How to Make Friends as an Adult
Excerpt adapted from The Blue Zones Challenge by Dan Buettner a four-week guide and year-long sustainability program to jump-start your journey to better health, happiness, less stress, and a longer life.
Just like with dating, making friends as an adult means putting yourself out there. A recent study found that most adults hadn’t added to their social circle in five years. So you actually have to get out of the house, and then also ask people out (as friends).A recent study found that most adults hadn’t added to their social circle in five years. —@thedanbuettner Click To Tweet
Think about the things you like about yourself and the things that you want to do more of. You want to make friends, but you also want to make friends who will genuinely support you and join you on your journey to a happy, healthy, purpose-filled Blue Zones life. Taking this inventory will help you as you meet new people.You want to make friends, but you also want to make friends who will genuinely support you and join you on your journey to a happy, healthy, purpose-filled Blue Zones life. —@thedanbuettner Click To Tweet
Listen and don’t hog the conversation. Don’t talk over people. Ask questions. Compliment genuinely and often. Put your phone down when you’re in a social setting and move away if you need to use it. Give people your undivided attention.
Volunteer in your community
Volunteer in your community for a cause that you care about and that speaks to you. If it’s something you do weekly or monthly, hopefully, you will see and meet people with like-minded interests.
Look around your existing network
Look around your existing network and see if there is potential to deepen casual connections. If you’re a parent, is there another parent whom you see at school drop-off that seems to have good energy? Or a co-worker whom you banter with? Chat them up. Then see below for how to ask them out on a friend date.
Ask for setups
If you’ve recently moved, then ask anyone you know if they might have friends in your new area that you might hit it off with. Then ask them to connect you.
Join a social group
Join a group like a book club, a sports league, a Meetup group around one of your hobbies, or a faith-based group. Danes are among the happiest people in the world, and 92 percent of them are members of a social group.
Take a class
If you’ve always wanted to try something, take a class that meets regularly.
Try an app
How to Ask a Friend Out
Make the first move. Say something casual but direct. Try: “Would you want to get coffee or lunch sometime?” If you feel really awkward, then acknowledge it with, “This is awkward, but I’m asking you on a friend date!” If it’s someone you don’t know well, then ask them for their phone number to finalize plans and keep in touch.
Make it low commitment. Keep it simple and safe and easy. If it’s a co-worker, you can ask them to grab lunch. For other people, a coffee or tea or drink is good to start.
If it seems like there’s friend chemistry, then don’t take too long to schedule the next friend date. It takes a while to get into a rhythm.
Make a group date. If you really find it too awkward to ask someone out on a friend date, then invite them to a casual gathering or outing with one or two other people. Hopefully they will feel flattered to have been asked, and it takes the pressure off the “getting to know you” aspect of a one-on-one meeting.
Know when to move on. If you ask someone to hang out three times and it’s a no-go, move on and don’t take it personally. If you realize you don’t have a lot in common or you don’t really have chemistry, then there’s nothing wrong with letting people go back into the acquaintance zone.
The Blue Zones Challenge is an interactive guide designed to help you make over your environment—home, office, even your social circles. It’s not a fad diet or an exercise plan. This is a sustainable program to help you make living a healthier, happier, longer life easy and accessible for everyone, everywhere.