Life lessons

The art of making friends at almost 30

I blogged once before about how I wanted to make new friends. It was something I came to realise in the last year and a bit. The need to expand my social circle. It’s especially harder for someone who is a migrant and has no high school friends or undergraduate friends in the country they have migrated to as they are all in the original country or spread across the world. Which means my social circle involves just the friends I have made through postgrad here. And that is a total of four. Four close friends {Used to be 5 but she moved to London in December 2012}. I’ve managed a few acquaintances and a couple of friends through work but that’s it. Anyway, three out of my four close friends are in different stages of relationships. And basically, they spend their weekends with their partners or other couples.

So I thought rather than moaning about the lack of friends and being all alone, I had to do something about it. Sure, blogging on Saturday nights is fun. But not all the time. I love you virtual friends out there but would love you more if I could share a meal or drink with you! 🙂

But it is bloody hard to make friends when you are almost 30 and not studying.

Image Source: Here

Image Source: Here

I have managed to meet a number of people through some of the Meetup groups I have attended. Meetup is a godsend. I don’t know who came up with the concept but it’s bloody brilliant! Anyway, so far, in terms of friendships, it seems to be heading somewhere with a few people. While I am going through this journey, I’m learning a lot. And I thought I’d share some of my *ahem* wisdom with you:

  1. Say ‘yes’: The key thing to continue to build a friendship — YES. Say yes to going out to dinner. Say yes to going to the movies. Say yes to a weekend away. Sure, maybe the others have different financial priorities to you {hello mortgage!}, but it still helps to do as many things as you possibly {and legally} can to keep in contact. After all, the more contact you have with people, the more likely the friendship will grow.
  2. Prepare to be vulnerable: To actually move from acquaintances to friends, you have to be prepared to give a bit of yourself. Let them see who you really are. And well, some people may not like that and won’t move from the acquaintance stage. Others might embrace you for that.
  3. Offer to do things: Now by this I don’t mean become a doormat and let people walk all over you. But offering small things. Such as giving someone a ride if you’re going the same way.
  4. Take a chance: Okay, so this might be similar to point 2 but hear me out. Taking a chance for me involves making a plan to do something. A movie, a bushwalk, a play, a games night. Ask if potential friends would be interested. If yes, great. If not, oh well, at least you made an effort!
  5. Be open-minded: I say this for people like me. I have noticed that most of my friends’ tastes do not match my own. What’s important though is to not expect that everyone will have same tastes. So what if no one has heard of Karnivool? Sure they are missing out on good music, but that’s not all the friendship is based on! If I honestly went looking for friends with the same tastes, I think I’d be all alone in this world! 😛
  6. Stay in the present: Take each moment of this journey as it comes rather than fast-forwarding into the future or re-evaluating things you have done in the past.
  7. Be yourself: Do not fake it if you want to be friends with someone. You don’t have to agree with everything they say and do and you can most certainly put forth your points of view in a tactful manner without having to be fake. Honestly, at the end of the day, if the other person doesn’t like you or respect you for who you are and what you stand for, well maybe this friendship was never meant to be in the first place. They don’t have to agree with all you say either but mutual respect is important.

For me personally, taking a chance, being vulnerable and staying in the present are hard. I think I fear rejection when I make offers to do things but I’m slowly and steadily getting there. I have become more open and letting people see me and my vulnerable side. Though not all of it. After all, you want to give them tiny doses! 🙂 As for staying in the present, well, that I have to remind myself every single day.

Image Source: Here

Image Source: Here

Have you tried to make friends once you’ve finished studying/become an adult? How easy or hard has your journey been?

Do share some tips!

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • Whoa, Molly!
    August 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Making friends as an adult is so rough. I’m lucky that I have a great circle of amazing friends, but it wasn’t always that way. As people get older, priorities change and friendships get harder to maintain. I moved out of Sydney a few years ago and have only made a few close friends close by. It’s a lot of effort on my part to keep my friends in Sydney close, but I think to have friends, you HAVE to put in effort.

    All your suggestions were spot on, especially the part about being vulnerable. Putting yourself out there is hard!

    Speaking of making friends, let me know if you ever want to organize a bush-walk one day, I’ll totally be in.
    🙂
    Whoa, Molly! recently posted…At Least I Know What I Don’t WantMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      August 14, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      You said the key word there Molly — effort! It takes a lot of effort to keep friends and make friends. 🙂

      Oh and will totally try and organise a bush walk. Actually might email you about that. I’m a bit booked out the next few weekends with walks and camping and Problogger (time flies!!) but maybe around late September. 🙂

  • Whoa, Molly!
    August 14, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Making friends as an adult is so rough. I’m lucky that I have a great circle of amazing friends, but it wasn’t always that way. As people get older, priorities change and friendships get harder to maintain. I moved out of Sydney a few years ago and have only made a few close friends close by. It’s a lot of effort on my part to keep my friends in Sydney close, but I think to have friends, you HAVE to put in effort.

    All your suggestions were spot on, especially the part about being vulnerable. Putting yourself out there is hard!

    Speaking of making friends, let me know if you ever want to organize a bush-walk one day, I’ll totally be in.
    🙂
    Whoa, Molly! recently posted…At Least I Know What I Don’t WantMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      August 14, 2013 at 9:13 pm

      You said the key word there Molly — effort! It takes a lot of effort to keep friends and make friends. 🙂

      Oh and will totally try and organise a bush walk. Actually might email you about that. I’m a bit booked out the next few weekends with walks and camping and Problogger (time flies!!) but maybe around late September. 🙂

  • Cilla
    August 15, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Hi, I found your blog via Carly’s.
    I agree with all of these points.
    I went through a divorce a couple of years ago. All of my friends were having babies. I went the meetup route too, as I just felt so lonely. I googled “meeting new people and there it was. It was a godsend
    Anywho, I made a few friends and I eventually met my wonderful boyfriend!
    I have met a few friends through my running group too.
    Cilla recently posted…Green Breakfast Smoothie.My Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      August 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      Welcome here Cilla! Meetup is a great concept…best thing ever! Thanks heaps for sharing your story and making me feel a lot more positive about it as well! 🙂

  • Cilla
    August 15, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Hi, I found your blog via Carly’s.
    I agree with all of these points.
    I went through a divorce a couple of years ago. All of my friends were having babies. I went the meetup route too, as I just felt so lonely. I googled “meeting new people and there it was. It was a godsend
    Anywho, I made a few friends and I eventually met my wonderful boyfriend!
    I have met a few friends through my running group too.
    Cilla recently posted…Green Breakfast Smoothie.My Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      August 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      Welcome here Cilla! Meetup is a great concept…best thing ever! Thanks heaps for sharing your story and making me feel a lot more positive about it as well! 🙂

  • LiFi
    August 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I like this, I too have faced similar issues here but like you said after I started going out and be open to ideas I was able to mingle up and make some connections. Liked this ideas.

    • Psych Babbler
      August 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      I think that’s the key LiFi…to be open and get out of the house! That way we meet people and open our world. 🙂

  • LiFi
    August 15, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I like this, I too have faced similar issues here but like you said after I started going out and be open to ideas I was able to mingle up and make some connections. Liked this ideas.

    • Psych Babbler
      August 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      I think that’s the key LiFi…to be open and get out of the house! That way we meet people and open our world. 🙂

  • Janine
    August 15, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Great tips, which I highly recommend. To be honest, I’ve made more friends in my 30’s then I did in the previous 30 years, so no need to stress! Soon you might have my problem in that I need to learn to say no…

    • Psych Babbler
      August 19, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      Oh really Janine? That’s pretty good…gives me a bit of hope! Haha…let’s see if I get to a stage where I have your problem 😀

  • Janine
    August 15, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Great tips, which I highly recommend. To be honest, I’ve made more friends in my 30’s then I did in the previous 30 years, so no need to stress! Soon you might have my problem in that I need to learn to say no…

    • Psych Babbler
      August 19, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      Oh really Janine? That’s pretty good…gives me a bit of hope! Haha…let’s see if I get to a stage where I have your problem 😀

  • Vivienne
    August 16, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I’m not That close to 30 yet, but it kind of already feels like it’s difficult to make new friends at a new place, especially when you’re not in college anymore. Loved your post! I don’t have a lot of insight, experience or suggestions to share, but I did enjoy reading this 🙂
    Vivienne recently posted…One Ingredient Ice CreamMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      August 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      I think when we study we don’t realise just how easy it is to meet people and make friends…and once we’re done, that’s when it hits us. Glad you enjoyed this post! 🙂

  • Vivienne
    August 16, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I’m not That close to 30 yet, but it kind of already feels like it’s difficult to make new friends at a new place, especially when you’re not in college anymore. Loved your post! I don’t have a lot of insight, experience or suggestions to share, but I did enjoy reading this 🙂
    Vivienne recently posted…One Ingredient Ice CreamMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      August 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      I think when we study we don’t realise just how easy it is to meet people and make friends…and once we’re done, that’s when it hits us. Glad you enjoyed this post! 🙂

  • Grace
    August 16, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Having always moved around, I’ve always had to make new friends. I do believe the older we get, the harder it is. This is why I love blogging so much. I’ve built this fantastic support network over the past 2 years and I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of gal pals.
    Grace recently posted…FYBF – The Birthday Indulgence Series Pt.2 {$200 Big W Giveaway}My Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      August 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      Thanks for sharing your views Grace…I do love blogging but I’m yet to make the virtual connections into real life ones. Hopefully it will happen some day! 🙂

  • Grace
    August 16, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Having always moved around, I’ve always had to make new friends. I do believe the older we get, the harder it is. This is why I love blogging so much. I’ve built this fantastic support network over the past 2 years and I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of gal pals.
    Grace recently posted…FYBF – The Birthday Indulgence Series Pt.2 {$200 Big W Giveaway}My Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      August 19, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      Thanks for sharing your views Grace…I do love blogging but I’m yet to make the virtual connections into real life ones. Hopefully it will happen some day! 🙂

  • Avada Kedavra
    August 17, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Can totally relate to what you are saying. Other than my grad friends and few workplace buddies, I hardly made any good friends once I landed in US. None of my undergrad or school friends are here 🙁 It is definitely difficult to make friends once you are nearing 30.
    Avada Kedavra recently posted…Race for commentsMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      August 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Ava you should definitely try Meetup. Great place to meet people with similar interests. It’s across the world. I think once you stop studying, making friends becomes so much harder…

  • Avada Kedavra
    August 17, 2013 at 6:40 am

    Can totally relate to what you are saying. Other than my grad friends and few workplace buddies, I hardly made any good friends once I landed in US. None of my undergrad or school friends are here 🙁 It is definitely difficult to make friends once you are nearing 30.
    Avada Kedavra recently posted…Race for commentsMy Profile

    • Psych Babbler
      August 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Ava you should definitely try Meetup. Great place to meet people with similar interests. It’s across the world. I think once you stop studying, making friends becomes so much harder…

  • Pip (Bub Sweat and Tears)
    August 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    what a great idea for a post. speaking of meet ups are you in Melbourne? I’ll check your profile out, but there’s a great trivia night coming up 🙂 will share this when I get back from gym 😉
    Pip (Bub Sweat and Tears) recently posted…12WBT – 1 Week – Still Alive – JustMy Profile

  • Pip (Bub Sweat and Tears)
    August 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    what a great idea for a post. speaking of meet ups are you in Melbourne? I’ll check your profile out, but there’s a great trivia night coming up 🙂 will share this when I get back from gym 😉
    Pip (Bub Sweat and Tears) recently posted…12WBT – 1 Week – Still Alive – JustMy Profile

  • Psych Babbler
    August 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Welcome here Pip! Sadly, not in Melbourne but in Sydney. Sigh. Occasionally wondered if it would have been easier to make friends in Melbourne where so much seems to be happening. But Melbourne weather keeps me away! 😛

  • Psych Babbler
    August 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Welcome here Pip! Sadly, not in Melbourne but in Sydney. Sigh. Occasionally wondered if it would have been easier to make friends in Melbourne where so much seems to be happening. But Melbourne weather keeps me away! 😛

  • Rah
    August 21, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I think I need to join meetup – never heard of it!
    I’ve been realising lately that I need to develop my circle of friends. Most of mine live too far away or are too caught up with their own lives (read: kids!). You’ve inspired me to maybe try this out!
    Rah recently posted…The victimMy Profile

  • Rah
    August 21, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I think I need to join meetup – never heard of it!
    I’ve been realising lately that I need to develop my circle of friends. Most of mine live too far away or are too caught up with their own lives (read: kids!). You’ve inspired me to maybe try this out!
    Rah recently posted…The victimMy Profile

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