Television says that by your 20s, you should have an established friend group. However, your 20s are also a time where people mature, move away, get married, and start families. Inevitably, this can cause some friendships to fade. Following these steps will help you make and maintain a new group of friends in your local community without even trying.
Join a Club or Organization
Clubs and organizations are a great way to meet new friends because they bring together people with similar interests. For example, book clubs meet across the country in small bookstores and coffee shops as a place for people who love to read and discuss literature to come together. With the Internet at our fingertips, it’s also possible to join clubs online.
A plethora of other special interest clubs are available, as well, like cooking and recipe clubs or political groups. There are also groups for people to join based on their life experiences, like groups for young mothers or members of the LGBT community.
Volunteer in Your Community
Another great way to make friends close to home is by volunteering. This allows you to give back to your community while also forming close friendships. There are volunteer opportunities all over, like at local women’s centers, libraries, theatres, and boy scout or girl scout troops.
Spending two or more hours every week working toward a common goal with the same people will help you learn about them and form bonds without even trying. Plus, it’s less daunting to ask if anyone wants to go out for dinner after you’ve spent a long afternoon sorting canned goods for a food pantry or organizing piles of clothing at a community thrift store.
Go to Community Events
Going out to community-sponsored events will also help you get to know people in your neighborhood. Many local coffee shops have weekly or monthly musicians and poetry readings. If you go to these events often, you will begin to recognize the faces of other regulars. It’s easy to strike up a conversation with someone you are sitting next to after you have seen them in the same place every Friday night for a month.
Most communities have their local events listed on a community website, on Facebook, or in newspapers, so you can look up and choose which events to attend based on your own interests.
Forming new friendships can sometimes feel awkward or forced, especially if you’re not naturally outgoing. By following these tips and getting involved in your community in different ways you can easily begin to make new friends without even trying.