So, you want to make friends. That’s great. So many of us do, but making friends as an adult is no easy task. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help initiate and build friendships. Because the thing is, so many people think the hardest part of making friends is sending that first text… the initial connection. From personal experience, I can tell you that is one of the hardest parts but it isn’t the hardest. Find out what is and the number one thing you have to do if you want to make friends.
If You Want to Make Friends, Say Goodbye to Pride
Everyone knows prideful people don’t ask for help. Well, prideful people also don’t make friends easily because pride will keep you from doing what it takes to build connections. Instead, you need to get comfortable out of your comfort zone. You need to be ok feeling a little silly, awkward, and forward. This is especially true if you want to make friends as an adult. There’s no room for a big ego. You have to let go of pride, and here’s why.
1. You Need to be Ok with Initiating a Connection
If you want friends, you have to put yourself out there to make a connection. Just like a tall, dark, and handsome man isn’t going to show up at your doorstep flowers in hand, neither is your next best friend. You have to go out and find them. And once you find them, you have to be willing to initiate a conversation and a connection. If you’re sick and tired of seeing potential friends in passing and this being your conversation–“We should totally hang out sometime!” “Yeah, definitely!”– but nothing coming of it, you can change that. You just have to let go of (or push through) any fear, awkwardness, and pride and make the first move.
2. You Need to be Ok with Making a Move
If you want to make friends, you have to reach out to people first. That’s just part of the deal. If you’re tired of the promise of making plans that never comes to fruition, do something different. Next time you see someone and they say they want to hang out, ask them when they are free. If there’s someone you’ve wanted to get to know better, send them a text and find out when they are available for coffee. Make the plan. It sounds simple, but it really is one of the hardest parts. Nevertheless, it’s what you have to do if you want friends in your life. Though… it is only the beginning.
Say you do it. You send the text and make the plans. Now you need to actually do them. Making new friends can feel awkward at times, and those uncomfortable feelings may get the best of you. Next thing you know you’re searching for excuses to cancel plans. Don’t do it. Push through the awkwardness. And if you need some ideas for how to do that, check out this blog post.
3. You Need to be Ok with Breaking All the Rules
You might be thinking… Ok, I did it. I text this person first. I initiated a plan. I actually did the plan and had a good time. Now it’s their turn to show interest in being friends and text first to hang out again. So sorry to burst your bubble but that is not how this whole making friends thing works. At least not in my experience. If you want to make friends, the rule is there are no rules.
You might need to send the second text and initiate the second hangout. Maybe even the third. This isn’t necessarily because the person doesn’t want to hang out with you. It’s because not everyone is willing to do the awkward, uncomfortable things it takes to make friends as an adult. Work gets in the way. Family takes priority. Life gets busy. You have to be intentional, and not everyone has made the commitment to make friends and do what it takes to establish long-term relationships. You might need to be that person, and that’s ok.
4. You Need to be Ok with Going for It
If you truly want to make friends and are committed to doing the work (even if it feels a little one-sided at first), I encourage you to just go for it. Stop overthinking. Stop believing the lies that you aren’t good enough or that you aren’t likable. Stop worrying about whether or not this person is going to be your new best friend. Try to relax and have fun with it. While the end goal is definitely to have great friendships, you can also grow a lot as a person during the process if you let yourself. In my intentional pursuit of friendships, I’ve actually become extremely proud of myself for letting go of my pride and just going for it. Now, I’m more confident and forward, which is proving to be very helpful when it comes to making real connections.
The Perfect Resource if You Want to Make Friends
The truth is, people out there need people like you… someone who is willing to make the first move and do the work to establish a meaningful connection. It’s not that people don’t want friends. It’s that they don’t know how to make friends or don’t want to do the work to make those friendships last. Remember, if you really want to make friends, you have to let go of pride. So, are you ready to do what it takes?