Making friends as an adult is a lot harder than it used to be. Now we have jobs and responsibilities and inhibitions and fears. That being said, it isn’t healthy to be a loner, so we still have to make friends. The question is, with all these things standing in the way, how do we do it? A good place to start might be with these five scientifically proven ways to help you make friends as an adult.

Open Your Ears

When you’re trying to make new friends, be a listener more than a talker. People are drawn to people that ask them questions and actually listen to their responses. That does not mean you should never talk. You should definitely provide thoughtful and earnest responses and even follow up questions. That will demonstrate that you’re a person that gives, an ideal quality in a friend.

Be An Initiator

It’s hard to make the first move, even when it’s initiating a friendship and not a romantic relationship. Rejection is scary no matter what form it comes in. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid doing it. If you’ve felt a flicker of a connection with someone, it’s worth it to ask if they want to get together sometime. It could just lead to a lifelong friendship.

Oversharing Is Caring

We are more likely to be interested in someone who is open. A person who shares lots of things about themselves, even to new people, is bound to make new friends quickly. Sharing means establishing trust, which helps people around you feel comfortable. It may not the best idea to overdo it, because sharing too much might make people feel awkward. However, the right amount of sharing can go a long way.

Be A Yes Person

If someone invites you to do something, the easiest thing to do is to come up with an excuse for why you can’t go. This is because we often feel tired from our jobs and our lives. Yet saying no all the time is not a good move for making friends. Instead, make it a priority to say yes at least some of the time. You’ll open yourself up to way more friendship opportunities.

Invest Yourself

When someone asks you for advice  or an opinion, be genuine and give it some thought. When you slack on investing yourself in the needs of others, they notice and will be less likely to interact with you in the future. On the other hand, if you really helped someone out with your insight and attention to detail, they will more than likely start to see you as a confidant rather than just an acquaintance.