Remember how easy it was to make new friends back in school? Then everyone moved back home or to another town for a new job, so the group got smaller and smaller. Or maybe you were the one to move away. You might've found that your normally popular self was left with fewer social options.
Let's face it, meeting new friends as an adult isn't always easy. People tend to already have their cliques or are coupled up and don't hang out as much. So how do you build a new friendship without it feeling awkward?
1. A trip to the dog park.
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A dog is the perfect conversation piece and you don't have to own one to enjoy the benefit of it. The dog park is well-known for being social and it couldn't be easier to strike up a conversation with the material in front of you. Simply ask "Oh, what kind of dog is that?" and you'll be chatting it up in no time.
Don't have a dog? No worries. You don't need one to sit on a bench and watch them play. You're simply there to dog watch. If that makes you uncomfortable, ask one of your friends if you can take their canine for an hour. There are probably a few seniors in your neighborhood who'd be grateful if you took their furry friends for a walk. Some people will even pay you to do it.
Dogs' cute and silly antics provide loads of chatting material, so if you're not great at coming up with small talk, this might be the perfect venue for you.
2. Take a workshop or course.
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Look in your local community activity book (they usually come out in the spring or fall) for extracurricular, special interest or continuing education workshops. There will be everything from specialty cooking courses and adult swim classes to French language intros and photography 101s.
The best part about meeting people in a workshop is that you go into the potential friendship already having something in common. Also, you don't have to worry about trying to create an unnatural connection because the conversation will be based around the workshop content itself at first. Then, during breaks, you'll have a chance to chat in a more personal way.
Bonus points for learning a new skill, which makes you just that much more interesting.
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Why not do something for your community while on your new friend quest. You'll feel great about yourself for giving back. What skills do you to offer or what experience would you like to gain? There's a lot of volunteer options such as community gardens, theater groups, holiday events, museums, political campaigns. Check your city website for notices.
What's great about offering your help to a community organization is that you'll meet people from different backgrounds and ages. No need to limit your social circle to a bunch of people who are exactly like you. As an adult, it's way more interesting meeting people who've had different life experiences.
You'll all have one thing in common though. You're all there to help others. Now, that's a good foundation to base any new friendship on.
4. Join a niche club.
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Clubs have always been the tried-and-true way to create new and often long-lasting friendships. They're still as popular as ever and there's one to fit just about any interest.
In fact, they can get quite niche. Into reading? Join a book club. Travel? There are adventure groups that do fun things locally and plan trips afar. Into wine? Sign up with a club who meets monthly for wine tours and tastings. Whatever your jam is, there's a club for that.
Joining an activity you feel passionate about with like-minded people is a recipe for friendship. You'll naturally bond without even having to try.
5. Friendship groups.
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Actually, they're called social groups and you can usually find them online at sites like Meetup.com. The sole purpose of the group is to meet new people. You can go online, find a social meetup group for your city, and sign up to get invited to different meetup events.
It's for people who've either moved to new cities, travelled and lost touch with friends or simply want to expand their social circle and make connections. And there are new people joining all the time, so give it a couple months and you're bound to build friendships
The social groups usually host a variety of events so only go to the ones that interest you.