The Best Way to Make (and Keep) Friends in Adulthood

There are several ways to make friends as an adult, and some adults might find that they prefer certain methods over others. The key is being honest with yourself about what you’re looking for, whether it be a friend or not-so-friendly acquaintance in your life.

When it comes to making and keeping friends, there are a lot of different ways to do so. One way is by joining in on social events that are already happening. Another way is by joining a group or club that you enjoy. Read more in detail here: where to make friends as an adult.

It’s a typical complaint that establishing friends as an adult is difficult. After college, it might seem impossible to maintain the close friendships you had as a child and to cultivate a circle of true friends rather than merely a network of casual acquaintances.

According to research, there are three methods to overcome these obstacles and forming intimate friendships: 1) geographical/physical closeness), 2) recurrent and spontaneous contacts (coming together without arranging to be together), and 3) an environment that favors vulnerability.

Starting a discussion group is one technique that meets all three conditions and is perhaps the finest approach to cultivate fulfilling connections in adulthood.

3 Benefits of Forming a Discussion Group for Friendships

A discussion group might take the shape of a book club, a Bible study, an entrepreneurial mastermind, or a themed organized bull session. Regardless, such clubs provide not just intellectual stimulation, but also three significant benefits in terms of establishing and retaining friends:

1. Avoids the cycle of planning. When you’re attempting to meet up with someone, you know how it goes: every time you see them, one of you says, “We should get out someday.” But then none of you does anything about it. Or one person follows up and recommends a time, but the other person isn’t available at that time, so the first person suggests another time, but the first person isn’t available at that time, and so on. When attempting to coordinate a group of individuals, this impact is amplified.

A discussion group will meet on a regular basis at the same time and place. Its participants are aware of the time and may organize the remainder of their day accordingly. You’ll never have to repeat the planning process once it’s set up.

2. Maintains a regular hangout. In adulthood, with busy work, active kids, and elderly family members apparently taking up the majority of your time and energy, it may suddenly and unexpectedly become months and months without seeing your pals. That’s a disappointment when you realize it; hanging out with the gang is a blast! You’ll see your buddies on a regular basis since discussion groups have a predetermined, recurring date/time. You’ll be able to see them regardless of how frequently you’re able to get together outside of the group.

3. Encourages a more in-depth discussion. Everyone knows someone they see at church, the gym, or at work. When you run into one other, you make nice small talk, but the discussion never develops to more serious themes. People feel more comfortable going beyond regular niceties and trivialities and opening up in a discussion group since the declared objective is conversation. The group’s format encourages deeper dives into more substantive issues as well as the sharing of more personal ideas and emotions.

What Is the Best Way to Begin a Discussion Group?

Decide on a theme. As previously said, a discussion group’s topic might be anything (that promotes conversation): religion, business, novels, and so on.   

 

Make a timetable for yourself. Aim to meet at least once a month and no more than once a week. Personally, I believe that every other week is the sweet spot in terms of fitting into people’s schedules but yet seeming new. Kate and I are members of all-girls and all-guys scripture study groups that meet every other week; because the members of each group represent one-half of married couples with children, they are able to participate without the need for a babysitter (i.e., the ladies stay home the week the dudes’ group meets, and the dudes stay home the week the ladies’ group meets). Both groups meet on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m., so the sessions don’t interfere with people’s bedtimes or work schedules. It’s also good to have something pleasant to look forward to on Thursday evenings when the weekend is quickly approaching. The groups meet in members’ homes on a rotating basis, albeit not everyone hosts; some people’s homes are just not suited to it.

On the other hand, the Great Books book club, of which I am also a member, meets just once a month, which is ideal for this group since it takes that long to read the lengthy books that will be discussed!

Except for a brief halt during the pandemic’s trough, both groups have continued to meet in person, but now outside/on porches. During the summer, the scripture study groups take a hiatus since too many individuals travel out of town to maintain excellent attendance.

Keep the time/date sacred, whatever timetable you establish for your discussion group. Because of someone’s particular circumstances or special events that arise, it may seem like a good idea to change the meeting schedule “just this once,” but that only invites the idea that the time/date is forever malleable, and further instances of change requests, which creates the kind of planning go-round that a discussion group is designed to avoid. Things will always arise that prohibit some members from coming at the scheduled time, but don’t move things about to accommodate; the time will always be the same, and whomever can make it will make it.

Potential members should be invited. It just takes one person to start an organization and get it off the ground. However, having two equally enthusiastic “founders” is excellent; the pair will form the group’s solid core, and it’s helpful to have someone else to bounce ideas off of when it comes to how to arrange things at the start and improve things as you go.

You (or you and your companion) will need to ask others to join your group after you’ve hatched the concept. The first thing to think about is how many members you want in the group. Six, in my opinion, is the most ideal number. Even if not everyone can make it every time, you can still have a meaningful conversation with at least three or four people. When everyone arrives, though, six still gives everyone an opportunity to speak.

 

After you’ve decided on a number, you’ll need to determine who you want to invite. The obvious requirements are individuals you like being with, who share the group’s common interest, and who will contribute to the conversation. You don’t have to be best friends with them to invite them to a discussion group; in fact, inviting someone to a discussion group is a great way to transition a relationship that only exists at the office/gym/church to one that exists outside of that specific context — an invitation to a discussion group gives you something concrete around which to make that transition. So consider any acquaintances you’d want to learn more about.

Choosing who to invite is a difficult task since chemistry is crucial to a discussion group’s success, and once someone is invited, they can’t be kicked out! Of course, you want individuals you like, but you also want people who are different enough from you to bring a variety of viewpoints to the table. Comparable sensibilities are more important than similar personalities, especially in terms of being able to engage in open, polite discourse and experiment with ideas.

Having a de facto facilitator is a good idea. Discussion groups don’t need a formal “leader”; their democratic, unstructured character is part of their attraction. They do, however, benefit from having a de facto facilitator — someone who can make the final decision when practical issues get bogged down in “I don’t really have a choice, whatever everyone chooses is OK.” limbo, sends a group text the week before the meeting to remind members of that fact as well as the meeting’s date, time, location, and topic of discussion, consistently comes prepared (e.g., has done the reading and jotted down some potential questions), and nudges the conversation along if the wheels need greasing or one person is talking too much. This responsibility may fall to you as the group’s creator, particularly if you have the right personality for the job. Another person may naturally emerge as the facilitator. Alternatively, the job might be rotated on purpose. Regardless of who is selected as the facilitator, he should exercise caution, viewing his responsibility as ensuring that meetings go place regularly and efficiently, and that everyone has an opportunity to speak. If you’re taking on the role of facilitator, make sure you obtain everyone’s feedback and give everyone a voice in what happens in your group.

Incorporate (some) structure and tradition. Consider adding these into your group’s traditions: reading a specific scripture at the start, taking turns bringing beverages and/or food, having each member relate a happy and negative experience from the time since you last met, concluding with a prayer, and so on. It’s OK to be a little more honest and emotional than usual; many individuals want for a little more sincerity in their life and are only waiting for permission to express it. However, in general, gatherings should be casual in character; things should be kept loose.

 

Adult discussion groups may substantially enhance one’s adulthood by adding interest and enlightenment, providing something to look forward to on a regular basis, and serving as the most effective facilitator of adult connections. If you aren’t already a member of such an organization, take the initiative and form one.

 

 

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Making friends as an adult can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some ideas on how you can make and keep friends in adulthood. Reference: how to make friends as a young adult.

Frequently Asked Questions

How adults can make and keep new friends?

A: When making new friends, its important to find common ground and things that you have in common. If you share something like an interest or hobby, then it will be easy for the two of you to talk about that topic and get interested in each other.

Is it hard to make friends in adulthood?

A: It is very difficult to make friends in adulthood.

How do you make good friends when your older?

A: The best way to do this is to go out with friends, make new friends and try different activities.

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