It can be tough once you’re an adult and you’re out of education. Suddenly, you’re busy, away from the people you used to see every day, and have no social connections outside of the walls of your office.
It’s hard and I think more people should admit that it’s hard. That it’s a very real thing to feel lonely as an adult, especially when you’re in your 20s and experiencing this perhaps for the first time.
Well, here’s me saying hey, I need some friends/people of interest in my life. This is not to say that the people I already know suck! They don’t. But getting to know some new people is always a good idea, and expanding your social circle, or meeting people who are more like you can be life-changing and great for your wellbeing.
So, here’s how to do that…
When I think about it, some of the coolest or most like-me people that I’ve ever met have been recommendations/setups from other friends. People I know have been like “hey, you might get on with so-and-so” or “you and so-and-so have X, Y, Z in common” and then boom, bestie!
It may feel lame to ask for recommendations from your friends like “hey, find me friends” but it could do you well to at least show that you’re open to it. Also, just sharing who you are and what you love will alert those around you, encouraging them to connect you to others like you. Then voila, friendship.
Ignite old flames
Reaching out to people you knew from school or university can be a good idea. I put out a status that I was looking for other freelancers to hang out with at times so that we could be less lonely together. One woman from school liked the status and so I popped up to her. We met for coffee and had a blast.
She’s now someone I speak to frequently, share ideas with, have opened up about my life to, and have supported in her endeavours. We’re, I dare say, friends!
This won’t always work, but it’s worth a try. Is there anyone from school that you wish you’d gotten to know more, or a friend that got away? If so, reach out to them. There’s really no harm in a Facebook message.
Go to Meetups or events
Not networking events or random events, but special ones for Harry Potter fans or footballers. That way, you know that you’ll have something in common with the people there.
Meetup is a great website that helps you to find local groups that meet to do activities or just chat within a certain social circle. It’s anything from Writer’s groups, Football, Online Gaming, Travellers, Fashionistas, Bookworms, and more. Just search for what you’re interested in and you’re bound to find a group that you can meet up with.
It’s also a great idea to look for local events in your area that are in areas you enjoy. I’ve met great people at book events because I know straight away that they’re interested in the same thing as me.
Message the cool guy
If there’s someone cool on your social media that lives in your area, why not ask to meet up for coffee? The worse that they’ll say is no but you weren’t friends anyway, so it’s no loss to you! If they say yes, just be yourself. Again, it’ll either go well (hooray) or not; either way, you’ll survive.
I think putting yourself out there can be scary because of rejection, ridicule, or embarrassment but we’re all adults here. No one’s going to shame you for just saying hi. So, use social media for what it was originally intended to be for: socialising.
If you don’t want to hint to your friends that you’re looking for more like-minded people, that’s fine, I get it. Instead, you could attend gatherings that they host and that way you’ll automatically meet mutual friends.
Friends of friends soon become friends when you speak with them a few times. As much as I hate going to gatherings, I can’t deny the fact that I’ve met some interesting people there. After all, your friends are your friends for a reason: they’re good people. This probably means that they have good tastes in people, too! So, use this to your advantage to meet more cool people.
Lastly, there’s the obvious: attend new groups. Fitness classes, courses, writing groups, painting classes, film fanatic gatherings, whatever. Find a group near you that is centred around an interest of yours and attend a few sessions to try it out.
Aside from Meetup, you can just go to your local community centre, sports centre, gym or what have you to find a club to join.
Bonus: Introduce yourself
At the gym, in class, at work, or wherever. Friendships can bloom from one simple thing: just saying hi!