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7 Secrets to Making and Keeping Adult Friends

Managing the stress of life with ADHD often eats up all of our time and energy. It feels like there’s no time left for friendships, but they are are important and worth the effort in these seven steps.

Making friends as an adult with ADHD can be difficult. But, close, long-term relationships are key to happiness.

In this video, find 7 strategies to try if you are finding it difficult to connect with others.

7 Secrets to Making and Keeping Adult Friends

Managing the stress of life with ADHD often eats up all of our time and energy.

There’s no time left for friendships — or worrying that you might accidentally say something offensive.

But adult friendships are important and worth the effort in these 7 steps:

1. Show up.

Whenever you have the chance to see people, take it. Go to the party. Stop by a coworker’s desk. Make the effort.

Repeated exposure makes you like someone better – and vice versa. Frequent contact can be the basis of a friendship.

2. Say nice things about other people.

People unintentionally transfer to you the traits you ascribe to other people.

If you say that Beth is funny, you’ll be linked to her humor.

3. Set a target.

When you enter a situation, set a goal of talking to three new people.

It will make you more open to strangers, and prompt you to make the effort past a perfunctory hello.

4. Join a group.

Take a class. Join a congregation. Attend a neighborhood meeting.

Common interests are the basis for many strong friendships.

5. Schedule time to keep in touch.

Set aside 10 minutes a day to text, chat, or message. Set a timer to stay on track.

Engage in a little small talk, make a plan to get together, or just let others know you’re thinking of them.

6. Make an effort to smile.

Big surprise! Studies show that the amount of time you smile during a conversation has a direct effect on how friendly you’re perceived to be.

7. Plan simple, stress-free activities.

Every meeting doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair.

Run errands together, grab a quick coffee, or meet at the gym for a workout class.

Our Editors Also Recommend

Free Download: 8 Ways to Get Better at Small Talk
Finding New Friends

Michele Novotni, Ph.D., is a member of the ADDitude ADHD Specialist Panel

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