• Nicole Sherwin

How To Make Adult Friends

Because not all of us are #blessed with great work colleagues.

"Hahahahaha we are having SO much fun!" Source: Wix Media


This week in the Facebook group we asked you: How do you make friends as an adult?

As a self-proclaimed lazay biatch, I’m always looking to do segments that sit in my realm of forte, in order to really minimise the research element required. And I thought adult friend make was definitely in that realm, because in the most obvious and un-relatable thing I’ve probably ever said on the pod, I have too many friends, in fact, I’ve been trying to shed friends for the past few years because having too many friends only leads to disappointment- for them. Having too many friends means so many social events that I have to decline because I just don’t want to go. But I haven’t shed them -why? Because I need constant validation. I need the invites, the likes, the comments, the messages. I’m a superficial person and those things make me feel good. So, no- I haven’t shed them, rather, I want more friends. I know, I’m a complete wanker. But like I said, I thought I was pretty good at friend making, and you are elite friend makers! And the world needs your advice because two out of three millennials experience loneliness. We’re digitally connected but struggle with real-life connection. But you are braver and outgoing a by the end of this I assume we’ll all be rich in friends like Kylie Jenner is rich in money.


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Being time poor, important, busy people, the obvious route of least effort is the place where we spend min 38 hours per week (in regular times). But making friends at work is totally industry and job dependent. For example, if you work in media communications – it’s prime pickings. Advertising, media, marketing, digital, PR. There’s basically a rule that states you have to be a female under 30 to get an account management job in those industries. I’m not even joking about that…I once had a boss in advertising who openly only hired girls for entry-level management jobs because they were 'organised and diligent', whereas boys would 'question authority'. Basically, we were good little workhorses with no professional self-esteem who wouldn’t question the 16 hour days which equated to a tidy $7 an hour. And it’s all about balance, the young girls held up the entry-level end while the old men held up the c-suite end. Obvi. But also, working in those industries gives you clients and exposure to workplace equivalent of stale milk. An office full of Trump supporters, or game hunters or generally a collective of people who are the equivalent of black jelly beans. It physically pained me being in some client’s offices. Working in media comms is like going shopping in a shopping centre for friends. You’re spoilt for choice: these places are like living in a small town with one Country Target to buy your clothes. Rough. Then there are the self-employed, or working on the road, where there are just no options at all. So let’s get creative.

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Join a cult

And I obviously don’t mean like a Jim Jones or Heaven’s Gate cult, I mean an exercise cult. Exercise cults are very specific. I don’t mean join a Fitness First a do a pump class. Because a pump class is like an overcrowded public school- there are too many students for individual attention. If I’m going to a pump class, I’m not going to make friends, I’m going to judge you and make a summation of your entire life based on your activewear alone and your ranking in the class performance, which I am definitely giving you. No, an exercise cult is a boutique. You go religiously, but with the same group of people at the same time. F45 is a cult. They even have 10 commandments. That, true to cult form, are pretty aggressive. Personally, I didn’t make friends when I was in the F45 cult, but that’s because I was very religious and dedicated to the practice. I was there to strictly observe the faith. But fan Amber has made some of her best friends through her faction of the F45 cult. Fan Ash joined a girls football team. Again regular practice, with the same group of people. That’s 40 friends- bang. Pole dancing is an excellent opportunity for friend acquisition. Regular classes, small classes with the same people. Fans Polly, Jess and Christina can all attribute to this as a friend maker.


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Travelling

Another sure-fire way to make friends. The same lack of inhibition that encourages you to get on the back of a random’s motorbike in Mykonos and go with them alone to drink at ‘their local' is the same lack of inhibition that allows you to talk to anyone. Topdeck tours and Contiki tours are how fan Sascha has made some lifelong friends. And yes, I know they have an age expiry, but there are also more mature aged tours, where I imagine your fellow travellers are those people who scream ‘Rob me I’m foreign!’ with their appearance - khaki army pants, hiking boots, bumbags. But I’ve done a mix of tours and no tours, and your friend magnetism is the same either way. I’ve made friends in gutters in Serbia. What was I doing there? Who knows. Fans Mia and Lucy can also attest to making some of their best friends through their solo travel adventures. Plus, the bonus is you get a place to stay when you visit their city. Frugal.

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Online

When you’re somewhere permanently, it’s a little bit different. You can’t be a total loose unit because you’re not escaping any embarrassment or lawbreaking the next day. Plus you want to make friends that are also around permanently. Fan Jessie, obviously someone with zero social anxiety, would just ask people to hang out who’d she just met and it worked. Fan Will has told me about a new Australian movement called #onlyfriends. It’s set up off the back of the stat that two out of three millennials experience loneliness. Because we’re so interconnected digitally, but not so much in real life. You can sign up at onlyfriends.com.au and make a group of local friends in your area. I love this idea. Jessie and Jess both also swear by dating apps to meet people overseas. Which makes sense, that’s how 100% of new sexy time relationships start, so why wouldn’t you use it for friends? Bumble for Friends is a real thing and at first, I was like that sounds awkward, because you’re still going on a date, you’re just guaranteed to pay for your own meal and not got any. But both of them rate it highly! You can do group hangs so it’s totally not awkward. Jess said she used it in America and they would go to Korean BBQ and watch Bachie together and I’m sold. Jessie and Jess might have been using the dilated for of dating apps, but fan Aleisha uses the concentrated form. Straight up Tinder, and fans I love this story. It makes me feel 45 years older than I am. Aleisha has been in a rel with Eddie for forever and married for a year, but their relationship is open and Aleisha uses Tinder to find girls. They had a threesome with one girl and in classic Melbourne form, they asked a girl to brunch the following day and they’ve been friends ever since. She was even their tenant for a while. I asked if they still hook up and they have once, but it’s more than they’re just great friends now.

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Have a baby

I was more terrified of meeting my Mother’s Group than actually raising my child. Honestly, it’s so easy! (Was that more obnoxious than the too many friends comment?) I thought they would all be mega-rich, Audi 4wd-ing, nanny employing, Chanel toting, botox flaunting, MILFs – so basically who I want to be, but it turned out they’re actually just really nice people. Ugh, that’s 7 more friends I now have. Fan Laura can’t keep up with the friends she has, but also bonded with her mother’s group as has fan Polly. Evie makes friends with mums at the park, which I totally understand because watching children play on a playground is actually not stimulating in the slightest! Bron has made friends with parents at school, which I’m still suss on. I’ve seen Bad Moms’ and being parents at school looks like being at school where’s there’s cliques and competition. If you work full time you’re judged if you don’t work you’re judged. I really see the school pick up as a job for my nanny that I will definitely be able to afford in five years because surely my goal to get rich will be achieved by then. But maybe because I’ll also be able to afford to send my child to the most elite private school I’ll make friends with the other mums at a school organised networking lunch for ‘very successful, powerful, rich mums.'

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Be open

But really, you don’t need to travel, take up a hobby or have a baby to make friends. You just need to be open to making friends in any situation. Fan Emmalee got stood up on a date, an absolute doll told her she looked lush and they chatted all night, exchanged numbers and became besties. Love that for your Emmalee! Jess made speed dial level friends at a wedding, (note: being lubricated definitely helps). Brit’s dog had to get his leg amputated and after 4324 visits to the vet, she’s now besties with the vet, probably because she made him a millionaire with all the fees involved. Lucy and Jess make friends with their friends' friends. And Mia is the most outgoing, brave fan. She thinks of old friends or acquaintances she may have lost touch with and adds them on Insta and asks them to hang. If she wants to. Hang out great, if not, you probably didn’t want to be friends with them in the first place.

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The hard thing about making friends is being open to it. Especially if you’re not overly outgoing and extroverted, but then that’s the common thread through all of these friendships. Being open to the opportunity and accepting opportunity when it presents itself rather than denying. I don’t know how many of my fellow theatre nerds are in this community, probably not many because you’re cool. But there’s this improve game called ‘Yes, and...’. It’s a partner game, and the idea is that I say something and you keep the story going by saying ‘Yes, and...' The number one rule is not to deny. For example, using Emmalee’s story I say ‘I just got stood up’ and you say ‘Yes, and such a shame because you look gorgeous, his loss’, then I say, ‘Yes, and I’m out, I’m dressed, I’m going to have a drink anyway’, then you could keep the game going by saying ‘Yes, and why don’t you come and drink with us?’ and keep accepting, or you could shut it down and say, ‘Cool, good for you. Enjoy.’ Ending the interaction. Making friends is just like that. If you’re open, there’s opportunity everywhere. If you deny, you’re closing yourself off to the opportunity.


I am so philosophical. You should probably call me Socrates moving forward.

For more low involvement brunch banter, listen to the Large Almond Latte Podcast on Apple, Google, Spotify or I Heart Radio.






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