Let’s not sugarcoat it: adulthood is hard. From car payments to housing costs to isolation, there are many things about being a grown-up that pose a hurdle in our everyday lives. While adult friendship may look different from play dates and walking around the mall on a Friday night, having important connections in your life is still very important.

Unlike children, adults do not have built-in socialization, like going to school. This makes finding friends much more difficult. If you have found yourself in this position, do not fear, you are certainly not alone. Making new friends as an adult is hard! But I am here to make it easier. Keep reading for some tips and tricks to make friends as a grown-up.

One: Take a class or join a club

Contrary to popular belief, classes, and clubs are not just for high schoolers. There are plenty of opportunities to take a class or join a club in every community. This gives the additional benefit of pursuing your own interests.

Consider joining a local gym to attend workout classes or taking an art class at your community center. Social media is also a great way to become active in clubs. There are so many different types, you are bound to find something you enjoy! Pursue a book club, running club, or even gardening club to meet like-minded individuals.

Two: Take a chance and say yes

Almost as a rule, nobody likes small talk. The beginning of any relationship, platonic, romantic, or otherwise, often poses a chance for awkward conversations. That being said, if you are asked to get coffee with a new friend or go on a walk around your neighborhood park, say yes! In spite of the potential awkwardness, say yes.

Of course, if you are getting an off-putting feeling from this individual, listen to your gut. Never put yourself in a dangerous situation. However, nothing will change if you do not take chances.

Three: Make sure to show up

This is the hardest part: the follow through. Once you have started attending classes or going to clubs, you have to keep going. This is a way to establish yourself in the group. In addition to showing up to classes, you must also follow through with social plans.

If you took a chance and agreed to go on a social outing with a potential new friend, be sure to actually show up! This will deepen your relationship with your new friend and increase your confidence in one another.

Four: Do not be afraid to put yourself out there

With social media and the internet booming, there are endless opportunities to put yourself out there online. There are plenty of sites purely dedicated to making friends in a new city. The hardest part is initially starting! Once you take the plunge, I promise it will get easier. Once you open the door to welcoming in new relationships, the rest will follow.

Remember to always be yourself

The golden rule is to always be yourself. Ultimately, the most important part of this journey is to stay true to yourself. Although we all want to make friends, I assure you that pretending to be someone you are not will end up going poorly. With time, you will find your niche, the people you belong with.

Putting in the work to build new relationships will certainly help your health, both physical and mental. However, something so daunting can be difficult to do alone. If you are discouraged or find yourself struggling with social anxiety, I suggest you seek out therapy. To get in touch, reach out to me on my website today.