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Posted by artofwar420 (6284 posts) -
"You better believe it Charles, and if you say one more word about my dick I will end you. You shiny-forehead Clark Kent looking motherfucker."

I'm noticing that the older we get the more difficult it becomes to make new friendships. When we're little, a simple "hello, I like your shirt" is enough to forge a bond that lasts until one of you steals the other's crush. At any rate, when we get into our mid to late twenties, your peers get harder to approach and if you do manage to strike a conversation it doesn't go beyond acquaintance territory. People seem to be really resistant to expanding their circles; the so-called ice is harder to break than ever. Friends of friends have provided with a slightly better friend/acquaintance ratio. But even so, friends go abroad, move out, and hell, they're even starting to get married/have kids. Leaving us with a smaller pool of friends (not to say marriage ends friendships, but it definitely changes them). I am writing this as a form of mutual brainstorm; I want to come up with the most effective ways to make friends as an adult. Here are some of my ideas:

  • Get a job. There are real live humans working there, however, depending on the job, you may have very little in common with them. We all need money, so you probably need a job.
  • College. As you further your education you'll meet people that have very similar interests whom will spend a lot of time with you provided you are approachable and studious. You'll see some of them quarter after quarter even. Only bad side of this is if you start dating/break up things could get awkward since you can't really avoid them. If you go here, it's hard not to make friends.
  • Join random internet meetups. Danger and awkwardness level is high, but it's not too bad specially if you're just moving in to a new area. Do sparingly.
  • Co-ed sports team/league. You get to exercise (a little) and from my experience this is basically and excuse to drink and meet some active and outgoing people. High chance of meeting cute girls/guys. Takes some guts to join by yourself.
  • Old friends. Say hi to that buddy of yours who you haven't seen in months, take your friend out of a coffee or some beers. This is almost like dating, with a courtship of sorts, you have to show your best self. There's no romance though, or there could be? You do risk finding out that this friend actively wanted out of the friendship, but eh, the reward is worth it.

Do you have any other ideas of how to make friends as an old and withering young adult?

#1 Posted by Turambar (6733 posts) -

The same way I made friends as a kid.

"Yo, are you a nerd and like video games? Cool, we friends now."

#2 Posted by wemibelec90 (1622 posts) -

Yeah, I've never been great at it either. I moved a lot as a kid but always made one (or rarely two) friend/s and was reluctant to expand that circle. Nowadays, since I take all my classes online and my only friend is too busy with life to ever talk to me, I pretty much don't ever talk to anyone except my mom and sister. I don't really live in an area conducive to the types of friends I would like, either. It's something I've always wanted to rectify but never known exactly how to do.

#3 Edited by mordukai (7150 posts) -

@turambar said:

The same way I made friends as a kid.

"Yo, are you a nerd and like video games? Cool, we friends now."

HA.

#4 Posted by ShaggE (6415 posts) -

Just don't join a reality show.

#5 Posted by artofwar420 (6284 posts) -

@shagge: That's beautiful. "This is Flavor of Love, not Flavor of Frienship!" Thank you for existing reality TV, what a beautiful mess you are.

#6 Posted by Calmgamer (106 posts) -

All the TS ideas seem like good ones.

Dead right that its tougher to make friends in the post school years. Main thing to remember is that most people like friendly. Put yourself out there a bit.

What I'm about to say may be quite a few years off for lots of peeps (or never), but it gets incredibly easy to make friends (again) once you have kids. The start of preschool, sports, playdates.... (oh my lord - I'm realizing how lame this sounds!) ... they all involve parents standing around with nothing to do but watch their kids and talk to each other. The pressure is totally off too, as the main focus is the kids. You'll have more BBQ invites than you will know what to do with. Not saying have kids so you can make friends - it was just an unexpected side benefit.

#7 Posted by development (2240 posts) -

"Hey, Billis, my friends and I are thinking of going to [INSERT THING]; wanna go?"

Don't have friends? How about:

"Hey, Wruce, I don't really know many people in the area/I'm new in town, but wanna meet up at the [ACTIVITY] over in [LOCATION]? I hear they have cool [OBJECTS]."

If that doesn't work, well then you must be doing it wrong (maybe say it again, but louder?), but IF it doesn't work just wait for Tomodachi Life to come out.

#8 Posted by artofwar420 (6284 posts) -

@calmgamer: Good point, but I think the issue arises when your friends start stages of their life different from yours. But if everybody has kids, hey, it seems like it works.

#9 Posted by PandaBear (1355 posts) -

Who wants more friends? I'm an adult. I have about four good friends. Why do I need any more? Seriously I know people 'with heaps of friends' who throw a party and a bout 20% show up. Less if there's real effort required. I like having a small group of good friends.

#10 Posted by Popogeejo (614 posts) -

Really, just get yourself out there. If you're meeting with friends have them bring their other friends is an easy one and helps strengthen your social circle while letting you avoid totally jumping out of it to meet new people. Work, College, Clubs are all great ways though I find this is also where classic highschool cliques come back in some form but you should be able to cope with this.

If you drink in the same place frequently then getting to know other regulars/staff can be nice.

Just shoot the shit, be yourself but, if you're like me, dial it back a bit at the start. Even if it means you just have a pleasant chat with someone once and never see them again or just once or twice a month it's almost always worth it. There will be times where you end up talking to a nutcase but that's life. Get out and try and remember, you don't need 500 "kind of" fiends if you have 5 genuine friends. The size of your circle doesn't matter, so long as you keep it open.

/shittyfatherlyadivce

#11 Posted by MattyFTM (14367 posts) -

I don't think it's strictly true that it is easier to make friends as an child. Whatever age, strong friendships take years to build. The main difference is that as a kid, you're more likely to stay at the same school for 5+ years, giving you a chance to build those bonds. Whereas as adults, we're more prone to moving around, changing jobs and not having the opportunity to get to know people that well.

Moderator
#12 Posted by Humanity (9050 posts) -

As a person that has moved countries every 4 years of his life and was never able to maintain solid friendships - hey I'd love to know. Video games are always there though..

#13 Edited by audioBusting (1503 posts) -

I've been living a simple solution to the problem. I don't make friends. =(

But I know what you mean, it does feel like it's harder to make friends when you're out of high school. We're not all trapped in the same institution anymore, which is usually enough common ground and reason to make friends.

Most people (myself included) would welcome new friends, but simply has no desire to put the effort into making some. If you really want to be friends with someone, you have to be the one to put the extra effort in. Be interested in people, and talk not just because you want to talk, but because you want to listen. Arrange time to spend together doing stuff you both would enjoy. It's kinda hokey but I hope that makes sense.

The sports team idea can also extend to other group activities (book club, volunteering, dance company, etc). It makes it much easier if you have a genuine interest in the activities, because that's why everyone's there, and it wouldn't be as awkward to join by yourself that way.

There's no need to make making friends your end-goal, really, and there's no surefire way of making friends. It's just good to "be social" and get to know strangers, even when it doesn't lead to friendship. Everyone's got something we can relate to, whether in common or in contrast. After all, the reason we would want friends is, "It feels good to belong." Making new friends is like trying for an extra touchdown: a potentially crucial bonus point (or two according to the analogy, I guess). Again, super hokey, but yeah.

It might be a bad idea to listen to advice from someone with friends he can count with one hand, but I hope this helps duder.

#14 Posted by JustKamToo (681 posts) -

Apart from my partner I have no friends just work colleagues. Video games are my new friends.

#15 Edited by Fattony12000 (7283 posts) -

I haven't made any new real life close friends in over a decade.

It pretty much crushes me inside, pretty much every day.

I'm just not cool enough, I guess. But I'll keep trying to be cool enough so that sweet girls and cute boys notice me.

Le vent se lève!...Il faut tenter de vivre!

#16 Edited by CaLe (3957 posts) -

I think the most important thing would be to have interest in other people. That's the #1 golden rule to making new friends, as written in the Friendship Bible which I just made up in my head right now. I don't mean people you see on the TV or the internet whatchyamcallits, I mean just people ass people, you know. Yeah, you gotta be really interested in them or you're gonna be your own worst enemy when it comes to making connections, or whatever social-sounding word you wanna use. You may in fact have to fundamentally change who you are as a human being before it's in any way possible for you to get into a position where making friends is even a remote possibility. But take heed, Joseph, it can be done. I believe in you and so does everyone else down at the docks.

#17 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10894 posts) -

I haven't made any new real life close friends in over a decade.

It pretty much crushes me inside, pretty much every day.

I'm just not cool enough, I guess. But I'll keep trying to be cool enough so that sweet girls and cute boys notice me.

Le vent se lève!...Il faut tenter de vivre!

I think you're cool!

Anyway, I'm not one to talk. I managed to make a few friends in college, and then promptly lost any and all contact with them before I even graduated. Aside from internet people, the people I spend time with are the same people I spent time with in high school. Not inherently bad, because they're my friends, but yeah. Don't look to me for friend making advice.

Moderator
#18 Posted by dudeglove (7740 posts) -

I've made a whole bunch of friends through Argentine Tango, plus I like the music and dancing so it's mostly win-win on all fronts, apart from the number of disastrous relationships with women I've met through tango, but take the rough with the smooth etc.

Generally adult friend stuff is for me more about doing stuff I want to do and if there's a group of like-minded individuals who share it - the more the merrier.

#19 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5353 posts) -

Talk to people and don't be an imbecile = making friends.

#20 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Talk to people and don't be an imbecile = making friends.

This is the hard part.

#21 Edited by Fattony12000 (7283 posts) -
@mooseymcman said:

@fattony12000 said:

I haven't made any new real life close friends in over a decade.

It pretty much crushes me inside, pretty much every day.

I'm just not cool enough, I guess. But I'll keep trying to be cool enough so that sweet girls and cute boys notice me.

Le vent se lève!...Il faut tenter de vivre!

I think you're cool!

Anyway, I'm not one to talk. I managed to make a few friends in college, and then promptly lost any and all contact with them before I even graduated. Aside from internet people, the people I spend time with are the same people I spent time with in high school. Not inherently bad, because they're my friends, but yeah. Don't look to me for friend making advice.

And yooooooooooooooou're cool toooooooooo!

To be clear, I do value my Internet Friends, Acquaintances and, indeed, Enemies. They are precious to me. But Internet Friends are different from Real Life Friends. Not better. Not worse. Just different.

I wish I had a Real Life Friend to watch anime with, or play Baldur's Gate 2 with, for example.

#22 Posted by Sweep (8841 posts) -

Travel! Backpackers are some of the most open-minded and friendly people on the planet. Go travelling, stay in hostels, share rooms and tickets with random people. Take a pack of cards, or a backgammon set, and invite people to play. Go out to bars and ask questions about stuff. Lots of people travel alone, and are very outgoing when it comes to introducing themselves, it doesn't take much to get a conversation going. I spent a month by myself in Malaysia and by the time I left I had a whole book full of email addresses and phone numbers from people all over the world. Many of the people you meet will leave your life as quickly as they entered it, but you'd be surprised how many lasting friendships can spawn from a bucket of vodka on the beach.

Even if by some miracle you don't meet anyone while you're away, when you get home you immediately have that experience to discuss with other people you meet. You'd be surprised how many people have similar experiences themselves, or want to have them.

Moderator
#23 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10894 posts) -

@fattony12000: I know exactly what you mean, I'd just substitute Star Trek for anime, and some other game for Baldur's Gate 2.

Moderator
#24 Posted by pinner458 (721 posts) -

Well that was a depressing read through this thread, bunch of lonely internet duders. I grew away from my childhood friends after they found out I was gay, so that kind of sucked. Made new friends in college though... I say be interested in people and say funny shit, people like the funnies.

#25 Posted by SingingMenstrual (327 posts) -

The problem with this is that "making friends" feels frowned upon. You're supposed to have friends, and perhaps make some more, THAT is OK. But to be in square one and try to make friends, people look harshly at that. People expect you as a dude in your 20s to already have contacts in your phone, facebook friends to like your pictures, to hear your WhatsApp buzzing all the time, etc..

I think it's bullshit when someone gives you a tip to make friends. In the real world if you've passed your teenage years and you still don't have any friends, people will not be interested in joining circles with you because you have no circles. They look down upon you, albeit in a friendly way, and consider you an acquaintance.

My experience at least.

I wish I didn't spend my time playing Oblivion and Battlefield as a kid and hung on to a bunch of high school motherfuckers and kept hanging out with them. I missed out on that once-in-a-lifetime ticket into a proper social life.

#26 Posted by pyromagnestir (4291 posts) -

@fattony12000

OOoh! Can I be one of your internet enemies?! What does that involve? I've never been an internet enemy before, far as I know.

@fredchuckdave said:

Talk to people and don't be an imbecile = making friends.

This is the hard part.

Also, that part doesn't seem to be very accurate. I imagine there are plenty of imbeciles who are great at making friends.

Online
#27 Posted by pyromagnestir (4291 posts) -

Oh, also to answer the question at hand. Fuck I don't know. I've never been good at making friends and despite the fact that agely speaking I'm 27 I probably wouldn't qualify as an adult.

Online
#28 Posted by Yummylee (21496 posts) -

*zip*

#29 Posted by Raethen (180 posts) -
#30 Posted by Chop (1996 posts) -

It's as simple as talking to people, not waiting to be talked to.

And as someone who grew up with social anxiety, I know exactly how hard that can be.

#31 Edited by CatsAkimbo (618 posts) -

I think "just getting out there" is pretty useless advice. Back when you were a kid in school, you saw the same people every day and were forced into situations where you had to talk to eachother for a project or something. That's really the only way I've ever made friends with anyone -- seeing them over and over and eventually being required to talking to them and becoming friends from there.

As an adult, you need to find a way to get into that same situation. People at work, joining a club, frequenting the same coffee shop or bar or whatever. Expecting to walk up to a stranger and making friends is pretty ridiculous, but if you can see that same people frequently, you might have more opportunities.

#32 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1563 posts) -

"Hey, Billis, my friends and I are thinking of going to [INSERT THING]; wanna go?"

Don't have friends? How about:

"Hey, Wruce, I don't really know many people in the area/I'm new in town, but wanna meet up at the [ACTIVITY] over in [LOCATION]? I hear they have cool [OBJECTS]."

If that doesn't work, well then you must be doing it wrong (maybe say it again, but louder?), but IF it doesn't work just wait for Tomodachi Life to come out.

Or The Sims. I live my life entirely through The Sims.

#33 Posted by ripelivejam (3791 posts) -

did someone say fuck them yet? just hip thrust at anything that moves/breathes and it should work out.

#34 Posted by AlKusanagi (916 posts) -

I had been living out of the country for more than a decade, so when I moved back to the US and to a new town I had to start making new friends all over other than the few childhood friends I had a state over. Luckily, being a tabletop gaming nerd I found a game shop just down the road and after hanging out there on a few Saturday nights I found people that I got along with really well, and we've all been good friends for almost 5 years now. Also, forget the whole grognard neckbeard tabletop gamer stereotype, because the whole bunch of us are all professionals in our 20s and 30s, of both sexes, a half dozen races, and multiple sexual orientations, which means we can constantly come up with sick and insensitive jokes to offend at least one of us at all times.

#35 Posted by Bunnellius (85 posts) -

In many ways I find it harder to find people I really click with now as an adult. The demands and needs were simpler as a child. I think the accumulation of life experiences can become too big a hurdle as time goes on, but perhaps that's just me.

#36 Edited by Aquablak (194 posts) -

Volunteering?

#37 Posted by ripelivejam (3791 posts) -
#38 Posted by Aquablak (194 posts) -

@aquablak said:

Volunteering?

as an escort?

No. Just trying to help a dude out.

I think people volunteering at least tend to be good, nice people, looking to help out and and possibly meet people, too.

#39 Edited by Vuud (1954 posts) -

When you become and adult you learn that 'friends' are just people who haven't betrayed you yet.

Rrrrrrrgh.....

#40 Posted by Veektarius (4769 posts) -

Good post that strikes home for me. My friends have dispersed to all corners of the Earth in the past few years. So far, the only thing I've done about it is join an orchestra (a slightly less youthfully-inclined version of your athletic league example). Even so, though I feel I have some stuff in common with both other orchestra members and my coworkers, there is a point at which you have to express the desire to do something beyond that context. That's where I have trouble.

#41 Posted by Bunnellius (85 posts) -

@vuud:

Alright, you sound way too much like a grizzled video-game protagonist now. :)

#42 Posted by Hamst3r (4481 posts) -

I try to make friends. I hang out in front of the high school every day, but none of the girls will get in the back of my van. What am I doing wrong?

#43 Posted by baka_shinji17 (203 posts) -

Touch their shoulder.

#44 Edited by Superkenon (1416 posts) -

After years of figuring I'd probably never meet new homies in my adulthood, I actually made some new friends recently. One day I was kind of in a weird downer sort of mood, so I decided I needed to do something a bit off-the-wall for the sake of my sanity. I called some casual acquaintances I liked, asked them if they wanted to grab dinner sometime, it was fun, and now suddenly we're hanging out a lot. Like, weekly or more. It's weird. But up until now, they were just people I'd see every few months at certain events, and do little more than exchange pleasantries with as we concluded our business.

So basically, initiative was the answer. Go out and do things you're interested in, meet some people, and make some effort to do more things with those people if they spark your interest.

#45 Posted by IzzyGraze (850 posts) -

Yeah I'm not always the best at making new friends. But I do agree with what some people have suggested.

1. Joining a club, sport, or some activity you're interested in helps. Go there enough and you'll be a friendly face that's not so intimidating to talk to. I do Contra Dancing and met a bunch of people through there. Also joined a random Pathfinder group and met some people there too.

2.Work. As mentioned above. But...yeah work friends aren't always the best.

3. Roommates. Left to my own devices I would be a hermit so I generally try to have roommates, money reasons too ofcourse. Hopefully you find some good ones that you don't mind hanging around and they might have friends that come over and maybe you guys throw parties every once in a while. Many opportunities to meet new people there.

4. Very much the same as #1 but random groups. Try meetup.com, your local couchsurfing meetup, maybe there's something cool you see on a flyer where you can meet people. Many things you can try. I used to go to meetups in Montreal where you practice your French. Met a few people there.

But yeah, with anything it seems like someone needs to be vulnerable and reach out in order to cross from friendly person to actual friends. Being around long enough helps or just have something like a party or a bbq that you can invite them to where it doesn't matter if they showup or not. Or free beer...that helps too.

#46 Posted by TehPickle (458 posts) -

@fattony12000 said:

I haven't made any new real life close friends in over a decade.

It pretty much crushes me inside, pretty much every day.

I'm just not cool enough, I guess. But I'll keep trying to be cool enough so that sweet girls and cute boys notice me.

Le vent se lève!...Il faut tenter de vivre!

I wish I had a Real Life Friend to watch anime with, or play Baldur's Gate 2 with, for example.

Man. Sad face :(

It seems we're very similar in all regards here, save for one thing. I prefer to think it's everyone else that isn't cool enough. :)

#47 Edited by bmccann42 (99 posts) -

I'm a bad use case for this, but I am really good at working with people (I work in Human Resources), but am terrible at making or keeping friends.

It's kind of hard to describe, but I'm just one of those people that is more than fine doing stuff on their own, and not really needing others (and I count friends, acquaintances, significant others, and family in that). Drives my girlfriend nuts that I am extremely good at entertaining myself and have no desire to interact with others.

Thanks!

#48 Edited by Fattony12000 (7283 posts) -

@fattony12000: I know exactly what you mean, I'd just substitute Star Trek for anime, and some other game for Baldur's Gate 2.

@fattony12000

OOoh! Can I be one of your internet enemies?! What does that involve? I've never been an internet enemy before, far as I know.

@fattony12000 said:

I haven't made any new real life close friends in over a decade.

It pretty much crushes me inside, pretty much every day.

I'm just not cool enough, I guess. But I'll keep trying to be cool enough so that sweet girls and cute boys notice me.

Le vent se lève!...Il faut tenter de vivre!

@fattony12000 said:

I wish I had a Real Life Friend to watch anime with, or play Baldur's Gate 2 with, for example.

Man. Sad face :(

It seems we're very similar in all regards here, save for one thing. I prefer to think it's everyone else that isn't cool enough. :)

#49 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (3197 posts) -

Pay money or gifts for friendship. You could also blackmail people into becoming your friends like the Cable Guy.

#50 Edited by MooseyMcMan (10894 posts) -

@fattony12000: I dunno that GBA JRPGs are good for playing with other people, but who knows!

Moderator