Making friends was so much easier in the school years. Most of them were in your class. Some kids lived nearby. Others had parents who were friends with your family.
Regardless of where you found them, getting acquainted and hanging out on a regular basis was far less complicated. You were yet to develop a fear of rejection, and who exactly you spent your time with didn’t matter as much as it does today. Things are different now. Most grown-ups contend with a friend circle that only keeps shrinking.
Career changes, marriage, relocating and having children are just some of the life events that cause adult friendships to dwindle. Maintaining strong relationships with likeminded people is important. Here’s how you can find some.
Set Your Mind to It
Make sure that you’re going into this with a positive mindset. Thinking that you’re never going to meet anyone can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Perception paints your reality, so avoid dwelling on limiting beliefs like not being fun or interesting enough. Stay open and inviting. You should also remember that your options aren’t limited to one gender.
Create a List
Whether it’s a neighbor, coworker or someone you see on a regular basis, chances are that there’s one or two people who you’d like to know better. Write down the names of everyone you might enjoy hanging out with. From there, consider sending out an invite for coffee. It’s up to you to take the initiative and get the ball rolling.
Use Your Calendar
Life is busy these days. And despite your best efforts, you probably won’t end up doing anything until you schedule it. Decide when you want to ask that guy to join you for lunch or that lady to visit for tea, then arrange a date. Set aside a sufficient amount of time and continue scheduling your initial contacts so that you don’t just keep putting them off.
Know Where to Look
This is one of the biggest challenges, especially if you find yourself in a new location. Start your search on the internet. Social media can help you get in touch with old friends and see whether anyone has moved nearby. You can also make use of an app for meeting new friends who share your interests. Other options include:
- Connecting with people in the workplace
- Joining the local gym or sports league
- Attending meet-ups and local events
- Getting into a book club
- Participating in religious gatherings
- Volunteering at your child’s school
Sure, you might be tired, overworked and overscheduled. But if you receive an invitation for a get-together, try your best to accept it. Social anxiety can add a layer of difficulty here. It’s important to keep the other person’s intentions on top of mind. They probably like you and want to learn more. Giving invites a thumbs up is a great way to open new doors.
Broaden Your Horizons
This is an ideal opportunity to try something new and explore unfamiliar territory. Who knows, you may just discover an interesting hobby or sport that you didn’t expect to enjoy. The broader your outlook, the higher your chances of heading on new and exciting adventures will be. Plus, it increases the likelihood of meeting different kinds of people.
With the myriad of ways that people spend their time today, your options are endless. Join a dance class, take art lessons, try parkour, start cycling… the list goes on. You may not be the only friend-seeker who decided to step out of their comfort zone.
The next steps are clear. It’s simply up to you to put in the effort and get out there. Go for it!