I remember the first moment I walked in to my very first baby class. I’d only been living in Aberdeen for a year and I was eager to meet some new people. I parked the car and anxiously walked up to the door with my changing bag and carseat in tow. Surely this should be easy right? We were all new mums with babies. We were all in the same boat. I walked in ready to practise my conversational skills after what felt like an eternity of baby talk. Only to find that I was a lot more awkward than I had thought. Conversation didn’t come easily and I was beginning to think I had not only lost my waistline. But my personality too. Making friends in Adulthood shouldn’t be hard, but it can at times feel worse than high school. I learnt the hard way. So here are ways to make friends in adulthood that has helped me through the years.
I came across this awkward feeling quite a few times during my adult life. Having moved from Australia to Switzerland, Switzerland to France and eventually France to Scotland. I have had my fair share of daunting and sometimes embarrassing moments whilst on the hunt for friends. The thing is that once you get over the fear of looking like an idiot or being rejected. It can come pretty naturally. All you have to do is push a few boundaries and bite the bullet. Even if you feel like a complete loser.
Get out and about
This may seem obvious but you will be surprised by how many people tell me they can’t make friends yet are constantly glued to their living room sofa. If you want to meet people and make friends then you need to get out. Join a sporting club or attend a local event or party. Either way get yourself out of the house. I made quite a few good friends through Facebook groups whilst in France and I know my husband met some of his now best friends through an expat football club. You need to make an effort. I know a few people who complain about not having friends but then never come out when asked.
This story is one that was recounted numerous times with disbelief when I lived in Switzerland. Thankfully when i first moved to Switzerland I already knew a handful of people who took me under their wing. However most of them being boys, I craved a friendship that only girls can understand. So we were in a bar one day when I saw a group of girls sat talking at the bar amongst themselves. One of the girls had caught the attention of one of my friends. Wanting an excuse to talk to them and i used my friend as a cue to go start a conversation. I remember walking up to them and just sitting down and introducing myself. It turns out they were all from Brazil and spoke great english. Fast forward a few months and we were all inseparable and saw each other every week during the year and a half I lived in Switzerland!
Make a conscience effort
When I first moved to Aberdeen I found it really hard. Harder than anywhere else I had lived. Maybe it is because it is a small town. Or because people already have a tight group of friends since school years. But one thing was for sure. I had never felt more awkward in my life. My husband, who was just my boyfriend at the time was working offshore and I was stuck at home scrolling Facebook feeling extremely isolated. Sad isn’t it? So when one of our mutual friends invited me to her hen night. I jumped at the idea. It was a great excuse to get dressed up, have a drink and of course meet people. After meeting a few girls that night, I made a conscious effort not to let the opportunity pass me by. I added them on Facebook and then plucked up the courage to ask them if they wanted to meet for a coffee. They both said yes and now are two of my bestest friends. One of which was my maid of honour at my wedding!
Don’t force it
Last by not least, the best advice I can give is to not sabotage yourself by trying to be something you are not. When you try too hard to fit in and make some friends it usually does the opposite. People can tell if you are being fake straight away. Just relax, put your self out there and make a conscious effort. Be natural and true to yourself and hopefully you will make some rewarding friendships that last a lifetime.