It can be hard to make new friends as an adult. Gone are the days of making a best friend after splitting Dunkaroos on the playground.
Even if it feels impossible to make human connections after years of organized social events like school, sports, and college groups, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
If the Grinch could make it down the mountain and find new friends, you can too! And, you don’t even have to get over the whole “being green and furry” hurdle.
Here are the best 13 tips from Reddit on how to make friends as an adult, even if you don’t drink. Alcohol, we mean. Water is still pretty important.
Responses have been edited for clarity.
How to Make Friends as An Adult
“I highly recommend volunteering! I moved to Philly two years ago and immediately started volunteering at a local non-profit queer bookstore. I made a bunch of friends like me and really got connected to the community. I have a lot of social anxiety, and having a clear objective and working in the store helped ease that.” – u/blergflergflurgen
2. Get into your hobbies.
“If you like doing things with your hands(wood/metal work/fabrics, etc…), electronics, or programming, hacker/makerspaces are great. They usually have themed events and classes, as well as social events. That’s where I made my current friends when I moved to a new city.” – u/worldspawn00
“I’m 35. In the last 10 years I can honestly say I have 1 or 2 friends that I’ve kept close contact with. I started getting back into collecting sports cards right before the pandemic hit, and by sharing my passion through Instagram, I have made probably at least 20 (online) friends and a few local friends now that I talk to every day. And not just about our favorite hobby.” – u/TryMyBalut
3. More specifically, Dungeons & Dragons.
“Dungeon and dragons! “Best way to find friends. Went from two to twenty in a couple of months. The first couple of times bring some goodies, if you want to grease the wheels.” – u/Gernia
“Something about playing a character takes a burden away from the whole social side of things and makes it easier to just be wacky with people, at least from my experience.” – u/idontdobots
4. Put in the time.
“I’m a travel nurse and I travel to different cities for work. I don’t try too hard to make real friends, but I consistently show up ready to be engaging and positive. By the time I move on to my next hospital people are usually emotional about my departure. My best advice would be consistency and positivity. You’ll draw friends to you.” – u/Big_Life
“Studies have shown that literally the way to make a friend is basically just to spend time with someone. That’s why you make so many friends when you’re younger. Don’t let hobbies and stuff die out just because you’re older.” – u/scienceguy2442
5. Get creative with websites and apps.
“I started inviting people from online dating sites who said they were looking for friends to play D&D. Some of them were actually looking for friends. I also started a fencing group in my area and advertised it in relevant Facebook groups. A few people showed up and now we occasionally do things that aren’t fencing related.” – u/shroom2021
“The app Slowly. It’s an app who acts like a meeting app, except that everything works as if you were sending real letters. You can receive them from all over the world, and 99% of people use it to make friends. You enter in your hobbies, maybe put in the countries, gender, age of the people you want to talk to, and there you go! It’s too much work for scammers, so everyone is genuine. I can never not recommend it.” – u/vivalnii
6. Get a dog.
“Not a small house dog, but a mid-to-large active breed. It’s the best friend you’ll ever have, and you can go hiking with it, go to dog parks, and many other social activities that will help you meet other people with similar interests.” – w/b2enemi
7. Take initiative in planning hang outs.
“Years ago I looked at my friend group and realized that we’d all been brought together by one person who was a natural organizer and constantly came up with ideas for activities. Nothing special, just walks, kayak trips, cinema visits, that sort of thing.
Some time later I wanted to form a new group of friends and realized that I had to switch from being the person who looks to others to arrange, to doing it myself. And guess what? It worked.
Most people are happy to be given something to do, and they will form groups around people that come up with activities.” – u/irrealewunsche
8. Go virtual.
“Play social video games. Just having a regular group of randoms in a server regularly is nice. I play a racing game and the others are typically all from other countries, but text chat is fun and it’s at least interaction with people I don’t live with.” – u/BurnDownTheSides
9. Reach out at work.
“I know everyone’s workplace is different, but through work you can make some nice friends. Sit with people at lunch hour instead of eating at your desk or in your car. Chat to people during the work day and find out things about them. Then, when you build up a bit of friendliness ask them if they’d like to go for lunch or a coffee after work and so forth.” – u/LasRua
10. Get a part-time gig.
“I got a part time night job at a comedy club when I didn’t even need the money, just to see free shows and made a ton of friends. I got to meet Kevin Hart and Bob Saget, too.” – u/Soviet_Fax_Machine
11. If you are sober, consider joining AA or another group.
“My best friends and almost my entire social circle are from AA. Visiting a new town? AA. The meeting and dinner fellowship afterwards is the quickest way to get the lowdown on good local spots, invites to events, and instant-acquaintances-that-can-turn-to-lasting-friendships.” u/Keeganwherefore
“If you have substance abuse and/or mental health issues, recovery groups or group therapy is a really immediate way to meet people. You’re in a room of other people who have similar problems, which brings an obvious topic of conversation so it’s not too awkward. And, it’s a way to actually be a little vulnerable with strangers, which builds the friendship bonds really quickly.” – u/level 2 deetsneak
13. And finally, use Reddit.
If someone in a niche subreddit you’re into happens to mention they live in your city, just go, “Hey! I live there too! Want to meet up?” The more niche the sub, the higher chance of making friends. – u/eraser_dust
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