Knowing how to form and maintain new friendships can sometimes be difficult, particularly in adulthood. Finding common interests or joining social organizations are some ways to connect with others.

A person may find it daunting to try and build new friendships. They may feel like they do not know where to begin or worry about rejection.

However, various techniques can help a person make new friends, such as joining a social organization, like a book club or sports team. A person may also make new connections on social media sites.

Read on to learn more about how to make friends, including tips for starting friendships and what to do if loneliness starts to become difficult to manage.

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There are many places to meet new people. Going to a broad range of places may help a person meet even more people.

A person may want to join a club or sports team for a hobby they are interested in. This allows them to find other people with similar interests.

Some possibilities include:

  • chess team
  • book club
  • gym class
  • local baseball team
  • board game club
  • crafting club
  • yoga class
  • theater or improv group

A person may also find that they meet like-minded people when attending events they enjoy. These might include events such as:

  • musicals and plays
  • art exhibitions
  • football games
  • live music shows
  • gaming conventions
  • political meetings
  • poetry readings

Volunteering at different charities or nonprofit events may also allow a person to meet new people.

A 2019 survey from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations looked into the benefits of volunteering in people in the United Kingdom. It found that 89% of people surveyed listed meeting new people as a benefit of volunteering. Additionally, 77% stated that volunteering had helped improve their mental health and well-being.

Mental health resources

Visit our dedicated hub for more research-backed information and resources on mental health and well-being.

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Social networks such as Facebook allow people to connect with people they know in real life. They may also help reconnect people with old friends or people they went to school with.

A person may also find Facebook groups to join that are relevant to their interests. They may want to chat with other people in these groups. Additionally, Facebook groups may set up in-person events.

Discord is another app that allows people from all over the world to connect with each other. A person may find a Discord group that connects them with people in their area. Alternatively, there are Discord groups for people who prefer to chat online only.

Several apps and social networks are dedicated to helping people make new friends. Some people may find it easier to make friends online.

Examples of apps and social networks built to connect people include:

  • Meetup, which allows people to create online and in-person events
  • Nextdoor, which connects people with others in their local area
  • Pawmates, which connects dog owners
  • Stitch, a friendship app for people over 50 years old
  • BumbleBFF, a friendship app
  • Plura, an app for people looking for alternative, LGBTQIA+, or sex positive communities
  • Peanut, an app that allows mothers to connect with each other

Staying safe online

Joining a social network or app can be a good way to make new friends. However, a person should take steps to stay safe when speaking with people online that they do not know.

A person should avoid sharing their personal information, such as their phone number or address, with someone they do not know well.

Additionally, a person should take precautions when meeting up in person with someone they met online. RAINN notes that a person should follow these precautions when meeting someone they met online in person:

  • video chat before meeting
  • tell a friend or relative where they are going and who they are meeting
  • meet in a public place
  • do not rely on the other person for transportation
  • do not do anything they are not comfortable with
  • trust their instincts
  • ask staff for help if they feel uncomfortable

This section discusses some techniques a person can try that may help them build new friendships.


A person can:

  • look for common interests
  • attend gatherings when invited
  • ask potential friends if they would like to do something together
  • show interest in the other person by actively listening
  • share things with the other person if comfortable doing so
  • do a small favor or act of kindness
  • try to stay in touch
  • be themselves


A person should avoid:

  • asking very personal questions
  • talking only about themselves and showing no interest in the other person
  • giving out personal information too quickly
  • being unkind
  • being rude

Neurodivergent individuals may have more difficulty making new friends than neurotypical individuals. For example, they may feel uncomfortable maintaining eye contact or engaging in certain other “typical” social behaviors, like small talk.

Some neurodiverse people may want to discuss their neurodivergence when meeting new people. However, others may not feel comfortable doing this, or may not be aware that they are neurodivergent.

Learning about neurodiversity, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), may help people understand themselves or those around them better.

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A person may become lonely if they find it difficult to make friends. This can sometimes affect a person’s mental health.

According to research from 2021, loneliness is associated with anxiety and depression.

If a person experiences mental health issues linked to loneliness, they may benefit from speaking with a doctor or mental health professional.

A report from 2023 notes that certain therapeutic approaches may help a person experiencing loneliness. These include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and behavioral activation therapy.

Developing new friendships as an adult can be difficult. However, there are many ways a person can connect with new people.

A person may be able to find new friendships by joining a special interest group or club. A person may also use social networks or specialized apps to connect with others. If a person chooses to meet up with someone they met online, they should take certain precautions to stay safe.

If anyone experiences mental health issues related to loneliness, they can speak with a doctor or a mental health professional for advice and support.