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Making friends as an adult

making friends as an adult

Sex & Relationships

Making friends as an adult

making friends as an adult

I understand that making new friends as an adult can be challenging, but it’s definitely not impossible! After I had finally settled from relocating from one town to another I came to the realisation that I had no friends here. I literally started from scratch and here are some suggestions on how to do it!

Take a class

What is a skill you’ve always wanted to learn? Perhaps a hobby that you would like to spend more time doing? Taking a class is a great place to meeet like minded people and possibly make new friends. In my case, taking a class was a requirement for the company that I had applied to work for but it was still super cool. I learnt something new while meeting new people! So I suggest you sign up for a class that interests you, whether it’s cooking, photography, an art class or a language course. For those who are considering an art class, the National Art Gallery offers some.

Join clubs or groups

I actually joined a Bible Study community with my mans, my sister and her husband. Every Saturday evening, we meet at the pastor’s house in Marlborough. We start by enjoying a meal together before the Bible Study commences. The pastor’s wife makes the most delicious meals. I made two new friends the first time I went there. Think about your hobbies and passions. Look for community groups, or clubs related to your interests. This could also be sport based I know that there are soccer teams that play at neighbourhood sports fields, to volunteering opportunities in Blues DIFTK (Do It For The Kidz) picks up litter in the CBD on Sundays and it’s open to everyone.

Attend events

Check out local events like festivals, concerts, or workshops related to your interests. This is a great way to meet people who share your passions. For example, in Harare there’s Afro Beyond, CBD Market by Grayville for thrifters and Sofar Sounds for music lovers, for those of you who do it for the Culture uLenni okaNdlovu hosts the Fabrik Party. In Blues there’s Garden of House, the Dejavu Hangout, Munch and Sip, Bulawayo Sneaker Expo just to give a few examples.

Be approachable

Put away the resting B* face. Smile, make eye contact, and be open to conversation. Let people know you’re interested in getting to know them. It can be daunting to approach cliques and strike up a conversation but nothing ventured, nothing gained. You can always start off small and approach someone else who is also standing by themselves.

Strike up conversations

Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone new. Ask questions, find common ground, and keep the conversation going. Show a genuine interest in the person you’re speaking to. But there’s a fine line between being curious and coming off as a monitoring spirit. Research on some conversation starters and see which ones are the best ones on an individual to individual basis. You already speak to yourself, you might as well practice how to converse with other people by yourself in front of a mirror.

Initiate plans

Don’t wait for someone else to make the first move. Invite someone you met to coffee, lunch, or an activity you both enjoy. To avoid fights, please state beforehand how the bill will be settled. No one likes nasty surprises. If it’s their treat, please don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu. Watch what they order and try match the price point. That’s probably the budget they are working with. If you aren’t allergic, you could always order what they are having. Mirroring is a great way of making good impressions.

Expand your existing connections

Deepen your relationships with acquaintances you already know. Take a co-worker you chat with occasionally out for lunch or join a book club with a neighbour. When people invite you to places, don’t always turn them down. Say yes once in a while. If you have siblings and relatives that you don’t completely loathe, you can use your spare time to deepen those relationships. I have a cousin who is my absolute favourite and I go out with her as often as adulting allows.

Friendship apps/ Social media groups

Yes you read that right, if you can take a chance on a dating website surely you can try finding a friend online. Consider using apps like Bumble BFF or Peanut, which are specifically designed for making friends as an adult. I also suggest joining Facebook groups or online communities related to your interests. This can be a great way to connect with people who share your passions. I have seen posts in Facebook groups of people asking for someone to talk to, friendships and even business connections. Please don’t lose your home training online, “stranger danger!” also applies in adulthood. So, keep yourself safe. Meet people in public spaces.

Be patient

Building friendships takes time and effort. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t click with someone right away. Keep putting yourself out there and the right connections will happen. Don’t make this about them, constantly remember that all this is for you. Use the opportunity to refine your people skills and networking skills. Have fun and charge every experience to ‘character development.’

Be yourself

Don’t try to be someone you’re not to fit in. Your tribe will locate you, the right people will appreciate you for who you are. One thing the internet has taught me is that there is a virtual community for everything. There’s someone out there who sees the world the way that you do. Consider it an adventure as you embark on this quest to find them.

Focus on quality over quantity

It’s better to have a few close friends than a large group of acquaintances. So don’t panic if you don’t have a whole squad of friends. Maintaining relationships is expensive. the bigger your friends group, the more baby showers, graduations, funerals, excursions, birthdays, etc.

At the end of the day, don’t get it twisted, friendship is still a beautiful thing. Put yourself out there and all the best!

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I'm Noni Zulu, editor of iNgudukazi Magazine and I'm proud to say that. This is a magazine that looks to empower the youth. We hope to entertain, inspire and motivate our subscribers and to help make a difference.

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