How to Build Social Connections
We know that social connections are important for living a healthy and happy life. Making new friends as an adult can be difficult. We’re busy with families, jobs and other responsibilities, so meeting new people can be put on a backburner. If you’re in a stage of your life where you’re feeling lonely and wanting to meet more people, you might not know where to start. Explore our tips on how to build social connections and expand social networks.
Making new friends as an adult can be a challenging experience. Many of us no longer have places like school or clubs where we can meet people our age or who share similar interests. Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic has made it especially tough to connect with others. But as we start to figure out a new normal, with more people vaccinated and continuing to practice safe physical distancing and masking as needed, now is a great time to expand social circles. Here are some tips on how to build social connections:
- Become a regular. Whether it’s a coffee shop, park, library or corner store, favorite places bring people together. The next time you visit your spot and recognize someone as a fellow regular, take a chance and say hello.
- You do you. A great way to meet compatible people is to do what you love in the company of others. What are some of your hobbies, interests and activities that others might share? If you join a team, take a class or find a group that shares your interests, you will find yourself meeting new people who like those things too.
- Try the buddy system. An often overlooked social network is friends of friends. We tend to forget that people we know have others in their lives besides us! Chances are that the friends you like to spend time with also have other friends you’d like to get to know. Suggest to someone you like and trust that you organize a time to hang out and broaden both your networks.
- There’s an app for that. There are a number of apps available specifically for adults interested in making new friends. If you prefer a virtual connection before meeting someone in real life, check out Bumble BFF or MeetUp.com to meet others who are also looking to build new connections.
- Connect for a cause. Volunteering is a great way to meet others who care about the same issues and causes you do. Visit VolunteerMatch.org to find opportunities in your region.
- Go at your own pace. We will be feeling the effects of COVID-19 on socialization for a long time. Some people will be uneasy about going to places we used to rely on to foster community and connection — such as restaurants, bars, and clubs — while others can’t wait to get back out there.
Staying safe doesn’t have to mean never going out in public again, but it’s important to know and respect your own comfort level. As you’re able, begin to engage in public life again in safe ways and revisit familiar spaces that allow you to reconnect with others. Pay attention to how it feels and take it as fast or slow as you need to!
Looking for More Tips on How To Build Social Connections?
Making new friends as an adult can be challenging but know that it is absolutely possible! If you’re still curious about how to build social connections after reading this, visit our Activities page for more inspiration!