LIFE

Making Friends As An Adult Isn't As Hard As You Make It

A non-creepy guide.

20/09/2016 3:46 PM AEST | Updated 20/09/2016 7:26 PM AEST
NEW! HIGHLIGHT AND SHARE
Highlight text to share via Facebook and Twitter
MGM
No bunny costume required.

As anybody who has ever had to move cities would know, making friends as an adult is tough.

Back in primary school it was easy. If you liked a certain boy band or knew how to unlock secret levels on a video game you were in. Instant friends!

But as a grown human, offering random facts about yourself to total strangers generally comes off as weird. Creepy, even.

And that's even before we get to the awkward exchange of numbers that precedes the even-awkwarder first (friend) date.

"Making friends as an adult today is a whole different ballgame compared to previous generations," Anthony Stott, psychologist at Crookes Counselling told The Huffington Post Australia.

Stuart Westmorland
Without sounding like your mum, join a club. For real.

The absence of social media meant people actually spoke to each other. They signed up to things in the community -- like church activities and dances and also, didn't mind a yarn at the local pub either (sans mobile phone -- crazy!).

Today, we have things like nightclubs (joy!) though Stott explains what we're all thinking -- it's not normally the place of choice to meet your future friendship group.

Remember that everybody wants to feel accepted by other people. If you focus your attention on this, and concentrate on the other person rather than yourself, you'll find any anxiety about being accepted will melt away.

"A lot of people are turned off and find it to be quite a threatening atmosphere. Instead, you should think about your own interests and see what activities reflect those that take place in your area," Stott said.

By doing this, you automatically have an opening to a line of conversation with your new potential friends -- a shared interest.

Whether it's a Pilates class, football team or ballroom dancing lesson, you'll generally find events outside of the activity are organised within the group, too.

Things like Christmas parties, checking out a new brunch spot after class or presentation nights.

Do it like Donna: Forget the fear of rejection.

"This enables you to take the friendship outside of the activity, without having to take much initiative at all," Stott said.

Having the right mindset when it comes to making friends should not be underestimated, either.

"You might be an introvert, but it's important to step out of your comfort zone and perhaps put on your 'extrovert hat' for the night," Stott said.

It's about making a conscious decision to look forward to the evening or event and expect to have a fun time, not a bad time.

Sometimes it's about stepping out of your comfort zone and putting on your extrovert hat.

Try not to overthink your potential friendship too much and also, remove the possibility of rejection.

"Remember that everybody wants to feel accepted by other people. If you focus your attention on this, and concentrate on the other person rather than yourself, you'll find any anxiety about being accepted will melt away," Stott said.

Click below to follow HuffPost Australia on Snapchat!

More On This Topic

Advertisement
Advertisement