How to make friends as an adult

By Dan Buettner

Just like with dating, making friends as an adult means putting yourself out there. A recent study found that most adults hadn’t added to their social circle in five years. So you actually have to get out of the house, and then also ask people out (as friends). 

Think about the things you like about yourself and the things that you want to do more of. You want to make friends, but you also want to make friends who will genuinely support you and join you on your journey to a happy, healthy, purpose-filled Blue Zones life. Taking this inventory will help you as you meet new people. 

1) Be likeable
Listen and don’t hog the conversation. Don’t talk over people. Ask questions. Compliment genuinely and often. Put your phone down when you’re in a social setting and move away if you need to use it. Give people your undivided attention. 

2) Volunteer in your community
Volunteer in your community for a cause that you care about and that speaks to you. If it’s something you do weekly or monthly, hopefully, you will see and meet people with like-minded interests. 

3) Look around your existing network
Look around your existing network and see if there is potential to deepen casual connections. If you’re a parent, is there another parent whom you see at school drop-off that seems to have good energy? Or a coworker whom you banter with? Chat them up. Then see below for how to ask them out on a friend date. 

4) Ask for setups
If you’ve recently moved, then ask anyone you know if they might have friends in your new area that you might hit it off with. Then ask them to connect you.

5) Join a social group
Join a group like a book club, a sports league, a Meetup group around one of your hobbies, or a faith-based group. Danes are among the happiest people in the world, and 92 per cent of them are members of a social group. 

6) Take a class
If you’ve always wanted to try something, take a class that meets regularly. 

7) Try an app
Bumble BFF and Hey! VINA (for women) are just two apps that are like “Tinder for friends.”   

Excerpt adapted from The Blue Zones Challenge by Dan Buettner a four-week guide and year-long sustainability program to jump-start your journey to better health, happiness, less stress, and a longer life.

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