Once we’re out of our twenties, opportunities to meet new people start to get thin on the ground. Caught up in work, family and all sorts of responsibilities, we’re suddenly too busy to find ourselves randomly running into new people who could enrich our social networks and become firm friends.
The International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring is the leading accreditation authority for professional coaches. Here, one of their accredited coaches, Iulia Dobre‑Trifan, offers up 5 top tips on how to find and keep new friends even when you’re an adult:
1. Find a home on social media
It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, if you’re popular or shy; there is a social media channel to suit your personality, full of like‑minded people who came at the world in a similar way. So find out where your people hang out online and start building an authentic presence there, one that’ll help them see you as a kindred spirit.
2. Practice your values, and regularly
Shared values bring us close to our friends and keep our friendships strong. So be true to your values and invest your time and energy in honouring them. Practice your hobbies, keep up your favourite sports routine, or tap into the cultural avenues of your choosing, and you’ll start to tune in with the other regulars. And that’s where you’ll find your future friends.
3. Offer your authentic appreciation
Whenever you see someone achieving something impressive or making progress towards a goal you genuinely appreciate, take the opportunity to show your appreciation. Whether they’re a new person, a relative, a colleague, an acquaintance, it doesn’t matter ‑ if they’re getting involved in something that you find beautiful and worthy, offering them your sincere recognition can open up the way for a new friendship.
4. Look at your past from a fresh perspective
We sometimes run into people we drifted away from, not because we didn’t like them, but because that’s what happens as our lives diverge. Don’t pass up the opportunity to rediscover an old friendship; if you run into someone you remember fondly, put the effort into a proper catch‑up and find out what you still share today. You might be surprised how well you get on!
5. Travel… a lot!
We’re lucky to live at a time when travelling is easier than ever before. It’s also a delightful way for you to make new friends, as well as new ideas and opportunities from different cultures and ways of living. It could be the hosts you encounter, or other tourists, or perhaps the people you travel with, but exploring nature and civilisation all over this wonderful planet can help you make some of the best friends you’ll ever have.