September 08, 2022
4 Ways to Make Meaningful Friendships as Adults
Not only does it seem harder to make friends as we get older and more things take up our time, friendship is also down in general.
The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t help matters, but trends of loneliness began before then. In 1990, 3% of Americans said they had no close friends, and that number sat at 12% in 2021.
The good news, if you would like to cultivate some new friendships, is that it may be easier than you think.
- Find Common Interests
Think back to how you made friends at school or in the neighborhood as a child: through common interests. Sometimes it was just being in the same class to spark a friendship, while others could be cultivated through a sport or activity. The same goes for now—find a professional development group, book club, adult sports league, or any other activity where people meet and new members are encouraged to attend.
- Be a Good Supporter
People are bound to stick with those who make them feel good—whether that’s smart, attractive, fun, or any other redeeming quality. Show you like and value the individual and that will create a more meaningful friendship.
- People Like You Too
Experts say that you should assume people like you. Think of how you interact with people you want to be friends with. You’re going to think highly of them, so it’s fair to think they’ll have the same impression of you. Having this mindset will leave you more open to making new friends.
- Reach Out to Old Acquaintances
If things have gotten busy over the past year or you’ve otherwise fallen out of contact with old friends, scroll through your contacts list. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. A quick text to let someone know you were thinking of them and regretted not chatting for a while may be all it takes to renew a friendship.