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Published November 12th 2012
Not 10, but 9 ways to make friends as a Adult
I remember in primary school, I used to have a new best friend every week. Those were the days - sharing a muesli bar and talking about what our Barbies did on the weekend. Nowadays I'm lucky to make a new friend once a year and even then, it's nothing serious. However, I was blessed with meeting two wonderfully awesome ladies during high school and we are still all best friends.
It did get me thinking though, it's hard making friends as a grown up. Never one to shy away from a challenge (last night I attempted to eat a whole chilli. Attempted the key word here) I decided a month ago that I would try to make a few more friends. It might sound easy, but I'm a socially awkward person, so to put myself out there was difficult, but trust me if I can do it, so can you.
I did realise just how hard it is to not only meet cool people, but to also have a friendship connection, all while not seeming creepy (that's how it sometimes feels when you push a friendship and you are over the age of 20). The result?
I organised a group hang out at my house (I always recommend a relaxed environment) and got my good friend Caitlyn to invite some of her work friends over. Because I already know my friend is funny and chilled, I figured her taste in friends would represent that. I was correct and it was a hilarious night. I added a few of the girls on Facebook, but that's where we have left it. I feel like I could have persuaded it further, but the full friendship connection wasn't there. I do think this is a great way to meet potentially perfectly suited friends for you.
2. Hanging with people from work
I work with a great bunch of girls, but had never actually gone out socially with any of them. When one of the girls invited me (the hard work was eliminated for me on this one!) to a party, I happily accepted. It was a great night and I got to know her on a more personal note. We talk more and have developed a out of work relationship.
I'm the type of person that either gets along awesome with someone or I have a string of awkward small talk. The first one doesn't happen nearly as often as the last one does. This month I really tried to work on my self-esteem and even if someone didn't seem like they would appreciate my humor, I still put it out there. This worked in my favour because looks and first impressions can be deceiving.
4. Join a club
There are many clubs you can be a part of these days and there is something for everyone. You not only meet new people, but you also get to do something you are passionate about. I tried Dragon Boating, unfortunately I completely underestimated how difficult and intense this would be. The team were friendly, but I only lasted one session. I then joined an online group called Lottos, this is a website based around entering competitions and people are very supportive and helpful. While I haven't made any real life friends from this group, I have made some great online ones.
5. Write a blog
This is a awesome way to connect with people from all over the world that have the same interests as you. I started a blog about entering competitions and my daily life. Its great fun and I have made so many friends.
I didn't need to give this a go as I have already studied twice since leaving school and each time I made cool friends that I still keep in contact with. This isn't just a great option for meeting new people, but it also builds confidence and can lead to great job opportunities.
Nothing is nicer, then to hear a genuine compliment from someone. I find this breaks the ice and starts a friendship in a really positive way. Plus you will have made someone's day!
8. Going to a regular place, e.g. dining, supermarket or hairdressers.
This month I became friends with a girl that works behind the counter of Nando's, which is my usual lunch option when I'm at work. Each time I came in, we talked a little more and more. She is a real character and a down to earth girl, oh, and also I get free Nando's!
It could be a holiday tour like Contiki or just a day tour. I went on a glow worm tour two weeks ago, which lasted a couple of hours in the evening. My friend and I met some interesting people, but sadly a lot of them didn't speak English. However I do see the potential group tours hold when it comes to making new friends.
I tried to get up to 10 ways, but give me a break, I've never been so bloody social in my life! I was completely thrown out of my comfort zone and while at times it was uncomfortable and I was thinking "What's the point?" I did make some new friends, had a blast and learned new things about myself. And that's priceless.
And hey, if none of that works, I'll be your friend. Mission accomplished.