How do you make a new BFF as an adult?
We all know that it’s important to connect with other people. After all, humans are wired to connect...
We love spending time with people and getting to know them, until one day you’re making private jokes, singing along to YOUR song and tagging each other in memes that are ‘so us’.
But how did that strong connection ever come about? Why is your best friend, your best friend?
Obviously, personality has a lot to do with it. Chances are your BFF shares a lot of your interests, beliefs and has a similar sense of humour to you. But you need to have already built a little bit of a connection with each other to have even discovered that.
If you’ve moved to a new city or started a new job, there are a few ways to encourage those strong connections so that your most meaningful relationship is no longer with your barista.
Going into a new situation where you don't know anyone can be daunting and if you're not naturally chatty, you could find it a little awks. But stay positive! Your first impression means a lot to new friends and colleagues, so if anything, add a little extra pep to your step - and don't offer too much sensitive information upfront. Psychologist Ron Friedman says: “You want to use those early interactions to demonstrate warmth and skill — not harp on personal weaknesses. Offset whining, the sharing of hard things, or work stress with bonding through adding positive feelings to those around you.”
Switch off the work chat
To find common ground, you'll have to chat to your new colleagues about something other than work. Whether it's something you watched on telly last night, a sports team or something you're doing at the weekend, open up the conversation. “It’s easier to connect with others when it’s clear you’re both on the same side and neither one of you can get the job done alone,” says Friedman.
Make your friendship an asset
If you and a colleague hit it off, great! But you don't need to need to flaunt your awesome new connection in front of the rest of your colleagues. Outside of work the two of you can do what you like, but when you're at work, you should be friendly to all of your team. “Be known as friends who are inclusive, not exclusive; as people who bring laughter to the office and who are friendly to everyone,” says Shasta Nelson, author of Friendships Don't Just Happen.
Want a career where you can make a real connection? Study with ACAP. ACAP offers courses from diploma to postgraduate level in counselling, coaching, psychology, social work, case management, social science and youth work. The next intake begins in February. Contact the College for more information or to apply.