One thing has become painfully obvious after two years of working from home. It’s hard to make new friends. Sure I could ditch the robe and start hanging out at coffee shops trying to meet people, but that seems like an expensive habit to pick up without any guaranteed results for new besties. So I resorted to the online variety with mixed results. I’d message someone here or there, but my heart just wasn’t in it.
The entire process has got me thinking a lot about how to make friends as an adult and I’ve realized something. You should make friends like you did in kindergarten. Man kindergartners have it made. It’s so dang easy for them to just walk up to someone, ask to play together, and presto hashtag bff 5ever. Adulthood friendships are a whole different story. Or are they?
Recently I’ve started this new “Kindergarten Method” (spread the word!) and much to my surprise, it’s working. If I meet someone or see someone I want to be friends with, I just ask to hang out or send them a message. No worrying about whether or not they’ll like me back, if I’m bothering them, or if we have anything in common. I also don’t bother to think about whether that person is “more famous” or has a bigger footprint on the interwebs. People are just people no matter how many followers they have. Kindergartners don’t care whether another kid has fancier toys; they ask to play anyway.
At first this sent my introvert heart into a tizzy and I wasn’t sure how I’d manage all this social interaction, but once I completely stopped carrying or worrying about all the stupid pressures adulthood adds to friendship, it became a hell of a lot easier. Plus no one is ever like, “Ew someone is being nice to me and making conversation. Grab the pitchforks.” Making new friends is hard for everyone regardless of social ineptitude. The Kindergarten Method just takes away all the unneeded pomp and circumstance attached with it.
I’ll break it down for you.
The Kindergarten Method
Step 1: Choose a person you want to become friends with
Step 2: Talk to them
Step 3: Become friends
And if someone doesn’t actually want to be your friend, doesn’t respond, or you find out that you are just not compatible, no sweat. I’ve reached out to people with no response dozens of times. It’ll happen. You can’t be best friends with everyone, but you could be missing out on great friends because you haven’t even tried. The whole, “it’s better to have loved and lost than to never love at all” applies to friendships too. Put yourself out there you feisty best friend in the making, you.
So pull out that box of crayons, tap back into your kindergarten self, and stop being afraid to meet new people. I’m definitely not anymore.