I’ve been circumstantially blessed (not sure blessed is the right word here but it’s been one less thing to do in my life) with not having to make friends as an adult. This is mainly due to most of my friends moving to Melbourne at the same time I did about 9 years ago. The remainder of my friends still live in my hometown where I visit very frequently. There’s also the fact that I hit the friend jackpot super early in life and have had the same friends since I was a teenager so I haven’t felt the need to really mix it up much as a grown-up. I think most people looking to make friends as an adult do it out of necessity. They’ve moved cities, possibly countries, maybe had a breakup or lifestyle change that means their old friends aren’t as available to them anymore.
Just because I haven’t yet had to make friends as an adult, doesn’t mean I won’t so I thought I’d put together a post for future me to refer to when in a few years down the track I find myself living in Japan for a year (10/10 on the cards for me) and I’m trying to scout out some locals to have Sushi and Sake Saturdays with. This is obivously also for those of you who are finding yourself at a loose end most Saturday nights and are looking for some rad people to change that…
1. Say yes to everything
All the invites – go to all of them. You never know where your new bestie will be hiding. I met my adult bestie totally by accident when I auditioned for a play she was putting on. I almost didn’t go to the audition because I hadn’t heard of the company before (because they were brand new!) but I forced myself to go and seven years later I shudder to think about how less awesome my life would have been if I didn’t get up off my butt and go to that audition. And I wasn’t even looking to make friends! The point is, if you’re looking for some new people in your life, be a joiner. Go to group dinners where you don’t know anyone. Put your hand up to go to a gig if a mate puts a random shout out on Facebook. You’re not going to find new friends in your own living room. That’s not generally where they hang out.
2. Poach friends
If you’ve met a friend through a friend, ask for their number. One of my closest friends I stole from Mr Smaggle. We used to hang out in a group and then we slowly started hanging out on our own and now we text each other five times a day. I’m heaps into friend stealing. Obviously be respectful about it and include your mutual friend in your hangouts but I have heaps of friends who started out as friends of other people. It’s the most logical place to look. If you like your friend, it’s likely you’ll like their friends. It’s kind of like when you go shopping on ASOS and then they recommend other things they think you might like and most of the time, they’re dead right.
3. Do things
Take classes, join groups. Just in my Crochet Coach group alone, I know of two sets of friends who met through Crochet Coach, realised they live near each other and get together regularly to drink wine and crochet. It’s the actual best. I’ve always said that I’ve met every important person in my life through hobbies – theatre, blogging and crochet. I have a handful of school friends and one work friend I’m still friends with. All of the rest of them are through hobbies. Fun fact: I met Mr Smaggle through doing theatre at uni. He did lighting and design mostly and that’s how we met. Because we both got out of the house and did a thing.
4. Make the first move
If you want to hang out with someone, make plans to hang out with them. Like Chrissy from Hair Romance, we tweeted each other for a few years and then finally one of us suggested we hang out in real life and we just fell in love immediately. Someone has to make the first move, might as well be you! I actively and unapologetically pursue friendships all the time. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t but most people really like it when someone tries to be their friends. It’s flattering, so go for it.
5. Get involved at work
That’s never worked for me but I think that’s very rare. Go to social drinks, organise things. Also be inclusive. Work cliques SUCK so make sure you invite other office people to your get togethers. If you want to sneak off to a movie with your desk buddy, that’s cool but don’t invite 90% of the office people out for dinner and exclude the rest. I’ve never been SUPER fond of the whole making friends at work at thing (which is why I heavily pursued working for myself) but I know heaps of people whose main adult friendship circles are based of people they currently or once worked with.
This week Kelly and I are talking about the art of making friends as an adult and how to go about fixing your No-Friends-Nigel status.