Episode 03 Show Notes
We have moved a ton over the last 12 years, and I have made amazing friends everywhere we have lived! I get the question often, “How do you make friends as an adult!” and realized that I do have some specific pieces of advice to share. Making friends as an adult doesn’t often just HAPPEN, like it does in school or as a kid. This episode offers seven tips for making friends as an adult that I hope you can easily apply to your own life to make new friends or deepen current friendships.
Segment: Life Lately
Our month-long road trip was a huge success. We loaded up the kids and dog into the minivan and cruised through Utah, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, then back home to Virginia. I loved teaching indigo dyeing workshops all across the country, and road tripping to see friends wherever we went. All of the friends we saw sparked the idea to share this episode about friendship.
I recoded this episode from a hotel in Dallas while Dave and I attended an event with E-Z-GO, where we drove golf cars through a vineyard and met some great people.
Segment: Pleasant Pictures Music Club!
All of the music for my podcast comes from this incredible online music library at Pleasant Pictures Music Club! The full library is huge and the music is all divided into different categories. I have been blow away by the quality of the music and I love that it isn’t generic royalty free music. It sounds like custom tracks.
Eric Robertson (husband to the awesome Alison Faulkner) is the owner of Pleasant Pictures Studio. I have loved the way his great music adds so much to the stories I am telling, or highlight the fun segments in my show. In addition to the full membership, PPMC offers something called “The Year of Music” which offers 52 tracks at a lower price. I can’t imagine needing even that much music, and it is such a great value.
If you need royalty free music for any of your upcoming projects, check out Pleasant Pictures Music Club!
Seven Tips for Making Friends As An Adult
As I prepared for this episode, it occurred to me that friendships are like plants. Most of us have old, established relationships that don’t need a lot of regular care and attention. We can pick up right where we left off with those friends. And, new friendships need lots of nurturing and care in order for them to develop deep roots and feel permanent.
“It’s so easy to feel connected to people who not actually in our lives. All those friends who live in our phones.”
These seven tips for making friends as an adult are simple pieces of advice you can use in your own life, right now, to encourage new friendships or take those you have to a new level.
Everyone needs friends. Even people who have amazing spousal and family relationships benefit from an outside perspective, support system, and community. Here are some ideas for how to get there!
1. Give/Deliver Treats
I love this simple idea for breaking the ice on new relationships. Some of my favorite doorstep deliveries are seasonal produce like a basket of apples in the fall or some local peaches in the summertime. Especially in a new neighborhood or at a new job, bringing some treats to deliver to people can be an easy way to begin a conversation.
People on both ends of the delivery feel more open, and even a very simple delivery makes people feel SEEN and CARED FOR.
2. Remember Names (or ask again and again)
Don’t be embarrassed to ask people’s names. If you ask someone’s name, and forget it by the next time you see them, ask again! There is no need to be embarrassed, and you will be showing that you care what their names actually are, rather than pretending we know it. Take notes if you need to, but if you still forget, ask again.
Something like “Hey, remind me what your name is!” is a polite and easy way to ask again. It’s likely they have forgotten yours as well and they will be relieved to have a chance to ask you back. I would hate for you to avoid someone and miss an opportunity to make a friends because you simply don’t remember a name.
When you start to know peoples names, you feel like you know them.
3. Offer to Help
When you begin to notice people, you notice their needs! Offering to help requires that you pay attention to people and notice when they may need help. The worst someone can say is “no” and you don’t need to take that rejection personally.
Some people have a really hard time asking for help, and you stepping up to offer can really build a connection and level of trust and confidence that can be tricky to find in a new friendship. Letting people know that you are aware of them will really open a door into a friendship.
“When you start noticing people, you start noticing needs. And you begin to become aware of the people around you.”
4. Ask for Help
This tip can seem backwards, but it is really one of my very favorite ways to build friendships. I don’t actually have a problem asking people for help, and that willingness opens me up and allows people to see me as vulnerable and not having everything together and needing people. Then they feel needed!
Even very simple things like borrowing an egg from a neighbor, asking that other preschool mom to watch your child for an hour while you go to the dentist, or asking someone to give you some recommendations for great restaurants in the area can let that person feel like you value them and are open to their support.
Another reason this tip helps build friendships is that we love the people we serve. As people help you with simple things, they will feel connected to you. Within reason, inviting people to help you will build a relationship as you trust each other.
Also, when people feel like you owe them a favor, they are more likely to reach out and ask YOU for help when they need it! This give and take is where the friendship begins to really grow.
When you’re invited to something social, make an effort to go. We often really want to make friends, and then when we are invited to a social event or gathering, we don’t take advantage of it! We make excuses rather than making friends. There are so many systems set up for adults to make friends: local play groups, moms groups, meet up groups. You can find all of these types of things online. Attend events. Get out there!
And if you aren’t being invited to events or things, move on to number six: Plan Things!
6. Plan Things
Even if you don’t naturally plan things, there is something simple you can do. You can plan things around your hobbies, your work, or your kids. Invite someone to meet you for a picnic at the river. Plan to attend a local play. Plan a backyard barbecue. It is so nice to plan things around events or activities you normally do anyway, but do alone. When you plan something, then you have something to invite people to. Whatever you love will attract friends who also love those things. DO the things you love!
It’s a lot easier to make friends when you are not at home. Be aware of the people who are in the places you naturally are. Those mamas at the local park, the people in your favorite gym class. Those people could be your potential friends.
“New people aren’t going to knock on your door and say “Hey, will you be my friend?” You need to be out doing things.”
7. Invite, Invite, Invite
Probably the most important tip on this list is to INVITE people. You can invite people to participate in any of the things you planned in number six! What things are you doing regularly that other people could come join?
Dave and I have a regular Saturday date night, and once a month or so we like to invite another couple to join us. It is a great way to get to know new people without adding to our schedule. We have a pizza movie night each week. That is another easy way to invite a family to come join us for a low-key gathering.
“Everyone wants to be invited, and no one really cares about the details!”
I invite new people to the park or museum almost every time I go. I meet people at church or while out walking the dog in my neighborhood and get their names and numbers to invite them to the river for a walk, or to the backyard for ice cream. Sometimes we get so caught up in making sure the event we are planning is perfect, we get too overwhelmed before we even begin!
No one cares if you house is clean, yard is landscaped, food is gourmet. People want to be invited! It makes them feel seen, valued, and thought about. Simply having someone know you would like to be their friend can be a big step towards actually becoming friends.
These tips are universal, and if we remember back to some of our childhood friendships, we will realize that these are the steps that we took for those friendships to happen!
“One of the reasons it can be tricky to make friends as an adult is that we forget what it took for our good, old friendships to form.”
- Deliver Treats
- Remember Names Or Ask Again Until You Do
- Offer To Help
- Ask For Help
- Show Up
- Plan Things
- Invite, Invite, Invite
I have a lot of really good friends, and continue to make really good friends in my adult life, because I have intentionally set out to make good friends. I invest in my friends, and those relationships return that positive energy. Using any one, and then a combination of these tips will boost your baby friendships and help cultivate them into true, trusting relationships.
“I believe there are wonderful friends for you, right where you are.”