Get Out Of The House
Don’t stay home tethered to your computer or TV. Now is the time to establish and solidify friendships for the years ahead. Once you venture out, you’ll find there are other people who are just as eager to make friends as you are.
Don’t Quit Before You Start
Many adults have the mistaken impression that everyone else is already paired up, like Noah’s Ark, and no one else is looking for new friends. Contrary to the myth perpetuated by popular culture, most friendships don’t last forever. Thus, you need to continually replenish your “stock” of friendships.
Engage With People
Pick up the phone at least once a day to speak to a friend. If you work, arrange to have lunch with someone at least once a week. If you work at home, arrange to have coffee or lunch with someone at least twice a week. Turn off all electronics for a couple of hours each day and see if you find yourself more engaged with people.
Risk Reaching Out
Don’t be embarrassed about being lonely or friendless. You’re certainly not the only one. Moreover, don’t let shame or embarrassment stop you from reaching out to new friends. Otherwise, your friendlessness will become a vicious cycle.
Don’t Take Rejection Personally
People need to overcome the idea that they are the only one seeking friendships and that rejection, if it occurs, is personal. Sometimes another individual’s dance card is simply already filled up with family, work and other friendships.
Take Things Slowly
Don’t fall prey to expecting too much too soon or acting too needy. Give friendships time to blossom by being open, honest and showing interest in other people.
Make Your Friendships A Priority
Unfortunately, many women look at their friendships as discretionary compared to their responsibilities to families and careers. For this reason, they fail to allocate time for friendships. It isn’t selfish or indulgent to make time for friendships. Having close friendships makes a woman happier –and better wife, mother and worker.
Pursue Your Passions
Making friends is more a function of circumstance rather than age, per se. No one is more attractive to others than someone who is engaged in life. Whether you join a gym, take an art course, sign up for dancing lessons or volunteer at a nonprofit, find something that stirs your passions and places you in regular contact with the same people week after week. Friendships will follow.
Look For Acquaintances First
Every friendship starts off with the exchange of a smile, question or comment. Best friends don’t grow on trees and real relationships take time to nurture. As two people get to know each other, they will fall into a comfortable groove.
Try An Intergenerational Friendship
Perhaps you have limited yourself by looking for people who are just like you. You can expand your pool of potential friends by seeking out people who are little bit different, in terms of age or lifestyle. Is there an elderly neighbor on your block who might welcome your company, or a young mother who would love to have some adult companionship once in a while? Intergenerational friendships yield valuable payoffs on both sides.
Join A Group Or Several Groups
Become active in your community: There is life after the PTA and scouting. Can you become a friend of the library? Participate in local government by serving on a committee. Join an existing book group or cooking club, or start one of your own. Go to meetup.com to find out about various interest groups; they are catalogued by zip code.
Turn Your Virtual Friendships Into Real Ones
Perhaps you are spending too much time behind your computer screen. Find out if any of your online friendships have the potential to be face-to-face ones. Do some of your Twitter or Facebook friends live nearby? As an added bonus, reducing the amount of time you spend online will give you more time and motivation for forming real friendships.
Find A Travel Tribe
It can be a few college roommates, the women in your book club, several cousins or one best friend. Select an individual or group to travel with whose company you enjoy, and with whom you can relax and be yourself. If you can’t stand being with someone over lunch or have the feeling someone may be a frenemy, don’t even think about including her! Together, pick an irresistible destination for a girlfriend getaway, perhaps a beach, spa or cruise, where you can bond and nurture your frienships.