Making friends in adulthood can be much more difficult than it was when we were kids. However, one of the easiest ways adults can make new friends is by going to the laundromat, especially if you know a few secret tips that we describe below.
Go In With a Smile
There's an old expression, "No one likes a sourpuss." The opposite is true too. It is basic human nature to be drawn to those with positive facial expressions. Yes, laundry is technically a chore, and you may be tempted to frown while doing it, but going to the laundromat can be a fun experience if you go in with a positive attitude. Smiling, like laughter, is contagious and your fellow laundromat patrons will view you as a welcome dose of cheerfulness if you go in with a smile. If you are smiling, they'll be more inclined to start a conversation with you and they'll be more receptive if you start one with them.
If smiling doesn't come naturally for you, try practicing in the mirror. Yes, this may sound silly, but it actually works quite well! In fact, that funny face you'll see staring back at you in the mirror will make you giggle, chuckle, and smile as natural as can be... and when you see how magnetic this is, you'll want to do it all the time! Once you've found your natural smile, there's no better place to test it out than the laundromat! It's fun to see how people relax around you if you shoot them a big bright smile... and that's the perfect beginning for a great friendship!
Bring Items You Can Share
Listening to the spin cycle and watching those socks go round and round in dryer can make one good and hungry! When preparing snacks for the laundromat, consider bringing snacks that can be easily shared with your fellow laundromat patrons! This is one of the easiest ways to make new friends, especially if you offer homemade goodies. You'll be laughing and talking in no time! Here are a few suggestions:
1. Homemade Cookies
You can never go wrong with homemade cookies! Just be sure to tell people if put in nuts and remember that people who are allergic to nuts may also be allergic to peanut butter and coconut.
2. Home Popped Popcorn With Interesting Salts and Spices
Containers of home popped popcorn with pink Himalayan salt or dusted with a mixture of cinnamon, cardamon, and sugar - now there's some laundromat conversation starters for you and so easy to share!
3. Veggie Sticks & Snow Peas With Homemade Dipping Sauce
For a healthy laundromat snack that is super easy to share, try cutting up some vegetable sticks and adding some extra green crunch with snow peas! Healthy homemade dipping sauces can be made from plain yogurt, herbs, and spices.
There are many other items you can bring along to share at the laundromat that will help you meet other people and make friends with them. For example, if you bring along reading materials, instead of a single book, bring along the newspaper that you can share or a small stack of magazines. Even the local freebie papers work well for this and the local interest stories are great conversation starters. If you have kids, you can bring along extra coloring books and toys for the kids to share with other kids. You could also bring along a couple of crossword puzzle books and ask for help when you get stuck and perhaps even ask people if they'd like to help you with the whole puzzle... make it a group effort, laundromat team versus those mind teasing puzzle makers! Hand games like the classic Rubik's Cube, the similar Pyraminx, or the triangle peg game (like the one you find on the tables at Cracker Barrel) are always a fun way to pass the time while waiting for laundry to finish. They can also be easily shared so bring extras!
Go At a Consistent Time
Because of work and other commitments, many people go to the laundromat at approximately the same time every week. This means if you go at the same time every week, you'll likely run into some of the same people repeatedly. This repeated exposure will make it easier to make friends with them. They'll get to know you, little by little, and this builds trust and interest.
If you have some flexibility in your schedule, you may also want to initially try going to the laundromat at different times to "test the waters" and see the different kinds of people you run into. For example, you'll likely encounter a different set of people on a Thursday night than you would mid-day Saturday. It's kind of like testing out a coffeeshop at different times. Once you find the time slot you like the most, keep it consistent for at least a while and this will make it easier for you to make new friends at the laundromat.
Even if you happen to be an introvert, or perhaps your personality is a bit "crusty" on the edges, the secret tips outlined above will help you make new friends at the laundromat. If you want to turn these friends into closer friends, invite them out for coffee, a walk in the park, or maybe to lunch or dinner. Even if they decline your invitation, you'll always have the laundromat! Keep smiling everyone!