Everyone needs a friend! It’s human nature to need a social group to rely on. But meeting new friends and staying connected to current friends is a skill that many of us could practice. Somehow it’s easy to make new friends as a kid. One day you just happen to be sliding down the same slide on the playground, and boom! Instant best friends for the next 10 years! But by the time we reach our 20s, we become a lot more choosy about who we want to hang out with. Even social butterflies find making new friends as a 20-something a very different experience.
First you need an idea of what you’re looking for in a friend. A common interest is usually a great starting point, which means you can easily hit it off with cool people by joining a club, sports team, or trying out any new hobby. Talk to people to find out what else they like to do and how they see the world. Give yourself (and others) time; not everyone opens up to strangers quickly.
When you find people who are comfortable to be around and who you genuinely want to spend more time with, you’ve found a friend!
Then it’s time to nurture that friendship. Exchange phone numbers and social media profiles to start. Share the funny, interesting, or even sad things that happen in your life with your friends, and take some initiative to ask them about new things in their life too. Bond further by inviting them to hang out to watch a movie or play fun games. Show up to support them when you can (even if they’re just having a yard sale!) to further your friendship.
Try to “be the best friend everyone wishes they had,” while also giving yourself boundaries. You don’t have to talk every single day or even every single week, but do try to develop a routine so you don’t lose touch or reach a point where it feels too awkward to reconnect.
A good rule of thumb is that if you find yourself thinking about your friend, you should reach out to talk and remind them how much their friendship matters to you.