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Despite everything we know about the importance of maintaining social connections as we get older, finding friends after 60 can be a challenge. As we age, the easy social connections that we enjoyed as schoolmates, parents, and colleagues change.

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As a young adult, it often feels like you don't even have to think about how to make friends. You've got college classes full of peers, a seemingly never-ending social calendar, and you never find it difficult to strike up a conversation with a stranger in a bar. Fast forward a few decadeshowever, and things aren't quite so simple. Managing the day-to-day family unit is tough enough, let alone trying to find time to squeeze in a social life.

18 apps and websites for making friends (that actually work)

Evidently, making and keeping friends as an adult has also gotten harder. According to researchers at Duke University and the University of ArizonaAmerican adults reported having approximately one less friend in than the same demographic had just two decades earlier. Worse yet, the of a Gallup poll revealed that 16 percent of American adults have just one or two friends—and a shocking two percent admit to having none at all.

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Fortunately, just because you're witnessing your social circle getting smaller doesn't mean that friendlessness is in your future. This is how to make friends after One of the easiest ways to make yourself more approachable is by putting a smile on your face. As UCLA neuroscientist Marco Iacoboni revealed in an interview with Scientific American hi needing new friends to chat with, smiling at someone else can activate brain activity in the other person, prompting a similar smiley response.

So, when you're trying to make new friends, make an effort to keep a pleasant expression on your face—it might just make you more appealing. Need an easy way to make friends as an adult? Try ing a trivia team at your favorite bar. Adding humor to your life is good for your soul!

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Additionally, the life coach notes that "trivia teams are often scheduled in advance and on a specific day of the week. This helps you to better plan when socials are on a consistent day. On top of trying to build new friendships from scratch, do your best to reconnect with members of your social circle with whom you've fallen out of touch. With people you were once close with, you can more or less pick up where you left off. According to a report from the Pew Research Center69 percent of American adults between the ages of 50 and 64 reported being on social media in Februaryup from just 4 percent in March And with so many people turning to social media, it's easier to make friends as an adult with just the click of a button.

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One of the easiest ways to do so is by ing local Facebook groups. You'll not only get to know people in your immediate area, but you'll also get a good idea of what kind of fun stuff is happening right in your backyard.

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One of the biggest reasons why people have a hard time making friends after 50 is because of the stigma attached to putting yourself out there after a certain age. However, instead of indulging those thoughts telling you that trying to meet new people makes you seem lonely or sad, remind yourself that millions, if not billions of people are looking for the same thing—and, in many cases, would be happy to find someone like you to spend time with.

Whether your preference is cycling, cardio hip-hop dance, or yoga, fitness classes are a great way to meet new people. At the end of class, don't be afraid to strike up a conversation with a fellow participant—you already know that you have at least one interest in common, after all.

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Need a reboot on your social life? Try hitting up a new workout class. Programs like SoulCycle and CrossFit are deed to foster a sense of community, so rest assured that you'll leave class with more defined muscles and new friends. If you're a bibliophile, ing a book club is a simple way to find your people. Book clubs not only give you a chance to socialize, but also give you an opportunity to flex the most important muscle in your body: your brain.

Here's how to make new friends as an adult

Research by Rush University Medical Center even suggests that mental stimulation like reading can reduce anxiety and lower your risk of developing dementia later in life, so don't wait to immerse yourself in a new paperback. If you have children, know that they're an invaluable resource when it comes to socializing. Playdates, school functionsand trips to the park provide the perfect opportunity to make new friends; while your child is kept busy with his or her own friends, you can socialize with all your fellow moms and d.

Another way you can take advantage of having kids in your quest for more friends? By ing the PTA. This school organization is full of moms and d just like you with whom you can bond over raising children, balancing work and family, and just the woes of getting older.

1. people are busy with their family.

If you're a gardening geek looking to make new friends, then a local community garden; there you'll meet tons of other locals who share your passion for botany and beautifying the Earth. Research by the University of Tokyo even suggests that gardening can improve both mental and physical health, so becoming a member of the community garden could be the key to making new friends and living a long and healthy life. Think you can't befriend your hairdresser or hang out with your kid's teachers?

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Think again! There's no good reason why you can't ask people who you know from their places of work to hang out socially. Considering how much your manicurist or personal trainer probably already knows about you, you've got a great place to start from.

In your teens and 20s, you might find yourself only hanging out with people you find fascinating and brilliant. However, as you get older and friends become fewer and further between, it's wise to amend your standards slightly. While it's never a great idea to spend time with people who have a negative effect on your life, making connections with people you might not normally socialize with can help you broaden your social circle in no time.

Want a quick and easy way to make friends in your 50s? Start by saying hi to people when you pass them on the street. Once you've gotten comfortable making those initial introductions, you'll have an easier time talking to people you're eager to socialize with. Political activism is a great way to meet people with similar interests in your area. There's a serious sense of camaraderie at protests and political gatherings, and odds are that if someone's attending the same hi needing new friends to chat with as you, there won't ever be insurmountable differences in political beliefs to tear your friendship apart.

Getting politically active on a local level is an easy way to meet people who share your values. Attending local city council meetings will help you get in touch with a community of people who care about the same issues as you—and maybe even those willing to tackle a project you're passionate about with you. Your existing friends are a great resource when it comes to making new ones.

We just clicked: why i set out to find a new group of friends online

If you're looking for some new people to hang out with, don't be shy about asking your friends to set you up on friend dates with people you've ly met through them and hit it off with. However, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind. You will not be your best self, and thus attract the right people, if you attend an event you despise, don't believe in, or couldn't care less about. If you have a ificant othermake an effort to get to know their coworkers in addition to your own. Not only will befriending people your spouse knows professionally expand your social circle, but it might even prove to be a potential boon to their career as hi needing new friends to chat with.

You likely already have a built-in social network, even if you don't realize it: your coworkers. Suggest a weekly happy hour, propose catching a new movie after work, or propose a group fitness activity that you can all enjoy together; no matter what you do, you're bound to find a few friends among your many colleagues. Volunteering is good for more than just your conscience.

It's also a terrific way to meet new friends. This puts you around hi needing new friends to chat with people, which is always a great foundation to a friendship. Help out at a local food pantry, mentor with an organization like Big Brothers, Big Sisters, or a local park cleanup; no matter where you volunteer your services, you're bound to run into people with a similar charitable mindset.

Getting a pet does more than just give you a furry companion to keep close at night. It's also a great way to expand your human social circle.

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In fact, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Western Australiastrangers are more likely to introduce themselves to someone with a pet than someone without. And this camaraderie isn't dog-specific—the people in the study eagerly introduced themselves to turtle and rabbit owners, too. Kill two birds with one stone and get in some exercise while you make new friends by ing a local sports team.

Doing this will give you something to bond with new people over and those weekly post-game drinks certainly won't hurt either. If you want to meet new people, try heading to your local watering hole solo. While you may have to endure some cheesy pick-up lines or semi-awkward chatter, you'll likely meet some other solo fliers—and at the very worst, you'll get a drink or two.

How to meet people: 47 best places for making new friends

Making friends in college is easy—no matter how old you are. Even if you've been out of school for decades, ing up for a night class or an online course will give you a built-in social circle of people to work on projects with, bounce ideas off of, and commiserate with after class.

Exploring the world alone may be daunting at first, but it's actually a pretty incredible way to learn about new cultures and meet new people in one fell swoop. The people you meet may not live in your hometown, but with social media you can stay connected more than ever to continue the relationship building.

From there, you can plan meetups a couple times a year, and do a vacation with them at some point," says Kulaga. A little knitting is good for the soul—and your social life, too. Find a local crafting group—of which there are thousands on Facebook and sites like Meetup—and you'll instantly have a new group of people who share your interests to spend time with. Your local community is a great resource for making new friends.

Show up to enough regional fairs, concerts, and other gatherings and you're bound to see some of the same faces, which makes it easier to connect. There's no shame in asking for an invite. When you hear a coworker or acquaintance say that they're doing something you might be interested in over the weekend, ask to in; just because someone hasn't explicitly invited you to doesn't mean they'd necessarily mind the company!

The quickest way to make a new friend? By paying a stranger a compliment.

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One study published in the PLOS One journal suggests that compliments make people as happy as getting a handful of cash, so don't be afraid to tell someone they look nice. Eager to refresh your closet and make some new friends at the same time?

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Then host a clothing swap with some of your friends and neighbors! Not only will you end up with great new garments without spending any moneybut you'll also have an excuse to socialize with a whole new crew. Change hearts, minds, and the size of your social circle with one easy action: canvassing for a politician.

Where and how to find new friends online

You'll meet like-minded people, get the word out about a cause that's important to you, and might even do some good in this world. For shy peoplesaying no to a casual invitation is often a reflexive response. However, rejecting invitations is hardly the way to make new friends. So, when your friends, coworkers, acquaintances, or family members suggest that you get together on a whim, make it a habit of saying yes as much as possible; the more you go out, the more chances you have to meet new people, creating a positive cycle of social opportunities.

If you love to cook but are sick of cracking open your copy of Microwave Cooking for Onetry ing a supper club.