It’s so much easier when you’re in school. You’re lumped together with people in your class and end up being friends due to convenience. Then you start going out drinking at house parties and field gatherings, and there’s a natural flow of people entering your life and you’re having to turn people AWAY when you have people over.
But fast-forward a decade, and the majority of those people have either moved away, turned out to be shady, or have simply vanished from your life for no obvious reason. You’re yearning for someone to hang out with at the weekends, but everyone from your work has a kid and your flatmates are just plain weird.
Never fear. Although it can be harder to connect with people when there isn’t a ready-made friendship group waiting for you in your student residence kitchen, making friends in your twenties and beyond is totally within your reach, and can be super-rewarding as you find people you have more in common with beyond sitting next to each other in maths. So read on and find out how to make friends in your twenties (and beyond).
How To Make Friends
So before we get started on avenues to meet people, first I thought I’d go through the step-by-step process of how to make friends in your twenties.
I’m naturally reserved, so when I’ve set out to make friends it’s always been an uphill battle. However, I’ve met socially gifted people who moved to a new city and had a big group friends in less than two months. So the key is to work on yourself as much as possible to you can be the person who effortlessly forms new friendships. It’s also important to have the right attitude. If you’re super-negative or bitchy you’ll attract people, but probably not people you could have a good long-term friendship with.
2. Go where the people are
To meet people you have to well, meet people. So get out there. Not sure where to go? Read on for the next section…
3. Reach out
The more you do of point #1, the more people will reach out to you, but it’s always good to be proactive. Get into the habit of messaging people after you’ve been somewhere letting them know that you enjoyed meeting them/ spending time with them. If you meet someone you click with, invite them out.
4. Accept rejection
Sadly, however fabulous we are, not everyone likes us. If you invite someone out and they start being vague and making excuses, leave it- they don’t want to be your friend. Sometimes you’ll have a fun friend-date with someone but they’ll ghost afterwards or start being vague about future plans. Don’t take it personally, you probably just weren’t their type.
If you meet someone you really click with, it’s tempting to jump straight in and start calling them your best mate after a few meetings, particularly if you’re not in contact with many people. Hold it right there. Sadly not everyone has pure intentions, and jumping in too fast can result in you getting burned. Get to know someone slowly and screen for red flags.
Where To Make Friends
Now we’re onto the fun part! There are many ways to meet people if you’re open to it, but here are some of the main ones.
If you want to meet new people- the first place you need to go is Meetup.com. A lot of people are reluctant to try it; perhaps they assume everyone is going to be weird. But while you get a few “weird guys”, there are lots of perfectly normal, fun people who are looking to meet new people. There will usually be a Young Professionals in [Your City] group which is a good place to start, as they usually attract a lot of people who are up for socialising, but hobby/ interest groups can be good too as you meet people you have at least one thing in common with. Meetup is a great way to meet people because while online stuff can be a bit flaky, the people who go to these events tend to be open to new friendships.
As strange as it sounds, I’ve actually made some good friends through Twitter. It’s usually happened when someone has made a call-out for someone to do an activity with I’ve gone along, or vice-versa. However others have made friends simply through finding people they get on with and sliding into their DMs. The key is to figure out what you’re interested in and follow and interact with people with similar interests.
Once you start making friends, it gets easier because you can then meet their friends and expand your circle. As mentioned in the previous section, take initiative if you meet someone you get on with. You can also form a “group” by inviting a load of random friends out together.
Blogging can also be a great way to meet people as you can find people with similar interests. Attend events and networks, or reach out to people via Twitter (as mentioned above).
I’ve included this further down as although I met my best friend on one, I’ve found people on friendship apps to be very flaky and got friend-ghosted more times than I can count. But it’s always worth a shot. Good apps to try are Bumble and Hey Vina.
This completely depends on the workplace, but plenty of people make friends through work. Make sure to attend socials, and invite people out for lunch if you like the look of them.
Again this completely depends on what you do and the environment. I personally haven’t made any friends this way, but I have a friend who met a new group plus his girlfriend salsa dancing, so it can happen.
A lot of these suggestions are aimed at those without ties who want people to party with, but what do you do if you already have children? Well my cousin is my age and has a one year old son; she was the first person in their friendship group to have a child and she lost touch with a lot of friends as they had conflicting schedules. But she joined a parenting group and ended up making friends with the other mums, so she now has a new group of friends and people to arrange playdates with.
Have you found it hard to make new friends in your twenties? What do you think are the best methods to use? Let me know in the comments!
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