Making Friends As An Adult

(This column is posted at and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

I saw this fascinating Tweet thread when @itsashleyoh asked how people make friends as adult. This is something that’s often troubled me after college, and is an issue in ever-busy Silicon Valley.

Its hard to make friends past a certain point. You get busy with work. Some of your friends have kids and some don’t. Some of you are married and some aren’t. So I read the Tweetstream and added a few suggestions of my own. Think of it as my own way of combating some issues of loneliness all face.

Most of these are face-to-face, but a lot of this applies to online.

Here we go. Please add your own.


  • Have a hobby and follow it. This is good for you personally, and of course makes you more interesting.
  • Use that hobby to meet people with similar interests and go to meetups, drinks, dinner, etc.
  • Help people get into the hobby.
  • Hobbies also keep you from being boring and work obsessed.


  • There are all sorts of clubs out there you can find via meetup, game stores, hobby stores, etc. Find some and go try them out.
  • When you can, help out at your club.
  • Take a position at a club.


  • Get involved in good causes, and help out. This is also good for you mentally and emotionally.
  • If you get involved in a good cause, you may want to be “on staff” – that means reguarly meeting people.


  • Go to conventions and socialize.
  • Speak or run events at conventions.
  • Get on staff at conventions.

Go to places and hang out

  • Start hanging out at coffee shops, the library, gymns, etc. other places people gather. Sure you can write and read, but also its a chance to meet people.
  • Many places have regular events, bands, etc. Look for those.
  • Places you hang out may also have event boards, where people post different things going on.


  • If you go to events, go early so you can meet people in line, getting drinks, etc.
  • If you go to events reguarly, help out.
  • Go to events people you know throw and make new connections.

Specific events and organizations

  • Many pubs and places have trivia events and other great social opportunities.
  • Game nights are popular at various establishments, including game stores, bars, and meetups.
  • Libraries have lots of events, including book sales that you can go to or help out with.
  • Museums have events and need volunteers.
  • Writing groups and various creative groups often do a lot of events.

Throw events

  • Throw open houses, writing meetups, etc. If necessary, used
  • Do events for your club, church, work to nextwork with people you know.
  • Start your own Meetup.
  • Try doing “creative jams” at your place or nearby, where fellow writers/artists/musicians socialize.


  • Your job may have events that connect you with others, not just those at work.
  • Find people you like at work and hang with them if you’re comfortable.
  • Places of work often have charity connections that you can get involved in.


  • Pets are a common shared interest. There’s parks for animals, clubs, and more.
  • There’s often social events for pet lovers.
  • There’s charities focused around pets to get involved in

Be prepared

  • Have business cards or “social cards” to connect with people.
  • Choose the social media you use to connect with people so you can network.
  • is invaluable.


  • Be ready to reach out to people.
  • Rejection is OK. It happens to all of us.
  • If you’re seeing a therapist for whatever reason, they may have advice.

Be a good friend

  • Take an interest in others. It’s not all about you.
  • Help people out (don’t be used, just lend a helping hand)
  • Invite your friends to things. even if they don’t always show up, it helps.
  • Remember some people are in the same boat as you.

I hope this helps out.

Steven Savage

Activities For The Civic Geek: Help Out A Group

Maybe you’re not up for founding your own group or club.  Fine.  Take your specialized skillset, go find an existing club or convention or event that needs your help, and volunteer.

Geek clubs and groups and events are usually made up of volunteers – and frankly, not enough volunteers in most people’s experiences. Your average convention needs a lot of good will, a lot of warm bodies, and a lot of volunteer brains to run. These clubs and organizations need people that can help out.

That’s where you come in as a Civic Geek.

Ask yourself what skills you have, what skills you can provide, and go volunteering. If you’re willing people will respond – and if you’ve got a specific skill set you mind find yourself deeply involved right away. Good skills and good volunteering are important combinations.

Don’t know what you’re good at?  Doesn’t matter.  Gophers, people setting up the snacks, whatever.  Start somewhere.  You’ll find your niche.

Most conventions, clubs, or events have some kind of contact web page or volunteer form, so it shouldn’t be hard to get access. Some good networking will help as well.

On top of all of this, you might improve your existing skills or develop new ones. Maybe you’re an accountant and you help with a conventions finances. Maybe you want to develop public speaking so you run public auctions for a comics club. Helping out can help you out.

It’s my firm believe that every geek should be involved in some geek group, preferably local.  Being involved face-to-face is good for civic geekery.




(This ongoing series is an attempt to write a free guide to Civic Geekery – one idea at a time)


Geek Networking At AODSF: Con Report And More

Discussion Communication

(I wanted to post more on franchises, but I’ve got something worth interrupting my Soul Train of thought for.)

A few years ago I started doing Geek Career Networking events at conventions. It was a mixture of discussing networking and connecting people in the audience. It wasn’t a true networking event if you want to be technical; it was a panel on networking with real networking bolted on.

I’ve always wanted to try a “real” connection-focused Networking even in the convention scenes. The kind where you mix around and meet people based on your professional interests. I figured one would be useful at a convention, and perhaps in a time where ConSuites aren’t always a guarantee, necessary.

Fortunately, the crew at AODSF let me try out a full Geek Networking event.    The results were “pretty good” but let’s get into the details and the lessons learned – because I’d like to not just share, but hear other ideas.

Read more