Making friends as an adult can seem especially challenging. it seems like things were once so simple, but not require much more effort and intention.
When meeting a new female friend, you may find yourself wondering what to say to kick things off. How do you communicate you'd be open to friendship without seeming desperate or awkward?
There may be one question that helps to break through the tension and point directly toward your overall objective of inviting new connections into your life.
"Isn’t it weird how hard it is to make friends an adult?"
Yep-- that's it.
When you deliver this line, make sure you're in a bustling social environment where one of the main objectives of the scene is to socialize and make friends to provide context for the question. You wouldn't walk up to a random woman in a clothing store and say this (or you could, but it may lack context). Also, be sure to deliver it with a smile and in a semi-whisper to make it seem like a fun yet conspiratorial ask.
Why is this effective?
1. Sharing and confirming this opinion helps you form a "shared reality".
Research suggests that feelings of closeness form when two people have a shared reality. If I think friend making is weird and you confirm that, I feel close to you because you see the world the way I do.
One way to create a sense of connection with a new friend is to show right away that you are similar. It turns our that establishing and identifying "sameness" can draw us to one another. Asking this question (and having her reply in the affirmative) is one way to accomplish this.
2. Showing a bit of vulnerability can be (platonically) attractive.
The “Beautiful Mess” effect: this suggests we tend to like people more after they’ve been vulnerable with us. This small, low stakes confession can be a little taste of that and it’s endearing.
The implication of the question is that you struggle with making friends. Sharing that struggle with someone else-- although a relatively small self-disclosure-- can impact others by making them feel honored that you shared that you trusted them with something (relatively) sensitive.
3. Others will be grateful to have be the courageous "first".
The average person is a little nervous by the idea of initiating a conversation with someone else. You doing that first relieves them of the pressure and burden. being active in this way demonstrates a certain level of courage which is admirable and draws people in.
If after you've begun engaging in a conversation you realize that this woman is someone you'd like to pursue friendship with, do you know how to communicate that? If not, tune into next week's episode of the Friend Forward podcast where resident friendship expert Danielle Bayard Jackson is giving you three charismatic ways to tell a new friend that you're interested in more.
Looking to find balance in the friendships you already have? Watch below!
Finally ready for a personal one-on-one session? Book a time to meet with Danielle Bayard Jackson, our resident friendship coach, to begin working through friendship issues that have you stuck. If you're not ready to invest in a private session, then consider joining our VIP "Group Chat!".