- I am 59
- What is my nationaly:
- What is my hair:
- Silky hair
- I speak:
- Zodiac sign:
- I'm Cancer
- My figure type:
- My figure type is quite thin
- Easy listening
Striking up friendships can be tricky — and studies show millions of us are lonely. Here, four people who forged new connections explain how they did it. Plus: psychologist Linda Blair gives her tips. Teenage years are filled with friendships easily made and some easily forgottenwhen you are feeling keen, sociable and energetic. Then there are engagements, marriage, relocation, career changes, families: life comes calling with its multiple demands, and friendships evolve as a result.
A fairly common social issue people have is that they're not sure how to make friends and put together a social life for themselves. There are quite a few ways someone can find themselves in this situation: They've moved to a new city and don't know very many people yet. They've been in a long-term relationship and have let their social life wither. Their old friends have slowly been dropping out of the picture - moving away, busy with work or a new family, etc.
A large chunk of their social circle disappeared overnight, like everyone graduated from university and most of their friends moved out of the city. They feel like they've grown apart from their current friends and want to make new ones. In the past they were happy being alone a lot of the time, but now they want to be around people more often. They never really knew how to make friends and have always wished their social lives were better. They've recently made a big lifestyle change such as deciding not to drink anymore, and need a new social circle that's more suited to it.
Below are my thoughts on how to make friends. I'll cover a basic structure first, then go into some overall attitudes and principles I think are important. People who are already good at making friends naturally tend to do most of the things I outline below. Here are the basic things you need to do to make friends. They may seem simplistic, but there can be a lot to each point. People who struggle with their social lives often unintentionally stumble on one or more of them. To make friends you first have to find some possible candidates.
There are two main ways to do this: Draw on your current contacts This won't apply if you've moved to a new city and don't know anyone, but often you'll already have the seeds of a social life around you. You don't necessarily have to go out and meet ten strangers. It's often easier to turn existing contacts into full-fledged friends than it is to meet new ones.
There are probably a handful of people you already know who could end up becoming part of a new social circle. I'm talking about: Acquaintances you're friendly with when you run into each other, but who you never see otherwise. People at work or in your classes who you get along with.
Friends of people you know who you've gotten along with in the past. Someone who has shown an interest in being your friend but you never really took up the offer. Friends you've gradually lost contact with who you could get back in touch with. Meet some new people Getting more out of your current relationships can go a long way, but it doesn't always work.
1. realize your fear is in your head
Sometimes you're at a point where you need to meet entirely new people. Not having easy access to potential new friends is a big barrier for many in creating a social circle. I go into more detail here:.
Overall, I'd say the easiest things to do are: Get into hobbies or communities where you'll naturally meet a lot of people you already have something in common with. Even better if it involves an activity that facilitates conversation. Meet people through school or your job.
You'll see the same faces day after day, and can get to know them in a more gradual, low-pressure way. Meet one or two people you click with, and then get to know their friends. Overall, meeting new people may require making an effort to get out of your day-to-day routine.
If most of your hobbies are solitary you might also need to add some more people-oriented ones to the mix. It never hurts to just to live a full, varied, interesting life that gets you out of the house. You won't meet someone through every last thing you try, but your odds will be better than if you hang around at home all the time.
Once you're in a situation with some prospective friends around, you need to strike up conversations and try to get to know them. You won't form a connection with everyone you speak with, but if you chat to enough people you'll find you like and get along with some of them.
10 apps that will help you make friends because, help, it's hard (!!)
Once you've done that you could say you're now at the Friendly Acquaintance stage, or that they're context-specific friends e. If you have trouble with successfully meeting, chatting to, and getting to know people, you may want to check out the site's sections on dealing with shyness, fears, and insecurites and making conversation.
Invite potential friends to do something with you Once you've met some people you click with, ask them to hang out and do something outside of the situation you met them in. This is an important, overlooked step in my experience.
You can meet all the people you want, and they can think you're great, but if you don't take any action to do something with them in the future, then you won't form many new relationships. People will stay as the guy you talk to in class, or the woman you chat to at the office. This seems basic, but lonelier people often hit a wall here. There may be someone they joke around with at work, or chat to in one of their classes, or play with at a local gaming store, but they won't take the step of inviting them out and taking the relationship to the next level, and beyond the acquaintance or activity partner stage.
Depending on how you met them, you may invite someone to hang out fairly quickly or wait a few weeks.
Loneliness isn't inevitable – a guide to making new friends as an adult
For example, if a friend brings one of their buddies along to have drinks with you one day, and you spent four hours together and hit it off from the start, you may be totally comfortable asking them to hang out again right away. On the other hand, if you seem to mesh with someone at your job, but can only have short conversations with them here and there, it may be a month before you feel ready to invite them out.
If you're on the shyer side, you might be a little hesitant to invite people out. While it can be scary at first, and there is a risk of rejection, it is something you can get used to. If someone's not interested they'll rarely harshly shoot you down. They'll usually just make a polite excuse about why they can't make it. For all you know it could be legitimate. If you're not sure how to ask someone to do something with you, you could check out this article:. It's a good idea to get into the habit of getting people's contact info fairly early.
You may meet someone interesting, but you can never assume you're going to see them around again anytime soon. Ask for their phone or address, or see if they're on whatever social media is big in your area. That way if an opportunity to get together comes up they'll be easy to reach.
Also, if they have your info then they can get a hold of you if they want to invite you to something. To hang out with someone you've got to plan it.
Sometimes the process is straightforward. You ask them if they want do something, they agree, and you set a time and place.
At other times trying to nail down a plan can be tedious and unpredictable, especially when more than one other person is involved. It helps to accept that this is just an area where there's always going to be an amount of uncertainty, and you can't control everything.
If inviting people out and arranging plans all seems like a big hassle, it also feels that way for everyone else at times.
They shouldn't always have to step up and organize things. Do some of the lifting yourself when you need to. More details here:. Of course, making your own plans is important, but if someone asks you to hang out, even better. If you get invited to do something, strongly consider going. I won't tell you have to force yourself to say "yes" to absolutely everything. Like if you're certain you'll dislike an activity, it's way outside your comfort zone, or that's the only time you have to study for a big exam, it's okay to decline. However, if you're only a little unsure, give it a chance.
Why turn down a free chance to get out there with people? When you've got more friends and different options competing for your time you can be more choosy.
2. start small with people you know
If you're more of a shy or solitary person it's easy to mull over an invite and rationalize that it won't be that fun and that you shouldn't go. Try to push past those thoughts and go anyway. You often can't be sure how enjoyable something will be until you show up and see for yourself. If it's a dud you can always make an excuse to leave early.