Two women becoming new friends
Confidence & Wellness,  Friendships

Essential ingredients for making new friends in your 20s and 30s (while avoiding being awkward ASF)

Did you know that having a lack of close friends can be harmful towards your health as much as being overweight or smoking (Holt-Lunstad, Smith, & Layton, 2010)

In your 20s and 30s, making new friends ends up being put on the back burner.

Your priorities change and making new friends is usually not on top of the list when you have so much going on.

Then, when it comes time to make friends, you become anxious and worried about how you should act in social situations.

Unless you are doing the right techniques…

Three women posing for a picture and making new friends

1. Find a group that you have something in common with

Most of the time, awkwardness can happen when you meet ppl that you dont have anything in common with.

Some of the friends that I had were ones that I met on Facebook. After a year of spending time with them, we slowly started drifting apart. 

That is, until we all got pregnant around the same time. All of a sudden we now had something BIG in common. 

We were all going to be mommies of new babies. 

 

I truly believe that the key to making new friends and developing those friends into ones that are meaningful is by finding a person that you can relate to. 

One way to do this is by joining groups that you can identify with.

I would suggest using the website meetup.com. Meetup is a great place to explore different groups in your area that have the same hobbies as you. 

They have all kinds of groups like food enthusiasts, yoga lovers, stay-at-home mommies, tennis players and more.

Another good place to meet friends is on the bumble app. I just started using this app and all I can say is ah-mazing! 

You can state what you want in a friend and state key characteristics about yourself. 

This allows you to see matches of other girl friends that are similar to you and matches that live near you.

If you’re not into making new friends online or they just creep you out in general, you can meet them by taking up a local class or fun activity in your town.

2. Be LESS interesting and MORE interested

By this I mean to not always talk about yourself. Trust me, its a bad habit that I really had to learn to overcome. 

Often times people make the mistake of trying to impress the new potential bestie by sharing their major accomplishment or talking about their best features. 

But being more likable is more about them then it is about you. And everyone LOVES talking about themselves. 

Show your interest in someone by listening to their stories and their perspectives and asking questions.

One study showed that just by asking a person more questions about themselves, it ends up giving off the effect of being more likable.

Finding similarities that makes them feel like you are relatable can also help boost your likeability sore. 

When that person mentions maybe a favorite hobby you’re into or a favorite topic you love, make sure to point it out.

Kudos points cause this will also cure up any nerves you have talking to a stranger cause you’ll be talking less and listening more.

3. Vulnerability = Trust

Opening yourself up to a complete stranger can be completely overwhelming, especially if you’re an introvert like me. 

Being vulnerable means that people will gain the opportunity to reject us. And we think this will end up making things even more awkward. 

Giving in to your fear of rejection is only going to cause you to not develop true meaningful friendships and to become “people pleasers”.

You don’t have to go full TMI but the sooner you reveal little bit  of aspects of yourself to another person, the sooner you will be able to gain their trust. 

You’ll also be able to transform that acquaintance relationship into a friendship because you’ll be creating closer, personal connections.

I HATED, I mean HATED telling anyone anything personal about me. 

I didn’t want them knowing about any of my flaws because I thought it would come back to haunt me if we ever got into an argument. 

But at the end of the day, I knew that being vulnerable would help me build stronger bonds with people. 

4. Dont be a stranger

It’s almost like dating someone. 

If i’m not interested in the guy then i’m not going to keep texting and responding to him but if I am, most definitely will I be in his inbox. 

You gotta keep in touch if you want that new person to become a friend. 

You have to make the time for them and by making the time for them you’re showing that you value the relationship.

Even if you have to set a reminder in your phone, hit them up every two weeks. 

With that being said, you don’t have to physically meet them every two weeks because of the wonders of social media. 

You can comment on their photos, text them, DM them, or call them on the phone.

And although you can contact them via electronic methods, it’s still important to continually put in effort to hang out together in person. 

Whether its a weekly brunch, a biweekly movie night, or a monthly spa day, put in real effort to see that person. 

5. Making new friends means not being a lagger

Making new friends is nearly impossible when you don’t make it to any event they invite you to. 

Plain and simple, no one likes when people flake on them after planning something. Yes, things happen. 

But a person that constantly lags on you is someone that you’re not going to want to bother planning anything with in the future.

If you want a friend, you gotta show up. Otherwise, you’re just wasting their time.

During the times when you absolutely cannot make it, make sure to inform them about it in advance when possible so they don’t assume you’re just being flaky. 

It’s also the polite thing to do.

Set out to do some practical tips.

  • Make it a goal to say hi to at least one new potential friend a day, while keeping in mind of the first tip.
  • Once you have said hi to them, practice starting up conversations with them using the information from the second tip.
  • Then, comment below and tell us about your experience. Did your casual convo develop into something bigger? Let us know!

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Sources: https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/minds-business/asking-questions-increases-likability.html

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article%3Fid=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316

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