of both to spark up a new friendship. This takes effort, time, and care, after all. If one isn’t willing enough, then the situation isn’t “just right.” A friendship can never flourish, or it will be immensely hard to do so.
3. Mutual Liking
This goes without saying, but it bears repeating that for a friendship to work, both individuals must at least appreciate each other’s company. There needs to be mutual liking. This is what that “spark” is people always talk about. You don’t always immediately know why you like each other already, but you feel the fact and accept it to be true.
This mutual appreciation is usually felt immediately after the first few conversations. If you start a bond with someone right, it’s bound to get higher from there much easier.
Friendships are formed through meaningful conversations, and conversations are only meaningful when there’s responsiveness from both parties. If both are sociable and responsive during each interaction, a friendship is already inevitable.
People who find it easy to be friends with someone can keep a conversation going quite easily. However, if you’re someone who can’t keep up a conversation with most people, despite how much you seem to enjoy the idea of socializing, be sure to take the time to read these articles that are for improving your communication skills.
5. Similarity (having things in common)
People who have things in common find it easier to build a bond with one another. Conversations flow more naturally, mutual liking is more possible, and a friendship happens more naturally. Here’s an article you can read that discusses exactly how you can find things in common with someone.
6. Reciprocal Self-Disclosure (building trust)
Finally, all friendships are built on trust. A friendship will never be able to flourish without it. Trust is built when both people start to reveal key information about themselves to each other. These pieces of information can begin light until it becomes more and more deep and personal. This can happen very naturally too if the two have nailed the previous five formulas. If you really want to be friends with someone, you need to know how to trust another person and how to be trustworthy as well.
Why is it hard to make friends?
Even though a lot of friendships can happen very naturally and organically, in a lot of cases, it can feel very difficult to actually make friends. There are a handful of reasons for this too, starting with how everyone can be so accessible these days.
In our modern era, we are surrounded by social apps such as Facebook and Twitter which allow everyone to get in touch with anyone whenever they can. This gives society the illusion that everyone can be connected to. There’s never a sense of urgency to socialize because of how “accessible” everyone seems to be.
1. The illusion of accessibility
Illusion is the keyword here since “accessibility” is nothing without action. Yes, thanks to social media, everyone does have the chance to get in touch with whoever they want. However, without the urgency to act, socializing becomes disregarded.
2. Individualism over social integration
Another reason why it’s so hard to make friends these days is the increasing importance people place on “individualism” while brushing off socializing all the while. Now, take note that there is nothing wrong with placing importance on individualism. In fact, it can make you value yourself more, therefore making you do what’s best for you in the long run. However, the harm comes when one places that aspect of their life too highly while discarding social integration altogether.
4. Time constraints
A lot of people also find it hard to socialize and make friends simply because of certain time constraints. The world moves very rapidly in our day and age that a lot of people have very little time left for socializing after they leave college. People found it easier to socialize and make friends while still in school but found the culture of work very surprising and the flow different.
There are a lot more reasons why it’s hard to make friends. If that’s a topic you’re interested in, consider reading more about it.
Be that as it may, no matter the reason why it’s so hard to make friends today, the only thing you should remember and care about is the fact that there are things you can do about it.
“How To Win Friends and Influence People” Still Relevant?
Another very good way of making friends and overall increasing your social skills is to read books that will help expand your social knowledge. One great book about this subject matter is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It is a great classic book and is widely considered to be one of the most influential self-help books of all time.
Although the philosophy behind it still applies, but it’s hardly actionable now, and won’t give you a plan on how to make friends. You won’t find “steps” in how to create friendships, but rather general qualities that Dale Carnegie found in popular people in 1930’s America. Although you can still treat it as a “good read” today, How to Win Friends and Influence People just isn’t directly applicable.
Making friends and building up your social skills takes so much more than increasing influence and learning character, it’s also about dealing with internal aspects such as anxiety and loneliness. Take a look at my book to learn how to deal with the pitfalls of socialization so you can get the friends you want.
Making friends during COVID
There’s no point in avoiding the massive elephant in the room. Recently, the world was hit with an overwhelming pandemic which put almost everything to a screeching halt. The idea of socializing is one of many things in a person’s life that got affected by it immensely. During such time, people realized just how valuable it is to socialize with people. A lot of us were stuck at home wishing we could be out with our friends again. Even introverts, who mostly preferred the solace of home yearned for certain aspects of the outside world.
Social media, texting, and online chatting became a massive hit during COVID. Apps like Messenger, Zoom, and Skype had more user base than ever as they filled the void left by usual socializing, which everyone was suddenly unable to do because of the pandemic.
A lot of people found it difficult to build new bonds during such time, but they did see value in enriching the friendships they already have, even though they did all of it virtually.
Making Friends after COVID
Now, though, that the world is starting to loosen up and heal, people are starting to go out and hang out with others again. Not only do people now get the chance to see their old friends, but also get the chance to interact with strangers as well. That said, due to the shift in societal climate, there is one last thing you need to keep in mind if you want to make friends, and that is to respect space.
A lot of people are still wary of strangers because of the pandemic. That said, avoid shaking someone’s hand without their consent. In fact, it’s better if you just greet them from a small distance wherein you’re still able to have a comfortable conversation without raising your voices.
Other than that, it’s business as usual. Conversations can still start flowing, events can still happen, and friendships can still be formed. There just needs to be an extra layer of mindfulness and consideration now. Just keep that in mind and you should be able to make friends wherever you go.
Why It Is Important To Make Friends
You may already be driven to make friends now, but setbacks and disappointments can always still happen along the way. These road bumps may completely discourage you from further exploring your social life. To avoid this, you need to put into your mind just how important it is to make friends.
Making friends is something a lot of us should remember prioritizing. A lot of people get caught up with improving their romantic lives, their personal lives, and their professional lives, yet completely disregard their social lives. In truth, they should be improving their social lives just as much, if not more.
There are a ton of reasons why making friends is so important, and this list on the importance of making friends can give you 16 of them. Just keep in mind that making friends will greatly influence and improve all the other aspects of your life. Don’t ever disregard it.
Making Friends is a Skill You Can Learn
Learning how to make friends, regardless of who you are, where you are, and what you do, is definitely a skill you can learn. This is one of the most definite things that I can say as someone who has been spent more than a decade studying the science of making friends.
Throughout the years, I’ve learned how to make friends, organized the information I’ve gathered from what works to what doesn’t, and I’ve coached and taught people from being socially inept to the most socially adept person they can be since 2011.
I am an author, a coach, and the founder of GetTheFriendsYouWant.com. For 11 years, I’ve coached and written articles about loneliness, shyness, social skills, conversation, friendship, and everything about a person’s social life. I’m happy and proud to say that I’ve helped thousands of people change and improve their social lives. I can do the same for you as well.
I’ve compiled everything I’ve learned in one book. That’s a reading material you can and should turn to so you can learn and master the skill of making friends, just as I have and all the other people I’ve helped.