How to make friends in 2019

Have you ever realized you have absolutely nothing to offer intellectually? Let’s start over.

My favorite icebreaker question yes, I’m one of 4 people who LOVES those is: If you had to give a TED talk, what would it be about?

I’ll be honest, there are very few things I know a lot about, but there are plenty of things I FEEL a lot about. Ew, stop. And one of those things is friendship! To me, climbing into someone’s brain and figuring out how to mash their pleasure centers is a fun challenge. Seriously, just stop. But, you know what’s harder than college? Making friends in 2019. We youngins have invented about 400 extra hoops to jump through before we can be seen with someone on the weekends. And it’s time somebody made a roadmap. Here’s my guide to bulking up your friend group and cutting down on heartbreak.

Be physically affirmative

The secret is to cut off just enough oxygen where they blackout and come to while still in your arms.

I’m not saying sit on the 4 people closest to you. I’m saying dish out the hugs – side or FULL FRONTAL if you’re feeling like a serial killer. It makes you a breath of fresh air … and leaves them with a fleeting sense of warmth they’ll be thinking about for up to 8 seconds. Dudes, everyone loves it when you hug each other – and get creative with it. When a guy is trying to shake my hand or give me a “bro-hug,” I usually reach right over it and squeeze them with both arms until they forget their own name. Love me or leave me. Quit me or keep me.

Set friendship goals

This is where I set my goals.
This is where I set my goals.

Looking to make some ride or dies? Mom, that means friends! Make a list of 2-3 aspirational pals from work, the gym, JAIL,  or wherever you hang out and set a goal to have one fun conversation with them a week. Don’t make it too official, you’re not a serial killer. After enough fun conversations, take a step out of your comfort zone and add them as your emergency contact invite them to something you haven’t spent all night thinking about for weeks.

If you’re waiting to be approached, you’ll be alone forever.

Sad Sheila is too busy texting No-good Nathan when Dashing Daniel is, like, totally trying to get her attention!

If you sit around waiting for a Friday-night invite or go to parties and expect your new bestie to approach you, you’re going to be really disappointed. Take the initiative and make the first move. Everybody wants to connect with other humans, but nobody wants to take the first step. So, make Michelle Obama proud and get your steps in.

Pro tip: Not every conversation you start is going to be a slam dunk. You should watch me dig my own grave during the “turn around and greet your neighbor” part of church. It’s like watching a popsicle melt.

Get the crew to something you wanna do

Commitment is attractive. Just like these twentysomethings!

My boy John Mulaney says canceling plans last minute is like heroin – and he’s totally right. There’s a WILD temporary high until all your teeth fall out. Is that what heroin does? That’s why you gotta hit people up a couple of times personally before your event. For me, that looks like a Facebook invite and then hitting them up with a text a few days before your total banger. People will be way less likely to drop out because you made a personal effort to include them – and they’re way less likely to wait for a “way better invite” until it’s too late.

Don’t be discouraged when your first couple of events are a little slow – you got to build up your party cred. And, even if you have sick party cred, you’re going to throw some bangers where it’s just you and Jan from Finance. But you two are going to have a blast.

Survive and socialize at the same time

Started with a LinkedIn message, now we share a toilet.

Grabbing coffee or lunch with someone is a super approachable first hang because if your prospect doesn’t eat they’ll literally die. Honestly, it’s like dating: Either it’ll lead to an invite to their lake house, or you’ll tell everybody in your life they’re “cuuhh-razy!!”

Prepare your squad for newbies

Your old friends trampling your other old friends to meet your new friends.

Once they’ve passed your lunch test, invite them to your hottest group hang. Following up on a lunch invite makes your new buddy feel real good. There’s that heroin again! It’s your way of saying, HEY, I LIKE YOU!! without being a little freak. Your new bud might be slightly intimidated to meet up with your crew, so you should give them some special attention when they show up. Maybe brief your other pals about your first-timer so your welcoming committee can blow them away.

Pro-tip: Consider inviting a “bridge-person” who you both enjoy to ease their social jitters about showing up. This tip was too real, I’m bored!!

Take the hint – even when it hurts

Some people are just monsters.

I’ve scared a lot of people off. Like A LOT. At this point, I’d like to say that I’m pretty good at picking up when I’m too much for someone, but sometimes, the thrill of GETTIN’ ‘EM completely blinds me. In short, if someone continually cancels on you last minute, or never sets a date to “hang out sometime” after talking about it for months, they’re probably not interested. And that’s fine, cause you get your time back – AND A FRIEND THAT DESERVES YOU.

Set boundaries

If this is your clingy friend, I volunteer as tribute to take over.

Have a friend who’s being a little cling-ball? Might be time to have a conversation. Unless they’re your #bestie4life, expectations to text all day or to hang a certain amount of times per week can feel more like a chore than a “cheers, mate!” Yikes! Chances are – and I’ve been this person – that person sinks a fair amount of their identity into their friendships. Be kind, but firm. They just need to find a few additional groupies to flesh out their circle. Maybe you can help! Also: Check your heart and be patient, they just love ya!

Things change when you get in a relationship

Third wheels provide stability. #ThoughtLeadership!

*Slips into a bathrobe* Ah, yes. RELATIONSHIPS. Things change when people want to get married and touch each other. There will definitely be growing pains when your friend reshuffles their priorities to include their special person. Chances are you’ll see less of them, but they still love you. Savor time with them extra hard. And if you feel like you’re getting the shaft AF I just lol’d, you should talk about it. Just make sure you’re not being a little cling-ball.

… And if you’re in a relationship, your friends don’t get any less important once you find your person. In fact, they’re exactly doubly important because they provide vital relationship course-correction and are precious outlets for activities that you and your special person don’t share. For example, I HATE it when Sarah asks me to play basketball. I’m crying!

What’s your go-to friendship tip? Or, tell the world about a time I didn’t pick up on your hints. Both are fair game in the comments. 🤘

You’re never too tired for a bop. SWERVE. 👇

Let’s be friends,


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