Making new friends
When you hear the word friendship, what comes to your mind? Do you know the real meaning of it? What is a friend to you? Friendships can have a great impact on our lives, especially in our health and happiness. How about that? Think about your good friends, what you share with them, what they bring to your life,
A good friend is someone who brings joy to your life, someone with whom you can relieve stress (by sharing some good laughs), someone who keeps you on your toes and even someone who helps strengthen your physical health. Good friends are real treasures that we should cherish. But the thing about friendships is that they don't just happen,
A lot of people really struggle to make new acquaintances and develop real connections with them. Are you one of those people? Now you know you're not alone. The good news is that it's never too late to meet new people and make new friends, or even to reconnect with older ones.
Having friends is so important to our psychological welfare. Friends can bring more happiness to our lives than anything else. It takes time to develop and maintain a friendship, but it's totally worth it. Besides bringing joy to our lives, there are some added benefits of having a friend.
A friend can improve your mood, can help you meet your goals (by encouraging you), Having a friend means you'll have an active social life and this can help reduce your levels of stress and can help you fight depression, By sharing your problems with a friend, you'll find support and a way of copping. Since friendship is a two-way street, giving your friendship and support to that other person gives you a sense of purpose. Having a friend can boost your self-worth.
So how do you go about making new friends? Where do you start? How can you do it? We'll give you some tips but remember that it requires work on your part, you need to make the effort.
1. Be open to new experiences
The definition of craziness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Have you heard this wise saying? It applies also when making new friends. We know it can be scary to try new things, go out of your comfort zone but when you start panicking, just think of the end result. Making new friends, now that you're an adult, will require for you to open up to new experiences, try new things.
Maybe not everything you'll try is going to work but you'll learn from that experience and there's a chance that you'll have fun doing it. You can try volunteering, this is a great way to helping others and meeting new people. You can also take a class or join a club, this way you can meet people that have your same interest and that can pave the way for getting better acquainted.
Cheer for your team, since going to a bar can be pretty intimidating, find out where people go to watch a game to cheer on the local team and join them; it's easier to start a conversation when you have something in common to talk about.
2. Overcome the obstacles
If you find some obstacles in your way to make new friends, there are some things you can do to overcome them. First, you need to be completely sure of your goal, so you don't lose focus. The first obstacle could be your busy schedule, don't worry you can still make new friends even with a packed schedule. You can put it on your calendar, you can schedule a time to make new friends, put an automatic weekly or monthly standing appointment and stick to it. Or you can mix business with pleasure, find a way to combine what you have to do with socializing activities like going to the gym, or going shopping.
If the obstacle is your fear of rejection, you can work with the right therapist on ways to build your trust and your self-esteem. You can also take some time to evaluate your attitude. Don't assume that if someone doesn't want to talk to you it means that he or she doesn't like you. You don't know what's happening inside his or her head. And don't beat yourself up if someone rejects you, put in perspective: you made an effort and tried and you learned something from that experience. Use it next time you're meeting someone new.
How to make new friends online
In the last decade, technology has been a great influence on the way we meet new people, it has, in some way, shifted the definition of friendship. Thanks to social apps like Facebook you now can have lots of friends and "meet" new ones on a daily basis. You can reconnect with older friends too, and that's great. It has shortened the distance between old friends and has let you meet instantly, people who live on the other side of the world.
You can enrich your social life by making friends online, it's easy and it gives you a sense of accomplishment. But like we said before, to really deepen a connection, you have to make the effort and you have to stay in touch.
If you're having trouble making new friends online, keep reading will give you some tips that could help you.
3. Identify the where and how
Finding the right online network for you could help to make it easier. If you choose a network or a social app with like-minded people, the chances of finding new friends go up because it's easier to start conversations with people who have the same interests. If you look for communities to join, you'll do better if you join a small community. In a small community, each member is important so it's easier to make a connection.
If you're into gaming, don't play alone, join other gamers and play with them online, you'll always have something to talk about. If you have a hobby or some particular interest (gardening, quilting, reading), look for niche interest groups on social media. if you join a Facebook group, for example, share content and engage with the pictures or comments shared by the other members.
There are also mobile apps and websites to find new friends. Try some of them like Bumble BFF, or Meetup or Friender. Write an honest and simple profile, then start reading other people's profile to find the ones that have an interest in common with you. Write them a short message asking if they want to meet and do some activity that you both like together.
4. Don't talk too much about yourself
If you really want to make new friends online, you should make the other person feel heard and appreciated. If you start to talk about yourself nonstop without any reciprocity, it won't bode well for you. Plus if the conversation seems more like a monologue, it isn't accomplishing anything. Talk but also listen, you know, the 50/50 rule. This rule also applies to the messages and replies, Avoid the long messages (that feel like a novel) as well as the long replies. Keep it short and to the point, this is conducive to pleasant conversations that helps forge a friendship online.
5. Make the conversation online interesting
This can prove challenging but it's doable with a little bit of online research. You don't need to be an online stalker to know things about your new acquaintance, just look at his or her profile and find some commonalities. Things you have in common (interests, hobbies, the place where you live, the school you went), and center the conversation among those topics. It's easier and the conversation will have a flow.
Aim to ask questions that are not centered on the person, or that can alienate him or her. Asking where he/she lives, for example, may not grant you an answer; instead, ask what's his/her feelings about their current living situation. Or where does he/she dreams of living?
How to make new friends offline
Making new friends online is great and fairly easy but it should not replace having and meeting new friends offline. Sometimes the online approach could lead to superficial connections, besides an online friend can't hug you and be there for you in person to offer support when things get tough. Making new friends offline can help you feel not a stranger in the place where you live. It means you'll have someone near that will listen and offer advice when you need it.
How can you make new friends offline? Find out by following these tips.
6. Get offline and join the real world
Sometimes it's laziness that keeps us from making new friends offline. We are comfortable being in our home, checking email, checking FB or IG instead of being outside having face to face conversations. You need to make the effort, so close your computer or turn off your iPad or give your phone a break and go visit your local park, or community center, or just go to the mall, you'll find someone to talk to and that could be the start of a new friendship.
7. Organize a party
What a better way to meet new people or forge a better connection with your actual acquaintances than to throw a fun party where people can mingle over some food and music? You know all those events you get invited through FB? Usually, they're not local ones, and the people invited aren't locals either. You can take that concept and use it to craft your guest list, look for local people (neighbors, colleagues, friends) and ask them to bring along someone else to the party, You'll meet new people and have fun while doing it.
8. Be willing to share
As scary as it is, to make new friends you need vulnerability. You need to be able to share what you think, your opinions, share recommendations, let people in on your plans. Keeping to yourself is not going to get you any friends, to form friendships you need to build closeness and trust and the only way to accomplish that is by sharing and being a little bit vulnerable.
New friendship quotes
If you still need a little push to get yourself out there so you can find new friends, we'll leave you with some inspiration in the form of new friendship quotes. Enjoy and share them with your potential new friends.
"Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them." -Francesco Giucciardini
"A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints." -Wilfred Peterson
"The happiest business in all the world is that of making friends. And no investment on the streets pays larger dividends. For life is more than stocks and bonds, and love than rate percent. And he who gives in friendship's name shall reap what he has." Unknown
"Friendship involves many things but, above all the power of going outside oneself and appreciating what is noble and loving in another." -Thomas Huxley
There is nothing better and more rewarding than having a friend or friends with whom to share all the important and not so important things in your life. Making new friends could be a little scary, especially now that you're an adult but it is totally worth it. Now you know how to go about it, so good luck on your quest.