As a child and young adult, friendships happened naturally, and seemingly every day. From peewee sports teams to high school extracurriculars to college classes, these bonds formed effortlessly—and in some cases, even stood the tests of time.
As an adult, and especially as an introverted adult, making friends can seem a lot harder—even impossible. Whether you moved to a new city to start your career, have focused on growing your family for years, or just lost touch with your hometown besties, it can seem intimidating to start from scratch and make friends as a grownup.
It can be hard to know where to go, what to say, and what to do in order to cultivate and grow those friendships as an adult. Studies have shown that forming friendships later in life can take up to 90 hours, and becoming “besties” can take twice as long, so it’s important to take that leap of faith and start connecting with people sooner rather than later!
One easy and natural way to make friends, especially if you’re in a new place without many friends, is to start a new hobby or join a class. This way, you’re meeting people with shared interests—meaning you can skip the small talk and get right to forming a deeper connection! Find a hobby you enjoy or are interested in starting, whether it’s hiking, pottery, or a book club, and search your area for local meetups. You’ll learn something new and make friends at the same time!
Another way tailor-made to help introverts to make friends is by utilizing the power of social media. Join local pages, groups, and friend request people in your area to keep up-to-date on any hangouts or meetups in your area. Often the people in local groups are in the same boat and are looking to make friends, so the pressure is off!
No matter how you go about making friends as an adult, remember how important human connection is. Whether you’re a “loner” or just lonely, putting yourself out there is the first (and most important!) step to making friends and connections as a grown-up. Use the visual below to find out even more ways to make friends as an adult, as well as some actionable tips on how to make (and grow!) those friendships.