Have you ever asked yourself how to make friends when you have none? So has one third of the entire adult population.
Loneliness is becoming an epidemic. As social creatures, human just can’t deal with being alone for a long time. We need to be surrounded by a group of people who have our backs!
If you’re finding yourself searching for ways to make friends as an adult and how to deal with loneliness, this post is for you! You can conquer loneliness easily with the tips I’m going to give you.
Hey, I’ve been there. Here’s what you have to look forward to:
- What loneliness does to the human body
- How to make friends when you have none
- Dealing with loneliness
- Making friends as an adult
Let’s get cracking!
What Loneliness Does to the Human Body
Would you believe me if I told you that loneliness has physical effects on us? It totally does!
Humans thrive in social situations. Without it, our health is affected.
Don’t believe me? Here are some effects that loneliness can have on your health over time.
- Cardiovascular disease. Loneliness has actually been linked to high blood pressure and other kinds of cardiovascular disease.
- Alzheimer’s disease. Yes, actually!
If you’re currently experiencing loneliness, you can already start feeling its effects in your body. You can start feeling:
- General aches and pains
- Getting sick more frequently due to a weaker immune system
- Trouble sleeping
Do any of these sound familiar? If so, don’t worry! There’s still time to make friends as an adult and kick loneliness to the curb.
How to Make Friends When You Have None
Making friends as an adult can seem like a daunting task, but it really isn’t as hard as you think it is! When we break it up into clear cut tips you can easily implement in your life, making friends will be a breeze.
Before we dive right into the tips, you need to know that we’re dealing with two main issues here: coping with loneliness and how to make friends when you have none. You’re getting a two in one deal, really.
Let’s get cracking!
1. Change Your Habits
I hate to admit it, but your daily habits might make it harder for you to stop being lonely and make friends as an adult. You could be a natural introvert or have social anxiety too, which makes putting yourself out there even harder.
Think of your daily routine. Are you giving yourself the opportunity to meet and talk to a lot of people?
If you’re not sure how to fix your routine, here are a few places to start:
If someone invites you somewhere, go. Even if it sounds like something you wouldn’t usually go to, it’s important that you leave your comfort zone once in a while. Who knows, you might have a lot of fun and make friends who already know your friends.
If you usually head to a quiet area to work, use a common area. Leaving your office or isolated space to go work in a lounge or coffee shop exposes you to a new kind of energy and lots more people. You might strike up a conversation with someone working on something similar!
If you hang out with the same people at a party, reach out to someone new. Diversifying who you hang out with might curb your loneliness and totally increases your confidence. You have the confidence to go up to someone and talk!
Those are examples, but I’m sure that there are way more places in your life where you can expose yourself to new people and leave room for more conversations.
2. Get Involved
This sounds cliché, I get it. However, speaking from personal experience, getting involved is such a game changer for your social skills and making friends!
When you’re dealing with loneliness, you’re often consumed by your self-deprecating thoughts. You start to feel a bit selfish when all you can think about is your predicament.
The benefits of getting involved in your community can largely be summed up to one thing: you’re getting out of your sad little bubble.
How? A few ways, actually.
- Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose. You might have a pretty bleak view of your life’s purpose when you feel isolated, but volunteering changes that! You’re championing a great cause, and that’s worth celebrating.
- You’re meeting people with a common goal. This is great for you because you have lots to talk about, and spending lots of time with people will allow you to start a friendship with them!
Have I convinced you? Volunteering helps you focus less on your loneliness and allows you to switch your mindset into one that helps you make friends.
Do your research and settle on a cause that you believe in, and get ready to meet lots of like-minded people. Friendship time!
3. Find Your People
When I say “your people”, I’m talking about the group of people you can rely on. These friends make you feel safe and are around you when you’re at your happiness.
Humans are social animals. We love finding someone we have a genuine connection with, because it’s important to have someone around who has your back!
Do some soul-searching. If I asked you to describe who you are, would you be able to answer? No? Ok, here are some important questions to ask yourself:
- What are your values?
- What are your hobbies?
- What kind of qualities do you admire in people?
- Are you more introverted or extroverted?
Taking personality tests is also another thing you can do to find out more about yourself.
Join clubs or take classes according to your interests. Now that you have a better idea of who you are, now’s the time to meet people who share similar interests! Do your research on some local clubs and classes you can take to interact with like-minded people.
4. Fake It ‘til You Make it
It can be really hard to put yourself out there with no knowledge of how to socialize. However, I have a trick up my sleeve that just might help you…
Pretend that you’re someone else. Seriously.
It’s rough to quickly gain that confidence to go up to someone and strike up a conversation, but not if you channel your inner celebrity.
To do this, pick a celebrity you think is extremely confident and friendly. Ask yourself how they would react in any situation and what they would say.
I’ll admit, the concept is silly, but by having some kind of mentor in your head, you’ll be able to navigate social situations more easily since you know that they can do it.
So, channel your inner Kate Middleton or Rihanna, and get out there!
Practice makes perfect, especially in social situations.
People who make friends easily talk a lot. They’re good at it because they practice, and they have a whole arsenal of tools to recover in an awkward situation.
The only way you can equip yourself like that is to get out there and test the waters! Here are a few tips to seem friendlier and open:
- Make sure that you have open body language
- Ask people about themselves to find things in common
- Make sure that you’re doing about 50% of the talking, too much or too little participation isn’t good
5. Have a Growth Mindset
If you’re not familiar with this term, the whole premise of a growth mindset is to always be willing to grow.
There are many benefits of having a growth mindset (full disclosure, I wrote that article!), but one of the most important ones is that you don’t take failure personally.
This is so important, especially when you’re scared of being rejected by people.
Making friends when you have none is daunting, especially since you already feel rejected. Having a growth mindset means that when someone rejects you or doesn’t want to be your friend, you don’t take it personally. You see it more as a failure in your approach, or that a better opportunity is coming your way!
Here are some great ways to start developing a growth mindset:
- Seek out challenges and use them as learning opportunities
- Work on seeing criticism as constructive, not as a personal failure
- Learn from your mistakes, and appreciate the progress you made
- Expect that good results might take time
If you take any advice from this post, this is it. Switching from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset will absolutely change your life and help you make friends as an adult.
6. Kill People with Kindness
People are gravitated toward friendly people because they make them feel valued as a person. As someone who wants to make friends as an adult, kindness is an important trait to have! YOU want to be the person people are attracted to because that means new opportunities for friends!
In every interaction you have, aim to be overly kind. If you think it’s too much, up the ante even more!
In this fast-paced world, people are often blunt and monotonous. Aim to be different than that.
You might make someone’s day if you are kind. People remember someone who treated them nicely. Even if you don’t make a lifelong friend out of that interaction, you’re getting used to being approachable and friendly.
Being kind helps people open up. Again, in a fast-paced world, conversations are quick and barely scratch the surface of getting to know someone. By being kind, people feel comfortable with you and will be more likely to open up about themselves. Boom, you’re on your way to making a friend!
The whole goal of being kind is to make a connection with someone, and you do that by finding something in common. So, take that chance and be kind!
7. Go to Therapy
Therapy is wonderful. A safe space where you can spill your thoughts and feelings, therapy is the perfect place to talk about your loneliness and how you can’t make friends.
The best part about therapy? You won’t feel as alone anymore.
Your therapist will give you new tools to use. Sometimes, you need some help in the friend department. Your therapist has the tools and tricks you need to make social interactions easier and less stressful for you. If you have lots of social anxiety, your therapist can help you identify the source of that anxiety and walk you through beating it.
You will be able to improve your self-esteem. You might have a few insecurities that make it harder for you to make friends. A therapist will guide you through the process of improving your self-esteem and any bad coping mechanisms, like isolating yourself.
If you’ve never been to therapy, it’s not as scary as you might think! If you have a good therapist, it’s like having a casual conversation with someone.
8. Have High Standards
Whoa, whoa. You should always have high standards of who you surround yourself with, even if you’re feeling lonely.
Sometimes, it’s the people you surround yourself with that are making you feel lonely! You heard that right. They might make you feel even lonelier if they do things like:
- Make plans that don’t include you right in front of you
- Forget that they have plans with you and stand you up
- Don’t make plans with you outside of work, school or without other common friends
- Have inside jokes with other people that they always seem to refer to when you’re with them
You get the picture. Toxic friends just take up space and make you feel even lonelier than you would feel if you were just alone.
It might sound counterproductive, but believe me when I say that by cutting those people out of your life, you’ll feel so liberated. Maybe even a little less lonely.
9. Be Kind to Yourself
I preached about the importance of being extra kind to other people, but what about being kind to yourself? That’s important too!
When you’re dealing with loneliness and feel like you can’t make friends, it can be really easy to dislike the person you see in the mirror.
You are worthy of being loved and cared for.
Think about it. There are almost 8 billion people in the world, and every single person is different. There is bound to be a group of people (in fact, probably way more than that) who would love to be your friend and would mesh well with you!
Loneliness is temporary. You will find friends. You will be happy.
This is a period of your life where change is about to happen. Do you feel it? You’re in a period where any interaction you have can lead to lifelong friendships and a life full of happiness.
Don’t get yourself down and say that you can’t make friends. You haven’t made any friends yet.
My sincere hope for you is that you now realize that you’re not alone in feeling lonely. Many people are silently suffering, and you can definitely get out of this rut. Baby steps, my friend, and you can create the friend group of your dreams.
Again, you are worthy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Angele is the mind behind Peace Out Negativity, a personal growth blog. A survivor of an abusive relationship, she started her website as a passion project to help people blossom into the confident people they’re meant to be! Based in Ontario, Canada, she loves spending her time exploring nature and taking her dog out for walks.