How To Make Friends as An Adult

9:00 AM

I vaguely remember how I made friends when I was little. All I knew was that if I was outside playing with my neighbors around the same age as mine, they were considered my friends. Back then it was easy; I say hi and we exchange names randomly or even casually talk about what toys I had, and voila! Insta-friend! How do I make friends now? Hmmmm, honestly, I have no idea. I have gazillion thoughts running through my mind sometimes that even saying hello seemed so mortifying. I guess when I was little, I have no care in the world and making friends was not a big deal. However, as I have aged (not like I'm 70! Haha), I feel shy and nervous for some reason I can't explain.

Making friends became more challenging when I moved from the Philippines to Chicago. It was indeed a huge change and the effects of culture shock. I got lucky when my parents decided to take me to a private school when I was growing up, it helped me so much with speaking and learning English; it became easy for me to communicate with others when I immigrated. However, despite the communication being at ease, it wasn’t like relating to others was a walk in the park, which meant that it was much harder to make friends. Fortunately, with my stepmother being supportive, she took me to a Filipino store and the cashier at the moment was Denise! Yes, the CEO of Not A Size Zero was my very first friend in America. I will talk more about how it happened, I promise!

We all tend to be shy or we are afraid of judgment whenever we are around people that we don't know or we're not familiar with, most especially if the atmosphere or setting is new to us. It just seems so uncomfortable making new friends. Let's say that we happen to sit right next to someone we have not met before. That person may also feel the same way, which is thinking about how to approach you. So, why give yourself a hard time and spend an entire minute feeling awkward, which perhaps seems to be like forever even before saying "Hi!" Just like Nike's slogan, "Just do it!" It will then spark a small conversation; maybe even talk about how awkward it was at the beginning, wink wink.

2. Maybe do it like how Denise did it! Offer the friendship like it was a 50% off shoes in the store. Continuing on our friendship story, when I met her, she didn't even think or stop for a second, she went ahead and asked me up front, "Do you wanna be my friend?" I was excited because she was indeed my very first one, at least as an adult in a new country. It only took a few words, one question and we have been friends since then, which is about 7 years now. Additionally, I became good friends with Denise’s very first friend, Jenny (and she is one of our contributors) and also Nikki (Denise’s sister).

3. If you do want to meet new friends, my boyfriend suggests organizing either a BBQ on a Sunday afternoon or even just a small potluck. It seems like an intimate party that could only be shared with closer friends but we can make new friends by asking old friends to bring a plus one that you or others haven't met yet. You might find commonalities with your friend’s friends. Besides, more food means more fun! Ahem, I mean the more the merrier, so to speak.

4. Work place is also a great way to make new friends. Chances are you already have something in common with them; co-workers usually share the same interest. I recently just started working with teachers and I found myself discovering our commonalities. My head-teacher loves to be organized just like myself, and from then on we clicked like we have known each other for a long time. For the 2 weeks that we worked together, we already have planned of going out on a milk tea run or double dates. 

5. Before I moved to California (and I will get back to this topic very soon!), I was really good friends with my hairstylist and make up artist. I have been going to the same people that take care of my hair and my skin. I sent all my friends to my hairstylist and in return (which I never asked for) would either give me a free hair cut/trim or hair conditioning treatment. Like my hair stylist, whenever I go to my make up artist and I buy a new beauty products, she would not make me leave without either giving me a make over or freebies I could try on, or sometimes even both! The thing about her was that she wasn’t being nice just to sell me make up or beauty products, she would often tell me to finish up all the ones I have and then come back to her to try new products.

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