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  • How to Make Friends as an Adult

    11/14/18 1:12 PM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
    Tags: , , , , ,

    You’re busy with your family. You’re busy with your career. You’re busy taking care of your house, your lawn, your pets, your car…

    We all are – which is why it’s no wonder it’s so tough to make friends as an adult!

    As a kid, your parents and teachers helped find playmates for you. In high school and college, clubs, group activities and sports teams were crucibles for forging friendships. But now that you’re out in the real world, you don’t necessarily have the same advantages and opportunities for building new personal relationships.

    How can you stack the deck in your favor? Here are a few science-backed ideas to try:

    Make everything old new again.

    Dormant relationships can be a valuable source of knowledge and new connections. Thumb through your social accounts and message a few people you haven’t spoken to in months (or years!). Rekindle those relationships, and then ask if those people know anyone you should meet. Plan an activity, and then see if that new person can come along. Easy, right?

    Be a better listener.

    Great listening skills are essential at work, and they’re just as important in your personal life. But being an effective listener requires more than just zipping your mouth and nodding in agreement; research shows that “active listening” (i.e., asking follow-up questions that promote discovery and insight) and “trampoline listening” (i.e., adding energy to a conversation by supporting the speaker and showing enthusiasm in your responses) are two essential elements that will help you make friends.

    Make yourself vulnerable.

    You won’t build a friendship by discussing the weather; personal discussions are what forge bonds. Open up a bit and share information about yourself to show you’re willing to let down your defenses (without offering TMI, of course). Allowing yourself to be vulnerable builds trust, because it puts you at risk – and helps lay a foundation for closer personal connection. Just make sure you time self-disclosure right: too soon and you may alienate a potential friend, too late and you may miss your window.

    Join a group – or start one yourself.

    Sports. Movies. Investing. Volunteering. Books. Board games. Crafts. Wine. Dining out. Fishing. What’s your thing? Find a group that does what you do and join it. And if one doesn’t exist? Start your own! Common interests are a great springboard for launching new friendships. Get off your duff, get involved and start meeting people IRL.

    Prune the dead weight.

    Have toxic relationships that suck up your time and bring you down? Cut down or eliminate your interactions with those people, so you have more time in your life for welcoming healthier friendships.

    Need a friend in the staffing and placement industry?

    Exact Staff is just a call away. We’re friendly, great at what we do, and ready to build a relationship that supports your success.

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