How to Make Friends as an Adult: Guidance from a California Therapist

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As an adult, making friends can be hard.

You’re no longer in school. As a result, you don’t have the same opportunities to meet people that you did when you were younger. A lot of the time friendships for adults are formed through work, school, kids, etc. But what if you don’t have any of those things? How do you make friends as an adult? It may seem impossible but there are ways to make good friends as an adult and strengthen your support system.

Shared Interests

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A good way to start is by trying to find people that have similar interests as you. You don’t want to be friends with just anyone, you want to find people that you have things in common with. This can be done by joining a book club, taking a dance lesson, going to a wine-tasting event, or even joining a Facebook group. Another idea is joining an interest group such as scuba diving, surfing, or jewelry making. Being part of these activities will attract people who have similar interests as you. So, not only will you be able to find friends this way, but you’ll also have something fun to do together.

Making the First Move

Now, we all know that making the first move can be scary. It’s hard to put yourself out there and risk rejection. Especially if you’re not used to being the one to initiate things. But, you have to permit yourself to ask someone else to be your friend. Or, as least to hang out! You’re an adult, and it’s okay to ask someone if they want to hang out.

No isn’t Personal

The worst thing that can happen is that someone says no. And really, what’s so bad about that? This isn’t high school where people are going to make fun of you for being rejected. Adults are busy. So, don’t take it personally if someone says “no” to hanging out. Just move on and ask someone else.

The Fear Factor

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We know making friends as an adult can be scary. Especially if you’re challenging yourself to initiate things more. But, it’s important to remember that everyone feels this way. We all have a fear of rejection and of being judged. You might not know what to say when you first meet someone or you might be worried that you’re not interesting enough. But, remember that your fear responses are valid!

This Isn’t High School

As mentioned above, in high school, getting rejected can have a lot of negative consequences. But, as an adult, you don’t need to worry about that. So, don’t let your fears hold you back from making friends. One way to combat your fears is by making a list of them. Once you see your fears written down, you can start to address them one by one. Are they realistic or is it just your anxiety talking? Plus, once you’ve identified your fears, you can start to work on overcoming them. Another way to relinquish the power your fear holds is to seek help from a therapist or counselor.

Preparing to Make Friends

Now that you know some tips for making friends as an adult, it’s time to put them into practice. The key thing to remember is you’re not going to give up. Just because someone says no to hanging out doesn’t mean you’re not going to find any friends. Preparing ahead of time might be key to your success.

For example, if you’re about to head to your dance lessons but you’re thinking “I don’t have enough emotional energy for this” then don’t change clothes! Making things easier on you will make it more likely that you’ll actually go. Or, put it on your calendar so that you are saving your emotional and physical energy for when you’re about to go.

You may have joined a book club. You’re anxious about going to the first meeting but you really want to make friends. Find a friend to go with or just show up! The hardest part is getting yourself there. Once you’re there, it’ll be much easier to socialize. It’s important to remember that making friends as an adult has a lot of benefits.

The Benefits of Having Friends

There are many benefits of having friends as an adult. It’s not just about not being lonely or feeling isolated. Friends can be there to help you expand your social circle. And, if you choose wisely, your friends will also be a great support system when you’re going through tough times.

So, not only can your friends celebrate you through your successes and support you through your tough times, they can introduce you to new people and opportunities. For example, if you’re looking for a new job, your friends will be the first people to tell you about job openings. Or, they might help you broaden your interests by introducing you to new hobbies.

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Start Working With A Young Adult Therapist in Orange County, CA

Making friends as an adult is intimidating. But, that doesn’t mean you have to navigate this process with no support. No matter what your anxiety is telling you or what your fears are, our team of caring therapists is here to support you. We’ll provide you with guidance and support to help you make the friends you deserve. To start your therapy journey with Moxie Family Therapy, please follow these simple steps:

Other Services Offered at Moxie Family Therapy

At Moxie Family Therapy, we know making friends may not be the only thing you are struggling with. This is why our therapists provide a variety of therapy services online and in-person at our Orange County, CA-based practice. We offer counseling for young adults, children, women, teens, and couples. Additionally, we offer therapy for therapists, clinical supervision, adoption therapy, art therapy, and play therapy. Our team is also happy to support the LGBTQ+ community. Contact us today and learn how we can help you reclaim your moxie.

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