How Can I Make Friends (Live)

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Making friends can be hard, especially as an adult. Join the conversation about why nurturing friendships are important and learn to build the "making friends muscle" as Greg and MD discuss science-backed and experience-backed strategies for forging friendships at any age.

How Can I Make Friends?

We know that having good friends and people we like to interact with is super important for our mental health and happiness. But the hard part is making friends and keeping them. So today we’re diving into the question “How can I make friends.”

After you graduate from college it becomes a bit more challenging to make new friends, and frankly even keep the ones you already have. So it’s important to prioritize spending time with the people you enjoy engaging with, learning from, experiencing life with, and so on.

Treasure the friendships you have because you’ll realize as you get older it’s not as easy to have easy access to large groups of people, like we do at school, in college or university or summer camp. So make an effort to value the people who are close to and be open to making new friends and meeting more people. 

It’s also important to realize the different friend levels that exist. Not everyone of your friends has BFF status, and that is ok. In the live stream conversation, we talk about differentiating between the various types of friends. Can you think of some of the differences with the people you label as casual friends, real friends, and close friends?

One of our favorite YouTuber’s Thomas Frank, talks about the importance of “proximity friends.” These are the people who are in close proximity to you. Maybe they’re a neighbor, or they frequent the same spots as you, maybe they grab their coffee at the same café as you before work. They are the people who you keep running into … as though it’s a message from the universe. What’s great about proximity friends is that they have the potential to expand your horizons because they more often than not, have different interests from your own and can thusly expose you to new experiences and adventures. 

So where can people make friends after college/university?

  • Be active in the community
  • Join a meetup/online community, but meet f2f IRL as soon as you can to take it offline and IRL
  • Do work in cafes or libraries and talk to people
  • At the gym, ask people for help (i.e., if they can spot you doing bench press, if they can check your form, etc.)
  • Book club or some other social club

When doing a new activity that you’re trying for the first time, you’re bound to meet people. So have a positive attitude with a growth mindset and you’ll be magnetic. And don’t forget to be unapologetically you. Your authenticity will shine through! 

Some tips for when talking to the person you want to be friends with:

  • Be you. Don’t pretend to be someone else.
  • 3 second rule: Within the first three sec decide if you want to talk to the person
  • Don’t worry about being awkward, remember that a situation is only as awkward as you make it
  • The level of tweak you want to exude is within your control
  • Practice active listening
  • Have patience, it takes time: a new study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships showed that on average it takes roughly 50 of hanging out with the person before you view them as a casual friend, it takes 90 hours to become real friends and it takes 200 hours to become close friends.

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Happy Explearning 😊