real life

How to make new friends as an adult (without being a weirdo).

Dimity Kirkwood, successfully making friends since 2014.

In the last month, I have gained a handful of new friends and lost a lot of self-respect.

The reason? I have moved cities, houses and started a new job here at Mamamia.

This has meant trying my very hardest to hide my weird idiosyncrasies (the ones that my established friends have learned to love accept) and try to reinvent myself as the cool, fun-loving friend everyone wants to have.

And because this whole experience has made me forget what shame is, I am here to share my attempts to make friends with the Internet – so that everyone can learn what not to do when embarking on a friend-making adventure.

Shameful Experience #1: Toilet Paper CEO

When I started my new job, I wanted to make sure I was helping out as much as possible. I decided this meant being Chief Executive Officer of Toilet Paper Monitoring. It happened after I was once asked to order some more toilet paper for the office. ‘Right,’ I thought, ‘this is your time to shine Dimity.’

I ordered 32 rolls online immediately. I also decided to buy some in store that day so as to avoid the potential threat of running out. After this, I went into the bathroom 4 times daily, not to use it, but to check there was always two rolls of toilet paper available when sitting on the toilet, and not just at arms-length, but directly next to the toilet.

I kept this up for two weeks. Two. Weeks.

Learning: No friends were gained from this experience.

Shameful Experience #2: Be agreeable. But not this agreeable.

Equally ineffective was when I believed friend-making was achieved through agreeing with everything a potential friend said.

Think constant nodding and everlasting affirmation of every opinion they’ve ever had.

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This tactic came undone when I was speaking with one of the writers from Mamamia. She was talking about an article she had written and it sounded interesting. So despite not having read it I nodded along and told her I had not only read it but absolutely loved it.

She looked confused and then confirmed I was referring to the article she had written while working for another company that was not Mamamia. I paused before nodding enthusiastically again. “I looooved it,” I repeated.

She continued to talk about the article to me, referencing parts I clearly had no idea about. I was completely stumped for a response. So in desperation (instead of responding to her or coming clean) I just looked at other people in the room with an expectation they would be able to answer the questions posed to me about my thoughts on the article.

This did not work and the conversation took a major hit when an awkward silence ensued.

Shameful Experience #3: The realisation that I was that crazy texting person.

My most important lesson was learned through a series of text messages that now make me want to crawl under my desk in embarrassment. This is a real life conversation that happened.

Potential friend: Want to get a drink?

Me: Sure! I’m free now, or tomorrow, or the next day if you want?

Potential friend: Ok, what about this Saturday?

Me: Absolutely! Let’s do Saturday! Great!

Me: (on Friday) Hey, we still on for Saturday?

Me: (on Saturday) Hey, just let me know when you’re free!

Me: (on Sunday) Hey again! Happy to do a day that suits you, just let me know! I’m still checking my phone for her reply.


I am fully aware that the very act of writing this list undermines my quest to make any new friends at all. But, as I have learned through this experience, what really matters when trying to make new adult friends, is just learning to be yourself.

Haha. No. Not really. Try baking things for people. Works a treat.

Tags: friendships
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