We’re taught how to do a lot of things growing up. How to tie your shoes, ride a bike and throw a football… But were you ever taught how to find friends?
Nowadays, people are feeling more isolated than ever. A striking 76% of men “don’t have a close and trusted friend they can share anything with on any topic,” reports a 2021 Perspectives Survey by The Survey Center on American Life.
Part of it is the natural progression of life. We grow up, get married and have kids, creating meaningful new relationships that require tons of time and attention. Too often, friendships go by the wayside.
Then, when you realize friendship is missing from your life, you don’t know how to find friends. It just came naturally when you were growing up. You didn’t need tips for finding friends. You just met kids in your neighborhood or in the classroom. Maybe you made a bunch by joining a club or playing sports.
Whatever it was, you felt like you belonged on the team. So why leave the joys of teamwork in the past?
Four Tips on How to Find Friends
1. Join a club or volunteer organization based on one of your interests.
I started playing sports at a young age and quickly enjoyed the bonds of friendship. I was lucky enough to play football in high school, college, and the NFL. It pretty much guaranteed a close-knit group of buddies—the kind that spent every day together and had a shared mission that bonded us through both victory and defeat.
My advice? Pick something with a purpose. In my 30 years of focusing on teamwork, I’ve found that working toward something forges true friendships faster.
2. Reconnect with an old friend in a meaningful way.
In the age of super-connectivity and social media, it’s easy to think we’re keeping up with our social lives. We look on Facebook or Instagram and have a superficial, one-way relationship with the friends in our feeds.
You might think, “I don’t know how to find friends in this modern age.”
Do it the old-fashioned way. Take some time out of your day to call an old friend and find out about what’s happening in his life. Find out how he’s doing deep down.
Really, it all comes down to how much you’re willing to invest.
Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus showed us how to find friends and develop them. He was intentional in choosing his friends. And He had strong, close friendships with them, largely because He invested in them and helped them grow. He gave them attention and help. He challenged them and encouraged them.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:12-13).
Many men have been conditioned to take as much as they can and give very little. Jesus gave, and gave, and gave.
3. Remember that everyone is looking for connection.
All the best investors are comfortable with a little bit of risk. You will likely have to do the same to make new friends. It’s possible that you’ll be the one who strikes up a conversation at your kid’s school event or put yourself out there and invite someone out for coffee.
You should know that the odds are in your favor. There is something called the liking gap—the difference between how much we think a stranger likes us and how much they actually do after one conversation. Good news, people are more liked than they think.
Everyone wants to know how to find friends. Sometimes, it just takes one person going out of their comfort zone.
4. Be a long-term investor and be real.
Most importantly, you’ll need to be in it for the long run, like any good investor. You’ll invest your time, effort, and attention over the years—everything from helping a friend move to listening to the challenges going on in his life. You’ll have to sacrifice that perfect version of yourself that you’re always trying to present (I know I did) and share your own struggles.
That’s how to find friends that will really make a difference in your life.
Build Deeper Connections with MenHuddle.
When a small group of good, intentional friends (I call it a MenHuddle) share every aspiration and confession, our insecurities, doubts, and limitations disappear. Remember, there is more strength in the unity of three (Ecclesiastes 4:12). What’s next? Time to take these tips for finding friends and forge a new friendship.
If you’re ready to enjoy the full, transformative power of friendship, download the Men Huddle QuickStart.