Making new friends as an adult isn’t easy. It’s something that many people worry about. If you don’t have any friends from work and none of your friends from home or university life in the same city as you, you might be experiencing loneliness from time to time. However, just because making friends when you’re older might be harder does not mean it’s impossible. Donna Lea Jones, a pharmaceutical sales professional, based in Orlando, Florida, is an expert when it comes to social situations and making new friends.
Work On Your Self-Confidence
The first and most crucial step in making friends is building up your self-confidence. After all, loving yourself is vital if you wish for others to like you. To become more confident, Donna Lea Jones recommends a few different mental exercises. First, think about what you like about yourself. Rather than just keeping it inside your head, write it down on paper. When thinking about the things you like about yourself, you should consider both personality traits and physical traits. Next, make a list of your accomplishments – big and small. For example, graduating from university, getting your first job, learning to play an instrument, or moving out of your parent’s house are all remarkable accomplishments. Write down and reflect on your accomplishments. Such exercises are not only hugely beneficial to your mental health but will also help you project confidence as you begin your friend-making journey.
Put Yourself Out There
When making new friends, do not be afraid to put yourself out there. Donna Lea Jones’ motto is “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Not all personalities go together, so you can’t expect to become friends with every single person you start talking to. But that’s perfectly alright and doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying. Don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Even if you end up deciding you have very little in common, at the very least, you will have practiced your conversational skills. Remember not to put too much pressure on yourself as you try to make new friends. Not every friendship is meant to be, and there are plenty of people out there for you to meet.
Meet in a Neutral Location
When you do find someone that you could see yourself becoming friends with, and you decide to plan a get-together, Donna Lea Jones advises against hosting them at your house. Though you might think that meeting at home would be a great choice as it’s an environment in which you feel comfortable, inviting them over to your house might cause you a great deal of stress. For example, hosting might put pressure on you to make sure your home is tidy or to prepare food that will impress them. Alternatively, if you invite them to see a movie with you at the local cinema or go for coffee at a cafe, there is almost nothing you need to do to prepare. Plus, while you’re hanging out, you can focus on each other rather than worry about the host-guest dynamic.
Donna Lea Jones concludes that making friends can be more difficult as an adult, but the experience can be rewarding, and you can make friends that will last a lifetime if you are willing to put in the effort.