Friendship Friendship: The Gist The Benefits of Friendship Friendship Myths Types of Friends Connection Reflection Looking Inward Nurture Exiting Friendships New Friendships Social Skills Understanding Community Building Community Friendship Practice and Exercises Friendship Resources

When connecting with someone you already know or meeting a stranger, are you intentional with how you show up? Every meeting is an opportunity for connection. Read on to see how to take advantage of every interaction.

Our social circle changes every seven years.¹

According to a Dutch study, which surveyed about 1,000 dutch citizens aged 18 to 72, we lose half of our close network members every seven years. Whether it be changing jobs, moving cities, or just “being busy,” friendships tend to come and go, and that’s ok (and completely normal)!

The study was part of a larger project called “Where friends are made. Contexts, Contacts, Consequences.” The project found little correlation between where/how we meet people and the amount of connections made. However, the study did find a correlation between the number of opportunities to meet people and the amount of connections made.1 In short, it doesn’t largely matter where you meet new friends, but the more opportunities you give yourself to meet new people, the more new connections you will make.

Choosing Friends

“But how does one refine the ponderation sieve through which one admits into one’s soul the few who count?” – Kahlil Gibran

New Friends | Pinegrove

Real Friends | Camila Cabello

We’re Going To Be Friends | The White Stripes

What kind of friend are you looking for???

The idea of “friend dating” has taken rise in recent years, meaning “dating around” to find friends who fit what we are looking for.

You may be thinking, “Dating to find a romantic partner is hard enough! Now I have to go on dates to find friends too?? Why can’t friendship just happen naturally with the person I met in line at the grocery store today??” 

It can! Just like romantic partnerships, it is completely possible a chance meeting will happen to fill exactly what fits without any effort from you.

The downside here is when we leave finding friends up to chance, we are not in control of the opportunities we have to make friends. A chance meeting in the grocery store may never happen, leading to a very lonely existence.

Having an idea of what kind of friend you are looking for can help narrow down the search.

The Types of Friends page is full of exercises and reflections to try to evaluate your existing network of friends. In evaluating the friends we already have, we can start to form an idea of what kind of friend it may be useful to add to our network. The Friendship Inventory can also be a helpful tool in evaluating existing friendships. If you haven’t already, take a moment to explore the Types of Friends page then try the exercises below:

Where were your gaps in your friendship circles?

Which of the taxonomies were missing from your life?

When we look for new friends, we may not always be looking for a BFF companion. Sometimes, you may notice your “pretty good friends” network is sparse, so you may look to add some friends to your group.

Friendship is not one size fits all.

One woman interviewed for this New York Times article said “I take an extremely efficient approach and seek out like-minded folks to fill very specific needs; I have a cocktail friend and a book friend and a parenting friend and several basketball friends and a neighbor friend and a workout friend.” 3

While defining a lot of specific roles and finding perfect fit works for some people, the categorization approach may feel overwhelming to others. In our modern, busy lives, we desire efficiency. Wouldn’t it be easiest to have one pal who is the cocktail friend AND the book friend AND the parenting friend?

Unfortunately, trying to find one person who will fill all friendship roles can end up putting undue pressure on a single person to be a superhuman for us, which probably won’t end well. It will turn out much lower results and could be disappointing.

Instead, start broad and meet a bunch of new people, then narrow it down to a few you choose to invest more time into.

Create a Wishlist

One way we can be intentional about the connections we are making is to create an actual wishlist for friendships we want to foster in our lives. Take the reflections and exercises from the models above and then fill out your own Friendship Wishlist to set your intentions and find meaning in your connections.

Print your own wishlist template here.

My Ideal Friend is…*

Write down all the qualities you are looking for in a friend (or community).


  • Sense of Humor
  • Active
  • Creative
  • Organized
  • Likes cats
  • Empathetic
  • Smart
  • Spontaneous

My Ideal Friend is Not…

Qualities that are not for you or you think are bad.


  • Very particular
  • Money/success Oriented
  • Pessimistic
  • Aggressive
  • Lacking ambition
  • Cliche
  • Drug user
  • Flaky

Ways I Strive to be a Good Friend…

Think back to when you were Looking Inward. Be honest and think about how you want to show up. These may be qualities you don’t embody yet but wish to work towards.


  • Good Listener
  • Open minded
  • Patient
  • Confident

I’m Looking for a Friend I Can…

Have fun with, be vulnerable with, call when I have a problem, collaborate with, talk through things with, etc…

*Disclaimer* If you make a list of 50 ideal traits, expect a friend to meet about 10 of them. Holding the expectation of a magical friend showing up and being your 100% ideal may be disappointing and force you to have thicker blinders on when meeting new people.

Keep an Open Mind

As noted in the disclaimer above, while it is helpful to have some qualities in mind you are wanting a new friend to embody, keeping an open mind when you meet new people is so important. Not meeting your list of expectations doesn’t always mean the friendship won’t happen.

Have curiosity when meeting someone new. If you don’t automatically sync, don’t automatically shut down. It is important to go in with an open mind thinking you could be friends with anyone. It can take time to get comfortable with another person (research shows it takes about 90 hours spent with someone to become friends! 4 ) Making friends with co-workers or people in close proximity is often the easiest way to make a new friend since the time commitment is already there.

There is also less pressure on friends to be the “perfect match” and not meeting certain criteria doesn’t have the high stakes or negative connotations as it does if a romantic partner or interest doesn’t meet certain criteria.

Some Example Scenarios:

Anita decided to go to a trivia event at a local brewery hoping to meet a new friend who was single and interested in going to events with her so she didn’t have to go alone anymore. She ended up having a great conversation with Heather, who wasn’t into beer or trivia and was only there because her partner ran the trivia game. Anita was closed off to only meeting a friend who was single because she didn’t want to end up at the third wheel all the time. So, when Heather said, “We should get together sometime!” Anita politely said “Yes! We definitely should!” with no intention of ever getting together with Heather. Anita still goes to trivia events alone and sometimes smiles at Heather from across the brewery.

Roommates Eric and Lee were packing up Lee’s car to go camping that weekend when their neighbor, Tom, walked past and started chatting with them about where they were going. Eventually, Tom asked if he could join them. Eric and Lee had planned a weekend trip into the woods to chill out and have a good time and were not expecting to have another person join them, but Tom seemed nice enough so they invited him along. Although Lee and Eric were not looking to add another person to their tight-knit friendship, Tom ended up meshing perfectly well with them while challenging them to try new things and keep an open mind.

Ivonne was the first in her friend group to have a baby. She always said she would stand by her friends and continue to make an effort to connect with them after she had her baby. She wasn’t going to be one of those moms who are only friends with other moms. At first, she did make an effort, but after a while, all her friends wanted to do was go out to bars in the evening when she needed to be home for bedtime. Eventually, she couldn’t keep up anymore. She decided to ask one of the other moms from preschool to grab coffee with her and they hit it off really well. With the ease of matching schedules and the understanding of Motherhood, Ivonne unexpectedly found a new connection that ended up being deeper than the friends she had had for years.

How to Meet New Friends

“Friendship happens on the way to something else. If you “try to meet new people” it feels weird and forced. The more you aim for friendship, the more it eludes you. But if you aim to learn or achieve something with others, friendship happens naturally during the shared pursuit.”
– James Clear

We’ll link to this again and again…go check it out to find activities where you can meet people!

Friendship requires us to take risks.

According to Dr. Murthy, Surgeon General of the United States and author of Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World,  “When we become chronically lonely, most of us are inclined to withdraw, whether we mean to or not, [researcher] John Cacioppo determined that our threat perception changes when we’re lonely, so we push people away and see risk and threat in benign social opportunities.”6

Sitting at home lonely can feel so much safer than putting ourselves out there into the unknown. Making new friends requires us to take emotional risks. Know that making new friends will require vulnerability, commitment, and patience, and the rewards will be immeasurable.

If you are not yet feeling up for the risks and vulnerability involved with putting yourself out there and making new friends, head to the Looking Inward page to unpack some hindrances of friendship.


New friendships are potentially scary and require us to take some risks. One way to convince ourselves to take those risks is to say “YES!” to new experiences, new people, and new friends.

In her book Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes writes about her year saying yes to all of the offers that came her way. She found the year transformational and didn’t let fear hold her back from experiences. When we set the intention of making new friends, we must commit to saying yes.

“Saying yes . . . saying yes is courage. Saying yes is the sun. Saying yes is life.”
– Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes7

Remember how easy it was to make friends as a kid?

The same ease can apply to you now!

Kid President’s Guide to Making a New Friend

“Awkward is the new awesome” — Kid President

Probably as important as saying yes is committing to the thing we said yes to.

Follow-through is important, and standing a new friend up will never make a good first impression. Make time to connect. Take action.


Ghosting is the term used when someone ends a relationship by cutting off all contact, usually without an explanation. A 2018 study reported out of the 750 people surveyed, 40% reported they had been ghosted by a friend in the past 8. The same study found ghosting had a correlation to having a fixed mindset when it came to relationships. For example, if someone believed their friendship just wasn’t meant to be, they were more likely to think ghosting was an acceptable way to end the relationship. On the contrary, someone with an open mind when it came to relationships and saw them from more of a growth perspective was more likely to say ghosting was not acceptable.

While you may not be able to control if someone ghosts you, you can control your mindset going in and decide to say yes, keep commitments, and avoid ghosting.


Start with People You Already “Know”

Like anything new, it is hard to know where to start when trying to make friends. As Carlin Flora explains in her book Friend-fluence, proximity and familiarity make us feel good and safe, so seeking out deeper friendships with those you already know could lead to a better chance of finding friends. She writes, “not only are you near and familiar to those in your yoga class, but you also have something in common: a love for, or at least a begrudging commitment to, stretching and breathing.”9

Some other examples are:

  • Work Colleagues or Peers — If you work from home, consider joining a coworking space.
  • Parents from your child’s school
  • Other dog owners at the dog park
  • Neighbors
  • People in your classes (yoga, etc)
  • A friend of a friend

Re-imagining people you see often but do not interact with as potential friends could open up your social network, and the pre-existing familiarity may take the pressure off of interacting with a stranger.

Three ways to TAKE ACTION with people you already know:

Friends of friends can make for great potential friends. You “sort of” know them, but haven’t had many 1-on-1 interactions. Now is the time! Make plans for your mutual friend to introduce you or for you all to hang out together and see where it goes.

Find a co-worker whom you like but haven’t hung out with yet outside of work. Go ahead and ask them to do something. You may feel scared or like it’s risky, but take the plunge! Make plans and follow through. The plans could be small like grabbing a drink after work or planning an adventure for a day off. Try not to talk about work and get to know them. Even if the person doesn’t seem like BFF material, having a closer connection to someone at work can make going to work more enjoyable.

For parents: 

Get to your child’s school event (concert, play, PTA meeting, etc)  a few minutes early and say hello to another parent you recognize who is also waiting. Introduce yourself and find something in common with them. As time passes and you see the same parents at the same events, having introduced yourself will go a long way to forming a connection.

Need some help starting the conversation? Head to the Social Skills page for some tips!

Need some ideas of what to do? Use the random friend date generator below!

Meet Your Neighbors


“I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you

I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So let’s make the most of this beautiful day

Since we’re together, we might as well say

Would you be mine?

Could you be mine?

Won’t you be my neighbor?”

A global study taking surveys in the US, UK, and Australia in 2020 found knowing at least 6 of your neighbors reduces feelings of loneliness.10 Unfortunately, most people (especially younger adults) have reported only knowing a couple of their neighbors.

According to a 2018 survey, 15% of Americans aged 30 – 49 reported knowing none of their neighbors and 57% reported knowing only some of their neighbors.11

Globally, there is a similar trend:

  • In a 2017 study in the UK, 12.5% of those surveyed said they know none of the names of their closest neighbors.12
  • 40% of Canadians only know one or two of their neighbors according to Nextdoor.
  • An ABC Radio Melbourne article reported older Australians tend to know more of their neighbors than younger Australians, and about a third of those surveyed didn’t know their neighbors at all.13
  • In France, 19% of those surveyed reported having a “rather bad”, “very bad”, or “nonexistent” relationship with their neighbors.14

Co-Housing architect Grace Kim says in a TED talk that living in community, or simply taking a walk and sharing a meal with a neighbor can be an antidote for isolation.15

If you’ve lived in the same place for a while and haven’t met any neighbors yet, chances are, by not prioritizing meeting them, you’ll continue to not know them.

Meeting a neighbor isn’t a priority we want to leave to chance encounters.

7 Ways to TAKE ACTION and Meet Your Neighbors:

  • Connect online or find neighborhood events with apps/websites like Nextdoor.
  • Say “Hello,” to neighbors you see in the street/hallway.
  • Ask for a recommendation — “Do you know a good place to get coffee around here?”
  • Hang out outside or in community spaces — that is what they are there for!
  • Walk your dog/kids/cat/self around the neighborhood regularly — you’ll start to see familiar people and you will become familiar to them too.
  • Take your pet to the dog park. Don’t have a dog? Take your parrot! Let your pet meet people for you — research shows dogs can help break anxiety and tension in social situations.16 If you don’t have a dog, say “hi” to other people’s dogs and strike up a conversation that way.
  • Throw a party or cook a meal. Invite your neighbors, ask them to bring a side or dessert or drinks, and voila — neighborhood mixer potluck!


Join an Existing Class, Group, or Club

According to Carlin Flora, author of Friend-fluence, “shared activities are fonts for friendship” 9. So, joining a club or class you are interested in is the perfect way to find new people. The great thing is you already know you have one interest in common (whatever the class is about) and you can use that as a jumping-off point. Not only might you find some people to be friends with, but you may also find community.

TAKE ACTION: Ideas for Classes/Groups/Clubs to Join

Active Creative Off the Wall Misc.
Gym Membership Art Class DnD Campaign/ Group Book Club
Yoga Class Dance Lessons Boardgame Meetup Groups Language Class
Kickboxing Class Ukulele Club Battle Reenactment club DnD Campaign
Running Club Photography Course Cheese Tasting Club Gardening Club
Roller Skating Club Poetry Slams Kazoo Club Volunteering
Spin Class Improv Class Scooter or Segway club Veterans Org.
Bowling (any sport) League Open Mic Night Any Off the wall Hobby you can think of (Sword Fighting, Reptile Club, Archery Club) Bible Study/Religious Club
Martial Arts Community Theatre Paranormal Research Group Self Defense or CPR Class
Hiking Club Cooking Class Pokemon Go Weekly Adventure Tai Chi Group

Find even more ideas on the Megalist of where to meet people.

  • Find the Local hang out for people you identify with — i.e. the local gay bar, the bar that plays the sports games you like, the park where people rock climb, or the coffee shop where artists sketch.
  • Attend local events — Art fairs, farmers markets, food fests, etc…
  • Go to a convention or Festival (see Megalist) — If you don’t have anyone to go with, don’t be afraid to go alone!

Search Tools For Finding Events and Groups/Classes in Your Area


  • Weekly alternative/local papers — most places will have a local paper or a paper specifically dedicated to events/things to do
  • Walking around your city
  • Posters at the coffee shop/deli/shop
  • Start paying attention to flyers and bulletin boards everywhere
  • Libraries
  • Bars, restaurants, and cafes
  • People you know
  • Go to larger community events (Like a farmers market or summer festival) and collect flyers from the performers or booths there.

Online (Local Listings)

  • Search engines
    • A logical place to start. You can search for things like:
    • (your city) event listings
    • (your city) dance lessons, softball leagues, etc…
    • (your town) volunteer opportunities
    • (your city) concert venues
    • “Things to do in _______”
  • Facebook/Social Media Groups
  • The websites of venues that hold events
  • Local Reddit Page
  • Local Craigslist
  • University’s listing of clubs, teams, and organizations
  • Community center or community agency websites
  • Your town’s official website
  • Travel guides
  • Through a specific organization’s website
  • Following venues on sites like Facebook or Twitter

Where Was the Last Place You Met a Friend?

“I recently met a new friend while volunteering with the Red Cross.”
— Holly, 61
“I met my most recent friend at work… that is where I meet all my friends”
— Samantha, 28
“I met a new friend at a professional development conference for educators.”
— Aaron, 36

CREATE A NEW Class, Group or Club

Do something, offer something, or teach people something you know. Chances are if you are into something, there are people out there interested in learning it or doing it with you, and chances are these are folks you’d like to meet as well.

  • Pick any club, group, festival, or event listed above or on our megalist of places to meet people. OR, think of any hobby you enjoy that may not be in the “normal” scope of interests (i.e., Hula Hooping).
  • Start with a small meetup at a local public place like a park. Post on local Facebook groups, invite a few friends and see who shows up, you may be surprised!
  • Make a plan for weekly or monthly meetups to gradually get the ball rolling on your new club.

Stories of New Friendships

Speed Friending

An Austrian man starts a monthly “speed friending” event to meet new people after moving to Vienna. The event has grown to over 100 participants and is a stress-free way to meet new people in the area.

Speed Friending Interview – Why attend our Events?

Free Coffee

A blogger named Aubrey moved to a new city and didn’t know anyone. She set out with a goal to meet new people by buying them a cup of coffee. She started a website, posted it on social media, and met over 92 new friends in the city where she lived. She sat down with each person and asked them their story. Not only was she able to make connections with new people from all walks of life, but she was also able to find out more about her city that she wouldn’t necessarily be able to search for online. Aubrey used technology as a tool to get out there and meet new people.

Take a Seat, Make a Friend

SoulPancake hits the streets to see what happens when two strangers sit in a ball pit… and talk about life’s big questions. With questions to encourage getting to know each other provided, strangers find they have more in common then they may think.

Strangers Try to Make New Friends in a Ball Pit | Sit in Our Pit

Making Friends–Short Film

A young boy and his dad move to a new place, and the boy bonds with a new friend over a love of comics.


Use Technology and Social Media as a Tool

Technology can help us stay connected with friends and family far away and can be a useful tool in finding new people to hang out with. There are TONS of ways to connect online, and more platforms are being added all the time.

According to We Are Social, 3.8 billion people use social media worldwide.17 All potential friends waiting to be connected!

Technology can offer ways to meet new people we wouldn’t normally cross paths with, take the pressure off of awkward first meetings, and allow for common interests to be shared. Most apps have proximity settings, so you can meet people who actually live near you. There are even online clubs and virtual meetups so you can get to know people from the comfort of your home.

Technology can also be used as a tool to set up real-life connections.

More Online Resources for Finding New Friends:

The Story of the MAF App

How a sister created the Making Authentic Friendships app in honor of her brother.

Making Authentic Friendships – Friendship “dating” app designed specifically for individuals with special needs based on their geolocation, diagnosis, age, and interests.

Again, go check it out!

3 Keys to Cultivating a New Friendship

Research shows it takes around 90 hours spent together to become friends and 200 hours to become close friends.4

In other words, to make a new friend, that is…

  • Almost two years of weekly, hour-long yoga classes.
  • An hour-long coffee date every day for three months.
  • Approximately 15 Saturday adventures.
  • A continuous road trip from Anchorage, Alaska to Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Five trips on the longest flight in the world (New York to Singapore — 18.6 hours).

Making friends takes time, patience, and some perseverance.

1. Take the lead

Most people will wait for the other to initiate a conversation or interaction. By taking the lead, we won’t be leaving a new friendship to chance.

  • Be the first to text someone when you get their number.
  • Schedule a second meeting and make plans there and then.
  • Instead of “We should hang out sometime,” try: ‘When are you next free? Let’s make a plan now.”
  • Initiate conversation when you recognize someone in public.

2. Don’t be a Stranger

Research says check in every 2 weeks at least, and reciprocate the friend’s efforts.18

  • Call or text them back — avoid ghosting!
  • Return favors. Asking for help from a new friend can be a great bonding experience, but if we are asking for help too often without any reciprocity, it can go too far. Be sure to return favors and avoid coming on too strong.
  • Do fun things together that are memorable and can create new shared experiences (See below for ideas!)
  • Text them a picture of something that reminded you of them or an inside joke.

Think about day-to-day things you may be able to do with them — for example, invite them to come to the gym with you, walk the dog with you, or be a grocery shopping buddy. Fit connection time into your busy schedule by doubling up.


According to Kat Vellos, author of We Should Get Together, one of the best things you can do to ensure success with a new friend is to pick an unusual activity you and your friends haven’t done before.19

Pull together someone you know well, someone you know a little bit, and someone you barely know at all but really like and pick an activity to do together.

Random Activity Generator!!!


  • Send each other handwritten letters/notes
  • Make each other handmade/meaningful gifts
  • Express gratitude
  • Enrich your conversations and talk about the tough stuff
  • Attend a lecture by an unfamiliar speaker on an unusual topic at an unfamiliar place
  • Go to an exhibit for an unfamiliar artist
  • Play a new board game together
  • Go see a new play or musician together
  • Make your own pub trivia team and play
  • Do a scavenger Hunt together (find an online scavenger hunt for your city)
  • Try a new off the wall hobby together like bird watching


  • Take a dance class none of you have tried before, e.g. Afrobeat, Bhangra, Pole, Zydeco
  • Volunteer together to help an organization none of you are familiar with
  • Travel
  • Go to an amusement park you’ve never been to (Like Holiday World)
  • Go for a morning hike to see the sunrise
  • Do a high-intensity activity like skydiving, ziplining, or paintballing
  • Geocaching
  • Do a themed 5k or Fun Run race
  • Go to a trampoline park and act like kids
  • Search “things to do in ____” and do one of the tourist-y things you haven’t done

Unconventional / Wacky

  • Take the strangest cooking class you can find
  • Go to an art class or workshop that’s new for all of you, like pinhole camera making, ceramics, puppet-making, screen-printing, or glass blowing
  • Be a spectator at a random game
  • Go to a meetup for something you’ve never heard of
  • Get off the train somewhere you’ve never been and take a neighborhood discovery walk
  • Go to a concert for a band none of you has ever seen live before
  • Visit a music shop and play around on unusual instruments
  • Go to a protest or demonstration
  • Go to an Ax Throwing or Archery Range
  • Search the website Atlas Obscura and find a unique place to explore in your city

3. Be Vulnerable

Ever feel like you have 100 surface-level friends but you can never seem to dig deeper with them? Sometimes vulnerability can be what is lacking.

Does that mean pouring your innermost thoughts out during the first meeting to ensure deep friendship? No, not necessarily. Start small, or you run the risk of coming on too strong.

The more time you spend together, the more the quality of that time grows, and thus allows for more vulnerability. It may feel less scary to start if you ask some questions that get the friend to open up a bit or bring up something you had discussed in a previous encounter.


  • “How did that presentation at work go? You seemed nervous about it…”
  • “I really admire _____ about you, where does that come from?”
  • “I’ve been thinking about ____ since the last time we hung out, what did you think of it?”
  • “I have to admit, meeting new people causes me anxiety, how do you feel about it?”
  • “I really need to get out of the house today, do you have any ideas?”

It may not feel vulnerable to get them talking, and now they have shared, you can feel less afraid to share your experience. Start with:  “That reminds me of…” or “I totally get that, I …” and see where the conversation goes.

How to Have a Good Conversation

Check out the section on Vulnerability here:

SchoolOfLife offers some tips on how to steer conversations to foster vulnerability.

“Strength may be impressive, but it’s vulnerability that builds friendships.”

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

– Dale Carnegie

Need more tips on fostering deep conversations with insightful questions?

TAKE ACTION: 7 Things to Try THIS WEEK to Meet a New Friend

“ When you’re an adult, friendship doesn’t happen organically because you aren’t in many spaces with continual unplanned interaction and shared vulnerability. If you’re passive about making friends, you won’t make any. You need to make a deliberate effort to meet new people.”

Marisa G Franco20

  • Bring Your Lunch — Pack a lunch from home and plan to eat at work. Invite colleagues to join you and have an office picnic or gathering in the break room.
  • Exercise — Go to the gym, do a spin class, try a new sport, etc. Get out of the house and
  • Arrive Early — meetings, classes, etc… arriving early allows you to introduce yourself and get to know the people around you a bit before getting down to business.
  • Say Thanks — write a thoughtful note to a colleague, neighbor, etc… Someone who did something nice for you. It can also be out of the blue like “Thanks for always brightening my day!”
  • Volunteer — From passing out water at a marathon to picking up trash along the river, there are likely hundreds of volunteer opportunities near you. Pick something you are excited about and introduce yourself to the fellow volunteers.
  • Attend an Event — Say yes to the work convention, a random festival in your town, or live shows near you. Don’t be afraid to go alone and keep an open mind to people you meet there.
  • Host an event — From a small virtual happy hour, to a bike ride around the neighborhood, to a dinner party–the level of planning and involvement is up to you, the important thing is it gets people together and leaves space for connection. Invite neighbors, friends, and their friends, or anyone you can think of!

If you read this page, glanced at the exercises, and thought, “Nah, I don’t need to do that,” go back, say YES, and commit to building deep connections with new people. 


  • Keep an open mind — When you try new things, keep an open mind about people you meet — you never know who might be a potential friend!
  • Start with people you know — With the ease of close proximity or time already spent together, the easiest friends to make are by building a deeper connection with acquaintances we already know.
  • Don’t leave things to chance — Take control of making new connections! Choose to make connections rather than wait for connections.
  • Check in — reciprocate other’s actions, call or text people first, and make plans — avoid the “We should get together sometime” vortex where plans never get planned.
  • Be vulnerable — deep connections come from deep conversations and sharing.
  • Try new things — say yes! Take risks! Adventure!
  • Use technology and search tools — Use all resources to your benefit to find new things to try and new places to go.

Friendship Friendship: The Gist The Benefits of Friendship Friendship Myths Types of Friends Connection Reflection Looking Inward Nurture Exiting Friendships New Friendships Social Skills Understanding Community Building Community Friendship Practice and Exercises Friendship Resources

Additional Resources:

Title/Link Description Key Takeaways
Books Hey Friend: 100 Ways to Connect with 100 People in 100 Days Keisha Mabry
Geared towards (and written by) the younger generation, this book takes a modern look at the reality of being a 20 -30 something and trying to connect.
Use 100 creative techniques to curate new friendships while cultivating the friendships you already have.
We Should Get Together: The Secret to Cultivating Better Friendships Author Kat Vellos is an experience designer and founder of Better Than Small Talk. Combining expert research and personal stories pulled from conversations with hundreds of adults, We Should Get Together is the modern handbook for making and maintaining stronger friendships. The four most common challenges of adult friendship: constant relocation, full schedules, the demands of partnership and family, and our culture’s declining capacity for compassion and intimacy in the age of social media.
Here to Make Friends: How to Make Friends as an Adult: Advice to Help You Expand Your Social Circle, Nurture Meaningful Relationships, and Build a Healthier, Happier Social Life Hope Kelaher LCSW
Everyone wants to feel connected. Here to Make Friends is the perfect companion for moving past the sometimes-lonely post-school stage and into lasting, fulfilling friendships.
Skip the small talk and learn how to build a supportive community, engage with new people, and cultivate authentic, long-lasting friendships at every stage of life.
Articles How to Make Friends as an Adult Psychologist, Marisa G. Franco, gives some tips on how to make friends in adult life. “ When you’re an adult, friendship doesn’t happen organically because you aren’t in many spaces with continual unplanned interaction and shared vulnerability. If you’re passive about making friends, you won’t make any. You need to make a deliberate effort to meet new people.” 
How to Make Friends A NY Times advice column addresses how to make friends at different stages of life. “The best way to make friends is to be curious about people.”
6 Easy Ways to Make New Friends as an Adult Oprah Magazine shares some tips for making friends. “It’s as simple as swiping right or taking your dog for a walk.”
Making Friends: There’s an App for That Is online friendship-making the new online dating? Friendship apps:
Offer a new way to expand social circles.
Let you know what you have in common.
Take the pressure off.
How to Make Friends When You Don’t Have Play Dates Psychology Today’s guide to meeting and making friends as an adult. “Above all, be kind and patient with yourself.”
How to Meet New People, Even at a Distance Online and offline platforms are helping strangers form social connections, which are crucial for our health, especially in a pandemic. Science shows one way to find closeness with strangers is to “do exciting things together” and share a “feeling you have things in common.”
Loneliness isn’t inevitable – a guide to making new friends as an adult Striking up friendships can be tricky – and studies show millions of us are lonely. Here, four people who forged new connections explain how they did it. Plus: psychologist Linda Blair gives her tips More than 9 Million adults in the UK are often or always lonely.
Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Meet somewhere neutral
Don’t hold too high expectations.
Videos How Cohousing can Make us Happier (and Live Longer) Architect Grace Kim shares an age-old antidote to isolation: cohousing, a way of living where people choose to share space with their neighbors, get to know them, and look after them. Living in community, or simply taking a walk and sharing a meal with a neighbor can be an antidote for isolation.
Kid President’s Guide to Making a New Friend Kid President is on a mission to meet lots of awesome kids! What if they’re too different and we don’t get along? What if things get really, really awkward? Well, Kid President says, embrace the AWKWARD!
The Essential Truths of Friendship Catherine is the co-founder of MeetMe, the public market leader for social discovery. Friendship…
Is serendipitous.
Isn’t predictable.
Needs attention.


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