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4 min read

How To Make Friends as an Adult in Austin

Making friends as a child can be the easiest thing in the world: meeting new friends in the neighborhood or at school is almost second nature. How to make friends as an adult can be more of a mystery. Where do you make meaningful connections in the midst of a busy, responsibility-laden life? And yet, establishing and maintaining adult friendships can be integral to mental health.

Anxiety and depression are at an all-time high in today's world, and making friends is an important protection against these mental health conditions. Social connections are sadly lacking for many, and yet strong friendships can help you manage stress, process negative emotions, cope with problems, and even improve certain health markers.

Why it Can Be Hard to Make Friends as an Adult

11 Simple Ways To Make Friends As An Adult, Recommended By Experts

4 Activities to Meet Potential Friends as an Adult

How to Maintain Friendships as an Adult

Why it Can Be Hard to Make Friends as an Adult

As adults, we often lack the simple courage of children to approach a person and ask, "Do you want to be friends?" In addition, we are involved in our day-to-day lives at work and at home and may not be in a position to meet a whole lot of new people.

Making friends begins with meeting people, and if we don't take steps to get out of our routine, it can be difficult to do this. But there are strategies you can use to create meaningful friendships if you are willing to step just a little bit outside of your comfort zone.

11 Simple Ways To Make Friends As An Adult, Recommended By Experts

The new starts with the old.

You have to start somewhere. Is there someone you enjoy at work or an old friend who lives nearby? You can network through old friends to find new friendships.

Have the right mindset to make new friends.

If you want to attract people, you need to be in the right frame of mind. Sometimes, when we've been out of practice with friendship, we can pull into ourselves a bit. Learn to look for friendship everywhere, and start talking to people to find out more about them.

Listen, seek similarity, and celebrate.

That person you pass every morning when you walk your dog is a potential new friend. Greet people you meet, and ask genuine questions when they have the time to talk. Look for things you may have in common.

Focus on being open.

Be willing to share yourself with others. This means finding the courage to speak to someone, as well as listening and sharing some of yourself. Talk to that parent that you see at your kid's soccer practice every week and see if they have free time to hang out sometime.

Make a list of potential friends.

Write down a list of people you interact with in some way and that you find interesting. This can help you recognize opportunities that you may not otherwise notice.

Find a group that interests you.

New friends can be found in groups and hobbies. Join the gym, take a cooking class, or join a hiking club. There are thousands of interests that you can do in a group, and when you join groups, you can find meaningful relationships with others.

Be vulnerable.

To find new friends, vulnerability is key. People won't just come to you, you're going to have to put yourself out there and risk rejection. Seek out new friends with the courage of vulnerability.

Get curious and be willing to try new things.

It's not always easy to put yourself out there. Especially if you are trying something you've never done before. However, joining activities that interest you can lead to finding good friends with similar interests.

Maintain a positive outlook.

To create a vibrant social life, it can be key to stay positive. New relationships may not fall into your lap, but you can find them if you try. Go forward with the attitude "I like people and people like me" and you'll find that making more friends as an adult becomes easier.

Connect with co-workers.

Making friends at work may not seem exciting, especially if you want to run out the door as soon as your shift ends. However, you may find that at least some of the people you work with have common interests. Take a minute or two each day to have a little conversation with those you feel a connection with.

Consider your dating connections.

It may seem weird to use romantic relationships for making friends, but it can work. Especially if you happen to have a positive relationship with one or more of your exes. Good friendships can spring from former partners, or you may make new connections through them.

4 Activities to Meet Potential Friends as an Adult

You can find lasting friendships through activities, especially if you are living in a new city and aren't sure where to start looking.

Join a gym or sports team.

A gym is a great place to find new friends. Join as many group exercise classes as possible, and you will start talking to the people around you. Some fitness instructors will even have regular members meet up for coffee outside of class, which is an excellent opportunity for building new friendships. Sports teams are similar in that you have ready-made camaraderie. Coming together to practice and win games is a common denominator that brings people together naturally.

Attend a meet-up or networking event.

Networking events and meet-ups are designed for you to meet people. Typically, these are based on similar interests, like hiking, wine tasting, or volunteer work.

Join Bumble BFF, or another tech platform.

You can meet people and make friends in online spaces as well. For those with social anxiety, building online friendships can be a good place to start.

Join a book club.

A book club offers a simple way to make friends as an adult if you enjoy reading. Local groups meet and allow you to discuss books, or if you are a bit shy, hang back and listen until you're ready to participate.

How to Maintain Friendships as an Adult

Life can be busy, but once you've created a network of great friends, you can keep them your whole life with a few simple strategies.

  • Spend time with your friends, even if you have to work at making that time.
  • Your best friends can be errand partners—go shopping together or hang out at each other's houses while doing housework.
  • If you have kids, make friends with other parents; you'll likely see them often.
  • Keep up with your interests, like clubs and volunteer work, it's easier to keep up with your friends when you keep up with your activities.

Making and keeping close friends as an adult can be a bit more difficult, but it's possible to do with a little effort. And it's well worth it when you realize the mental and physical health benefits of having friendship in your life over the long haul.

Still having trouble? Considering talking to an Austin therapist about your efforts!

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