Friendship is such an important aspect of our lives. We all need friends and we're not just talking Facebook! Use these tips and learn how to make friends, old and new, and create bonds that will last a lifetime!
Anyone remember those days in grade school when making friends was as easy as saying “Hey, you're my new best friend!?” Yeah… if only it was still that simple! Well, it may not be that easy, but making new friends doesn't have to be hard!
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In fact, when it comes to Google, asking “how to make friends” is a pretty common question… meaning there are TONS of us searching for, and struggling to cultivate friendships. Use these tips and we'll help you take the first steps toward creating new friendships and bonds that will grow with you for years to come!
THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING FRIENDS
As an adult, it can be such a challenge cultivating and growing meaningful friendships. We just have SO. MUCH. TO. DO. Between daily household chores, work, kids, extracurricular activities, and maintaining a healthy marriage—friendships can fall by the wayside, even if it's completely unintentional!
We'll show you some super easy ways to rekindle those old friendships that have waned and make new ones. Age and circumstance is not a factor—we ALL need friends. Now, let's get to it!
RECONNECT WITH OLD FRIENDS
If you've found yourself on an island all alone, searching for friends to do life with, begin by rekindling old friendships. Even if you haven't spoken in years, those bonds you formed in years past can easily be rebuilt with some effort and attention. Who knows… maybe they've been searching to rekindle friendships, too!
JUST BE YOU!
The most important thing when it comes to making friends is to just be you! Don't waste your time pretending you are or are NOT interested in something just to spark a friendship. True friendships are built on honesty and trust and can grow because of, or even in spite of, certain differences! Not a makeup person? No big deal. Don't fake LOVING something because you “think” that's what an ideal friend would want you to be into.
CONNECT TO SIMILAR INTERESTS
One of the easiest places to make new friends and create bonds with people is at your job. Most jobs mandate us to be in a physical location, for a specified period of time, with the same people, day after day. Naturally, as a result of hours spent together, friendships will arise from these settings! But what does this mean for the stay-at-home parent or the remote working adult?
If you're not in a same time, same place situation… create one for yourself! Find something that interests you (like sewing, gardening or even aquariums!) and join a local group. Love to play games? Host a game night for your neighbors. This is a great way to put yourself in the same place as people with similar interests where a friendship might form more easily. Bonus… you'll probably learn something new and there's a built in topic of conversation!
Another great thing to do when looking for new friends is getting involved in volunteer work. Volunteer at your local animal shelter, soup kitchen or street clean-up crew. Wherever you go, you're sure to find people with similar philanthropic interests! Plus, theres nothing quite like bonding over a common goal to do good.
COMMIT YOUR TIME
Just like any relationship, maintaining a friendship takes a commitment of time. You can't expect a friendship to thrive if you don't have the energy or time set aside to grow it. When you're planning your weeks, block out a specific time once a week for you to get together or talk with your friends.
Blocking this time into your schedule allows you to maintain those important friendships without interfering with your daily duties. If you are invited to do something with a friend but it interrupts your daily responsibilities—don't just say no! Instead, offer an alternative time that works for your schedule.
If your schedules just don't line up and you can't find a time to get together, make an alternative plan! One great way to hit two birds with one stone is by getting your kids involved in the same activities. If both of your kids play soccer, get them on the same team. If they both do gymnastics, take them at the same time. See how that works? This allows you to fit some quality friend time in without missing a thing!
GO DEEPER INTO CONVERSATION
Our nearest and dearest friendships are those we trust the most with our heart. These friendships don't form overnight, though, they take time and intentionality. If you're feeling like you're missing out on these deep friendships, just remember… all friendships began with a first meeting!
The best and quickest way to get to know someone is by taking the conversation deeper than casual. Instead of talking about the weather or the score of last night's game… ask them questions! How long have you been working for the shelter? What made you want to work with homeless pets? These type of questions are a great way to take the conversation a level deeper without coming across as intrusive. Simply be interested!
If you need prompts or ideas of questions to ask, grab books like this one that include THOUSANDS of questions you can ask loved ones and new friends alike! Condense down the ones you like and keep a note on your phone ready for when you need it!
MAKE FRIENDS BY SIMPLY SMILING
Did you know something as simple as a smile can help you become more attractive as a friend? It's true! Smiling conveys positive emotion to people which makes you much more approachable and immediately opens them up to communication with you. Really… it can't get any easier than that!
And there you have it! Learning how to make friends doesn't have to be hard or stressful. In fact, it can be EASY. Stick with these helpful tips and we know you'll be making memories with your new friends in no time!
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