Career & Living, Life

How To Make New Pals In Your 20’s

The risk of ditching your bitchy school friends or leaving your uni mates behind and finding yourself in friend purgatory is terrifying. It may seem like if you don’t have a clique, gang or group by then, you’re left behind. No, it doesn’t mean you’ll have a wedding party of strictly family members (cousins disguised used as prop pals), nor be resigned to hanging with colleagues and only enjoying beverages of the post work variety.

When you think about how much your personality has changed since high school or even the last year, it seems silly not to find likeminded individuals for each stage of your life. Breaking into already established social groups is tricky, but not impossible. These are our tips to crack into what may feel like closed off circles and make all new mates.

Get To Know Yourself First

You’re great, did you know that? Go on, take the compliment. Before you head out into the world in pursuit of making new pals, get a little more comfortable with your self. This is a dating mantra applied to your more platonic relationships, but it’ll do wonders for finding long term friends not just space fillers. It’s easy to fall into the trap of being a little desperate, falling into old patterns and seeking out shitty mates from your past, don’t do it.

It’s much healthier to spend a little time on yourself and then meet likeminded people, as opposed to fraternising with last resorts. It ain’t easy being by yourself, but know you’re not lonely just appreciative of your me time.

Go Do Cool Shit

You heard me, get out there. Sure, you may have a list of hobbies noted on your profile or LinkedIn, but how many of those pursuits do you actually do weekly? Even monthly. It’s important for you to be comfortable in yourself and your identity before you, so go do you. Join a sports team, go to meet ups, get involved in your passions. Not only will you be filling your time with thanks that elate you, you’ll be enjoying the company of other pals who do too.

Start with things you know you like whether that’s cooking classes or french lessons, then push out of your comfort zone. Don’t join a ukulele meet up before you have a strum or two on your own. And also don’t dive out of the plane head first as you try to meet adrenaline junkies, dip your toe in first before your plunge. You may just find an oddity that you love and never would have tried.

Throw Down The Welcome Mat

The number one road block to making friends in your 20’s is people being closed off. If you’re lucky enough to have a good set of friends, why do you need more right? We’re all time poor, bad at relationships (right?) and terrible at replying to texts, so why throw new people into that mix? Not to say sell yourself, but to break into these friend groups you have to be irresistible. Happy, confident, open minded and similar interests make for a wonderful friend.

Combat other people’s unapproachability by being open enough for the both of you. Expect nothing and offer yourself up with earnest. If you’re compatible as mates, a good time or genuinely interesting to these new prospective companions, it’ll be easy as.

Be Vulnerable

Putting yourself out there is easier said than done, the fear of rejection is ever looming. If they don’t want to be friends with you or are happy being polite acquaintances don’t despair. Another friend will come along soon enough. Throw out the high school mentality of having to be friends with a certain set of people, you can be mates with whoever you want. And if you’re a people person, as I hope you become after reading these tips, people will be at all levels of intimacy with you.

Not intimate but beyond acquainted to different levels, from grabbing a coffee to going on three day benders. Just because you’re comfortable putting yourself forward, doesn’t mean they are and it’s great to be wary of that. Being vulnerable is hard and it can be soul crushing. But know you’re gal pals or boys are out there, you just might have to make the first move.

Image source: Life Without Andy

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Alex is a 20-something beer drinker and sporting fanatic (mainly because he posses no actual physical skill.) Football (not "soccer") is life, does not mind a bowtie.

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