I have no friends. I spend my weekends alone. My phone notifications are nonexistent.
Meeting new people as an adult is difficult. It’s hard for me to find people with similar interests, people who make me feel comfortable, people who are open to making new friends.
If you are anything like me, you need to put yourself out there more. You need to find a circle of people to support you. In order for that to happen, you need to break out of your comfort zone today.
Here are a few ways to improve your social life, so you will never be able to say, “I have no friends” again:
Curing, the I have no friends problem…
1. Sign up for meet-up apps.
There are dating apps like Bumble where you can alter your settings to look for friendships instead of relationships. There are other apps, like Vina and Meet My Dog, which are meant for making friends. You can list what you are looking for (whether it’s a workout partner or a drinking buddy or a travel companion) and swipe until you find someone who shares your interests.
2. Buy more event tickets.
Don’t be afraid to attend events on your own. See concerts. Watch movies. Enjoy stand-up comedians and magicians and Broadway shows. While you’re on line waiting to enter the venue, you’ll meet people with the same taste. If you let them know you are there alone, they might even invite you to join their group.
3. Post more on social media.
On Facebook, you can add when you are interested in events. Friends will see which events you choose and might invite you to go along with them. You can also post statuses about how you are looking to make plans for a certain night or how you are looking for someone to see a specific concert with you. Be vocal about what you want.
4. Sign up for educational classes.
Take kickboxing classes at the gym. Join a book club at your local library. Go to paint nights or trivia nights at your favorite bar. Place yourself in social situations where you are encouraged to interact with the people around you. They can easily go from classmates to close friends.
5. Carry around conversation starters.
Avoid walking around with earphones blasting music or your head deep in a book because people will assume you do not want to be bothered. Encourage others to approach you by wearing band t-shirts, sports jerseys, or fandom shirts. You should also keep an eye out for others wearing logos. If they are wearing a Marvel shirt and you’re a fan too, you have the perfect excuse to start a conversation.
6. Tag along to events with family members.
When your cousins or siblings or even your parents are invited to a party, see if they will take you along with them. Once you are there, don’t shadow the person you already know the entire night. Mingle. Talk to new people. You might make friends with the child of a family friend or with the waitress serving your food.
7. Use your pet as a talking piece.
Walk your dog around the block and make polite conversation with neighbors as they mow and water their lawns. Bring your dog to a park and talk to other owners while he runs around in the grass. If you have children, then you could use a similar technique. Gather a group for a play date and pour wine for their parents in the kitchen so you are making new friends at the same time as your little one.
8. Attend more work functions.
If a coworker invites you to grab drinks with a group at the end of the week, say yes even if you aren’t going to order anything. If your company has a fantasy football league or annual Oscar viewing parties, take part in the fun. Get involved in your workplace. Do not ignore your coworkers as soon as work hours end.
9. Join online communities.
Find something you are passionate about — gardening, crocheting, traveling, running marathons — and then find forums where you can discuss that passion. You could even find a group of people who watch the same YouTubers as you or who suffer from the same health problems as you. Use anything you have in common to your advantage.
10. Have conversations while doing daily chores.
Kill two birds with one stone. Whenever you leave the house to cross a chore off your to-do list, use it as an opportunity to have a conversation with someone new. Talk to the person sitting next to you at the nail salon, at the hair salon, at the dentist, and at the DMV. Some people will not want to talk, but others will click with you right away.
11. Create a consistent routine.
If you visit the gym at the same time each morning or go grocery shopping on the same day each week, you are going to run into familiar faces. You can start by acknowledging each other with a smile and work your way up to having fun, lighthearted conversations.
12. Take advantage of social media.
On Instagram, use the location function to search for people who have taken pictures in your town so you can follow their accounts. When you see a Facebook post from someone you met in high school who you wish you knew better, leave a comment. When you come across someone hilarious on Twitter, slide into their DMs to pay them a compliment. Start more conversations. Make more introductions.
13. Do volunteer work.
Volunteer at soup kitchens or animal shelters in your area. It will give you the chance to interact with a new set of people. Even if it takes you a while to make friends, you will be helping your community in the process.
14. Keep up with events in your neighborhood.
If there is a town parade to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day or Thanksgiving, stand on the sidewalk and mingle with your neighbors. If the fire department is having a fundraiser, help out with the baking. Keep yourself involved in your community.
15. Meet friends of friends.
If you have lost touch with friends who have moved away, reach out to them to see if they can play matchmaker. They might have other friends in the same town they think you would get along with well.