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How to Make New Friends

Can we all just take a moment to acknowledge how difficult it is to actually make new friends? Not just social media friends, but real "I'm-calling-you-right-now-because-I-need-you" friends. Gone are my college days when I was surrounded by thousands of other undergrads looking to make lifelong friends, and now I'm faced with what feels like an incredibly daunting task of building new friendships as someone in their mid-twenties.

Whether you've just moved to a new city for a new job or are simply looking to make some new friends in this season of life, we wanted to offer some of our best tips for you!

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Fight the fear. This might be the hardest, but most important tip of all! It's so easy to look at a friendship that went wrong or your lack of girlfriends this current season and believe that you just aren't cut out to have good girlfriends. If I could, I'd politely grab your face, look you in the eyes, and say "that, my friend, is a lie." We created our Fruitful Friendships Workbook to help you walk through who you are and what you hope to find and grow in friendships. There's also a section for you to reflect on past friendships-both good and hard-to find common threads. Similar to PowerSheets Prep Work, reflecting on these things help you uncover what's important to you as you cultivate these new friendships!

Start with who you know! Take advantage of the friends who say "Oh, you should meet ___! You'd totally get along!" Whether it's someone who lives in the new city you're moving to, or a friend with a common interest, ask a friend to connect you to that person, and then reach out to them to schedule a time to hang out. If any of my friends say, "Jess, you should totally meet ____; she loves guacamole and reading" you can bet that girl is going to get a follow-up email or text message from me!

Commit to something you love that meets regularly. The key here is to find an event that occurs regularly; it doesn't have to be every week, just consistently so it's already on your calendar! One of our Editors, Emily, created an Articles Club along with a friend of hers and used her social media platforms to invite local friends! Nicole signed up for a local pottery class last year. My boyfriend and his friend's in Atlanta are on a bocce team that plays once a week. The opportunities are endless! Whether it's a mom's group, a small group through your faith community, a sport league, a skills class or a book club, there are so many ways to find friends who have common interests or are in the same season of life as you.

Embrace awkward. We've already established that making friends is hard, and it doesn't happen overnight. Learn more about how (and why!) to embrace awkward in your friendships-both new and old. As Lara says, perfect the art of the awkward pause and wait for all the good that is to come! Get out there, ask lots of questions, and don't be tempted to fill in the silence. My favorite conversation starter? What's one thing that is keeping you up at night? It's a pretty simple question on the surface, but it opens the conversation up to go past surface level. Sign up for our Fruitful Summer series for our free conversation seeds and other second questions to try!

Be available. Some of my favorite friendships have come from simply saying yes, even when I'm tired (especially when I'm tired!) When you receive an invitation, be open to stepping out and saying yes. Obviously, if you need some alone time or have already scheduled two things that evening, you can say no. However, don't fall into the trap of just wanting to go home and change into your pajamas at 6pm (please tell me I'm not the only one who does this?!)

Challenge yourself! Add one of these tips to your PowerSheets Tending List this month as a challenge to yourself! If you're looking for more ways to get started, page 25 of our Fruitful Friendships Workbook is full of ideas that have worked for the Cultivate team as well as tips sourced directly from each of you (you guys are seriously full of so much wisdom!)

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My final piece of advice? Find friends that think you're hilarious :) Photo by Olivia Suriano of Nancy Ray Photography

What do you have to add to this list? Leave a comment with the craziest way you've made a new friend!

 

Show Comments (12)
  1. Elaine
    Elaine
    reply

    Sending handmade gifts to someone on Social Media. I have 3 friends (at least) that I have made that way. One I just met in person last week!

    • Kimberly
      Kimberly
      reply

      Good tip Elaine!

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      Social media can sometimes get a bad wrap, but we love how it enables us to connect to faraway friends!

  2. Kimberly
    Kimberly
    reply

    LOL! Elaine you are not the only one in your PJs by 6pm! But great tip about being available and sometimes it's ok not to put on your PJs until a little later and invest time in friendships. :)

  3. Elyse Marie
    Elyse Marie
    reply

    Freshly new to Los Angeles, California, my drive to build new relationships and a foundation for a community was greater than ever. I had set a goal for myself early on that I was to meet three new people each week, not just in passing, but sit-down intentional time getting to know someone and hearing their story. After meeting with an array of fascinating people, I had seen a tweet from a founder of a non-profit I follow out of Nashville, Tennessee. The founder stated that she would be in Los Angeles, and without thinking I immediate tweeted that we should grab dinner. To my complete surprise, she said yes! We both met for the first time at a hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant and we spoke about all things non-profit, Los Angeles and Nashville and how crazy it was that we had just met through twitter. It was an insightful meeting, and I was so glad to have had the time to build a new friendship. Little did I know that it would escalate into a great adventure from there! The next day, she texted me and let me know that is was actually her birthday that weekend and, if I was up for it, would be leaving Los Angeles at 2AM to catch a sunrise hike in Joshua Tree. After an initial hesitation (we had just met the day before afterall!), I said yes! & off we went. We spend the day hiking and exploring the desert, then came back to Los Angeles to celebrate her birthday with dinner and a ferris wheel ride in Santa Monica. To this day, we follow along with each other's journeys in work and in life & I'm so thankful that both of us committed to saying 'yes!' to opportunities that would create a fruitful friendship!

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      What a wonderful story, Elyse! I love your willingness to say "yes!"

  4. Amanda
    Amanda
    reply

    At the time I wasn't intentionally seeking new friends, but was in a tumultous new season and would quickly need them! I posted a rug for sale on our local community yard sale fb page and a lady named Dana wanted to purchase it! At the exchange we quickly bonded and have been through so many crazy years since! All over selling a rug 🤣 I might have made a couple bucks off the rug, but I gained SO much more!

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      What a wonderful story, Amanda! I love how some of our best friends come from the most surprising places!

  5. Kelli
    Kelli
    reply

    I had just moved and my mom came to help me unpack. We went to Target to get a few things. She was getting coffee and another woman struck up a conversation with her. She came to get me from another part of the store and told me she had made me a friend. I was mortified, but exchanged numbers with the woman (who was also new to the area) anyway. She called me a few days later and we met up at the local YMCA. She has become my best friend here. We started a book club together and have both made more friends that way as well!

    • Jess Metcalf
      Jess Metcalf
      reply

      I love this, Kelli! What a great story reminding how putting ourselves out there is totally worth it!

  6. Book Recipe: How to Make Friends as an Adult - Old School Reads
    Book Recipe: How to Make Friends as an Adult - Old School Reads
    reply

    […] For some awesome ideas on how How to Make New Friends, check out Jess Metcalf’s article on CultivateWhatMatters.com. […]

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