The average American adult only has one close friend that they feel comfortable confiding in openly and honestly. If you’ve lost touch with that friend, you may be feeling lonely or even isolated.
While making friends as a kid could be done in the snap of a finger, making and maintaining adult friendships is a lot harder. But it can be done!
By following a few simple steps, you can create quality friendships that last through the years. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Sign Up for Activities and Classes
Your first step in making friends will be to put yourself out there. Sign up for activities and classes that pique your interest, whether that’s joining a pottery class or an adult baseball league.
Friends often bond over shared interests. So, by signing up for these types of classes, you’ll meet tons of people who have the same hobby as you. Plus, you can likely break the ice by talking about something that’s happening in the class.
2. Smile and Be Positive
If you had to choose between being friends with someone who is always smiling and someone who sulks in the corner, who would you choose? Chances are you’d pick the happy one.
So, make sure you put your best foot forward when making friends. Smile and keep your conversations light and positive.
3. Be Yourself
While you’ll want to put your best foot forward when you first meet someone, you also want to make sure you’re being yourself. So, if you normally have a sarcastic sense of humor, don’t be afraid to throw in a joke or two.
You want the other person to get to know the real you from the get-go. This is the best way to see if you truly connect with each other or not.
4. Spend Time Together
It’s always great to talk to someone during your weekly sports league or hobby class, but you’ll want to spend time with them outside this activity too. Consider asking them if they would want to get lunch or go out for coffee one day.
Although your life may be hectic, it’s important to make time for other people if you want to build quality friendships. If they invite you to a few different places and you turn down all of their invitations, it’s going to seem like you’re not interested in being friends.
5. Keep in Contact
The biggest difference between close friends and acquaintances is how often you keep in touch. If you only talk to this person once every week or two, you’ll have a hard time creating that strong bond.
Instead, make sure you keep in contact. Even texting them throughout the week will help keep the friendship going.
6. Focus on Your Connection
Out of all these top secrets for making friends, the most important one is that the two of you connect. This means you genuinely enjoy spending time together and the conversation comes naturally.
Don’t focus on the superficial things a person can bring to a “friendship”, like a big house for parties or a pool to hang out by in the summer. Instead, focus on how much fun you have together.
7. Don’t Force It
Unfortunately, you’ll either connect or you won’t. You can’t force a close friendship to happen.
Even if you feel a connection forming, pay attention to how the other person is acting. If they don’t seem interested in spending time with you or texting you, take a step back. You may need to leave this as an acquaintance, and try to form a close friendship with someone else.
8. Evaluate the Friendship
Alright, so you’ve met someone that could be your new friend. You’ve spent some time together and talk throughout the week. Before going any further, it’s time to evaluate the friendship.
Do you feel happy and comfortable when you talk to them? Are you able to be yourself? Do they seem to be trustworthy and an overall good person?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, this may not be the friendship for you. Ultimately, you want a friend that you feel comfortable and happy around. If you think they’d cause drama or stab you in the back, it’s better to cut ties now.
9. Be Dependable
One of the defining factors of a quality friendship is that you’re there for each other. If your new friend needs your help or needs someone to vent to, it’s important that they can count on you.
Likewise, it’s important that you feel comfortable opening up to your friend and that you can depend on them to be there for you.
Of course, you’ll want to maintain the friendship and support each other during happy times too. You don’t want to be that friend that only calls someone when they need something, nor do you want your friend to be like that with you.
10. Own up to Your Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes. What’s important is that you can own up to your mistakes and apologize if you ever hurt your friend. If you let your pride or ego stand in the way, you could end up losing a great friendship.
It’s also important to know how to stop disagreements before they turn into arguments. Avoid talking about things like politics, religion, and any other sensitive topic, especially if you have differing views. If a disagreement doesn’t seem worth a whole argument and protentional rift in the friendship, try to deescalate the situation or change the topic.
Making and Maintaining Quality Friendships
Making friends doesn’t have to be so hard. Just follow the steps above to create and maintain quality friendships that will last for years to come.
Are you feeling overwhelmed trying to balance everything that comes your way? Then check out these tips to manage stress today.