Sadly, making friends as an adult doesn’t come as easy, arguably when we need friends or our “tribe” just as much.
There are so many articles all over the internet on how to help your little ones make friends. Children always amaze me when it comes to making friends. Beautifully made with absolutely no inhibitions.
My four-year-old will walk into any social scenario, spot another child and say “wanna play with me?”. If only adults could be as free.
When do we lose that I wonder? That non-discriminatory way of thinking. The amount of times my children have had lots of fun in a playground playing with a child that doesn’t even speak the same language is phenomenal.
Children just love and receive love far better than most adults could ever wish for.
Sadly, making friends as an adult doesn’t come as easy, arguably when we need friends or our “tribe” just as much. They say it takes a village to raise a child and finding your circle or your tribe is essential.
But where you may have moved at a different speed to your childhood or school friends, how as an adult can you make new friends?
1. Build your self-confidence
Loving and knowing yourself before going off in search of friends is an important step to building healthy relationships. Think about what you like about yourself. When you’re comfortable and confident with yourself, it shines out of you.
2. Find something you feel passionate about
Join a language class if you love languages or volunteer in a homeless shelter if you love to give back. That’s where you’ll find friendships that will last. The best way to make new friends is to find people who like similar things to you. When you are able to identify similar experiences, it takes down walls between you. Not only does this provide conversation topics, but also a context for understanding each other. It can be a book club or a breastfeeding group. It could be that you share similar family problems? Anything that you can connect with, will make sure your friendship is one you can really relate to each other on.
3. Don’t rush it
Meaningful relationships take time to develop, so it’s important not to go in too hard when you want to take things to the next level with a friend. Start with low-commitment activities. Some people tend to be a bit hesitant about letting others into their life, regardless of how keen they are on them. Let them get used to you being a part of their life. Start with something small like going for a coffee and not forcing the issue if they’re busy, and over time, you can move on to something bigger and more regular.
4. Don’t be too eager
Making a new friend is very similar to the first few dates with a potential partner. And just like in love, you should try not to be too eager with a new friendship. As exciting as it may be. When you meet new people, be upfront with the fact that you enjoy their company, but don’t overwhelm them. The relationship will have room to grow more organically if you take away any pressures or expectations.
5. Don’t expect too much
A common mistake is expecting too much from one person. It is more realistic and healthier to have a variety of friends for different reasons. If a friendship doesn’t work out the way you wished it would, don’t beat yourself up. Most times is really has nothing to do with you and more about what might be going on in somebody else life. Remember, how somebody treats you says more about them and their life than it does about you.
Laura Doyle, mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.