How to make friends as an adult

How to make friends as an adult

From playing rounds of hopscotch at recess to joining extracurricular activities, there are plenty of opportunities to make friends as a child. If you’re lucky, some of those friendships from your school days even transitioned with you into adulthood. While you might be set with your circle of friends, there’s always room to find more. It could even be beneficial to your health.

Friendships can help stave off loneliness and decrease symptoms of depression. Having social support also can improve your cognitive health.

“It’s easy to put friendships on the backburner due to all our obligations as an adult. But it’s important to be open to making new friends as we get older,” says Dr. Jennette Berry, a family medicine physician at Advocate Health Care.

“For example, if you’re diagnosed with a new medical condition, it might be helpful to find friends navigating the same condition who can truly appreciate the challenges you’re facing,” Dr. Berry adds.

Without going to school or working in a physical office, it can be trickier to make connections with new people. But there’s hope you can still find a new friend or two.

“Don’t be afraid to take the initiative and invite people you interact with to make plans. It might take a few tries, but eventually you’ll find someone you connect with,” says Dr. Berry.

Ready to expand your circle of friends? Here are some tips:

Find an accountability buddy. If you’re looking to make a lifestyle change such as starting to exercise, put out feelers to find a friend with the same interest.

Start or join a book club. Check with your local library to see if they offer book clubs. Or start your own book club by inviting your neighbors or existing friends who also enjoy reading.

Volunteer your time. Make connections with people who share similar interests while supporting a worthy cause.

Join a faith community. Many churches offer gatherings for new members as well as events and programming for a variety of ages.

Strengthen existing friendships. Make time to connect with family members and friends whether it’s a quick text to check in or finally making those lunch plans.

Are you trying to find a doctor? Look here if you live in Illinois. Look here if you live in Wisconsin. 

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  1. Hope I can find more friends this winter season to help me with my seasonal depression that has been getting worst since the pandemic.

    • Anna Kohler

      Hi Heather, we recommend you reach out to the call center at 414-454-6777, option 1 for a virtual assessment and further behavioral health care recommendations. Or present to your nearest emergency department for immediate care if you are exhibiting risk for harm of self or others. Thank you.

  2. HI Heather!
    I hope you can too! Its been tough especially since the pandemic and with alot of work being remote. be sure to get outside, and sometimes it even helps to make a point of chatting with people you encounter on a walk or in the grocery, or at the gym. I had to step outside my comfort zone and do that, but have found alot of friends by trying new things. Hang in there!

  3. As an introvert who recharges my emotional battery by quiet, alone time, when COVID hit, I was in heaven, not having to leave my house, being able to stay home and put puzzles together, read, snuggle my cats, try new recipes, do adult coloring projects, purge and organize, deep clean my house, etc. It was fantastic. I did lose connections with my friends, and those connections have not been re-established yet. I’m finding it difficult to get back on the social wagon after being off it for so long. I can honestly say I don’t miss it, though. I think being social is a skill, not something that comes naturally to many of us, and not all of us thrive on being with other people.

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About the Author

Vicki Martinka Petersen
Vicki Martinka Petersen

Vicki Martinka Petersen, health enews contributor, is a digital copywriter on the content team at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. A former newspaper reporter, she’s worked in health care communications for the last decade. In her spare time, Vicki enjoys tackling her to be read pile, trying new recipes, meditating, and planning fun activities to do in the Chicago area with her husband and son.