Making and keeping friends as an adult can be hard enough—but add in starting over with friendship after moving to a new place?! That is next-level hard, and certainly worthy of setting a goal around with your PowerSheets® goal planner! Whether you're introverted or extroverted, whatever stage of life you're in, we all need community. If you have a goal to cultivate friendship from the ground up after a move, try some of these tips, sourced from Team Cultivate and the Cultivate community!
1. Make it a goal.
We're a goal-setting company, so of course we're going to suggest this, but it's powerful! When you officially decide something is important enough to you to make it a goal (and write it down in your own handwriting!), something changes in your brain: you're more likely to seek opportunities, hold yourself accountable, and take action.
2. Start with who you know.
Take advantage of the friends who say, “Oh, you should meet ___! You’d totally get along!” Let your network know—either in conversation, by a mass email, or by a post on social media—that you're moving to a new area and would love to lean on their connections.
3. Follow up after a meet-up.
If you're lucky enough to make a connection, don't drop the ball after one meet-up! Assuming you enjoyed your time together, follow up promptly to get something else on the calendar (and don't be afraid to let them know you had fun!). Best friends are not made after just one coffee date!
4. Make an effort with your coworkers.
If you work in-person, pick up on the rhythms of the office and see how you might use them to your advantage. Do folks eat their lunch on the patio? Gather around the coffee machine? Walk to meetings together? Join in, even if it feels awkward or intimidating at first.
5. Commit to something you love that meets regularly.
First step: finding (or creating) an event that occurs regularly! It doesn’t have to be every week—any consistent cadence will work, so you can take the guesswork and decision fatigue out of scheduling and showing up. Whether it’s a mom’s group; a professional group; a small group through your faith community (or simply weekly worship!); a sports league, class, gym, or club; 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.
We've heard it said that making friends in adulthood is really just showing up in the same place with the same people until you're comfortable enough to ask someone out for coffee or lunch, so this is a great way to get started! :)
6. Meet your neighbors.
Do you remember the guy who went viral for throwing a neighborhood pancake party earlier this year? He set up a griddle on the sidewalk, posted flyers to invite his neighbors, and ended up serving 1000 flapjacks to new friends young and old. And all despite feeling "nervous and self-conscious"!
If you're new to the neighborhood or apartment complex, it's easy to hope that others will seek you out to introduce themselves. But if that's not happening, or arranging the meet-up on your terms sounds appealing, put yourself out there! Go simple with a low-key driveway happy hour, follow Curtis's lead with a pancake party, or try Janssen's cookie walk.
Getting in the habit of simply being outside and present where you live (puttering in your front yard, sitting on your porch or front steps, going for a daily walk) can give you lots of opportunities to wave, begin to recognize people, and strike up conversations!
7. Go Virtual.
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of tech solutions to our current epidemic of loneliness. To find others looking for new friends or who share interests or demographics, try Supper Club, Meetup, Bumble BFF, or just a good ol' local Facebook group.
Many PowerSheets group Facebook members shared that they met new friends through a civic or volunteer organization, like the Rotary Club, the Junior League, or a specific themed opportunity. People who care about the same causes as you and are motivated enough to get out of their homes to help? Sounds like great friends in the making!
9. Try your school or sorority's local alumna club.
Many colleges, universities, and Greek organizations have local clubs that host meet-ups and events. If not, you might try reaching out to your alumni office to se if they're able to connect you individually, or if there's a message board you could post on.
10. Expand your circle.
Once you make even one or two connections, piggyback on them to make more! From Abbie on our team: "We invited a few friends to a standing Taco Tuesday night at a local spot, and always encouraged them to invite whoever they wanted. It was a rotating group from week to week and we all got to meet new people, which was great!"
We'll end with this piece of wisdom from PowerSheets user Valerie: "I will say that most people need others to reach out first. I am the one who puts most of the effort into reaching out to most of the people in my life, including new friends. It can be exhausting, but the alternative is often great people sitting at home wishing someone would call them to hang." This piece from Laura Vanderkam might you encourage you if you feel like you're always the planner, too.
What's helped you make friends as an adult, especially in a new place? We'd love to hear, so leave a comment below!