5 ways to make new friends, as an adult...


If you were a Girl Scout, you probably know that song, “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold….” As much as I love this theory, there are a lot of nuances behind that song we sang as little girls:), and in adulthood, making new friends can be difficult, and “keeping the old” may not always be the right answer either. What I do know, is that having good friends is super important for your well-being and general fulfillment in life!

Relationships can be challenged most during times of change. Maybe you realize it's time for a job change, you’ve moved to a new city, you've outgrown your romantic partner, or maybe you just want to meet people who are more like YOU, today, vs. 10 years ago! Whatever transition you're going through or reason for cultivating some new friendships, it can be difficult to find "your people" and can feel super vulnerable. But don't fret, they are out there, closer than you think. Pick yourself up, you are awesome (I know it), and try out my top 5 recommendations for making new friends, who will just get you:

  1. Attend events that relate to a hobby or interest of yours: Organizations like ASweatLife to Chicago Humanities Festival, Chicago Ideas Week, Sofar Sounds, events at EvolveHer, many of these events have an educational component, but also a "connecting/networking" component so you can meet like-minded people. A lot of times people go to these events alone, so don't be afraid to put yourself out there (even though it scares you - it will make you stronger)!

  2. Start or join an interest group at work: Many different companies are providing budgets to their employees to start groups to engage/improve morale. Group ideas like women's/men’s networking, minority interest, employee wellness, etc... can be really good ways to have more meaningful conversations with people you might already know and can then make it easier to connect with them outside of work.

  3. Look around at your gym - who's in your classes? Anyone work out on the elliptical next to you? Anyone look friendly you can smile at or say hi to? Once you say hi, maybe suggest grabbing juice with that person after you work out? And voila, a new friend! It may feel a little vulnerable, but what’s the worst thing that can happen?

  4. Take a class: maybe you're interested in learning how to play an instrument, draw/paint, comedy, cook, sew, etc... spaces like Lill St Studio, Second City, Chopping Block, Old Town School of Music, Mac & Cheese Productions, etc... are notorious for bringing like-minded people together!

  5. Instagram: follow people doing activities you're interested in/who you vibe with. Reach out and see if they want to grab coffee, a drink, etc... to talk about the topics that resonate most with you. Or, less vulnerable, ask them if they know of any cool events going on that you could get in on. Sometimes people post where they're going to be on their accounts too - this can sometimes feel a little stalker-ish, but when there's a genuine purpose behind the event, and you're into it, the mentality is typically, the more the merrier! I've run into people I follow on Instagram at events (that I don't know IRL) and don't beat around the bush - I say I learned about it on Insta and am excited to meet them in person - honesty goes a long way!

Hope this helps! What other ways have been successful for you to meet new people?

Liz Traines2 Comments