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How to Make and Keep Friends

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Today we are connected more than ever but those connections are not nearly as deep.

While we get social support from social media it’s different from having a trusted confidant. We don’t have as many people that we trust to tell our worries and secrets. Because of this, we may want to make new friends or strengthen the friendships that we have now if our lives.

Keeping friends can be tough, life is busy, period. Time seems to have a life of its own, but keeping connected even if its a text or quick phone call really help. Relationships need care and nourishment and when someone expects more than can be given, that’s the time for an honest chat. Bottom line is if you starve a relationship and do not show up for the important moments, it will simply fade away. Life changes, people change but if you want to keep a relationship alive, do not take it for granted and give it some attention.

Why friends are so important

We know how good that friends make us feel, but strong friendships are so much more beneficial. Studies show how friendships can fight illness, depression, speed recovery, slow aging and prolong life. These are some serious benefits! We need connections that are meaningful and this can be accomplished in many different ways. People come in and out of our lives at different times for different reasons.  At each of these stages, we need to have friends. Having friends that we have things in common with and that understand us makes life so much more enjoyable.

How to make new friends

I think the movies that show people that don’t like each other at first, but eventually, they get to know the other person and they become friends or fall in love are the most realistic. The reason that I enjoy this common premise is that it’s so very true. Unless there is an initial spark, which is rare, it is difficult to have a connection with someone very quickly. These things take some time to get to know the person better.

The best situation is when you get together for a specific purpose.

Join a book club or hobby club

Having a “shared experience” where the purpose is to communicate allows people to see who they can really connect with and enjoy. It will be easy to grab a coffee or invite those out to lunch that you would like to get to know better.  Even if your club is online try to take it offline to strengthen any new friendships fairly quickly.  Check out these sites for ideas! Girls Night In Book Club, Meetup, 

Meet new friends by volunteering

Volunteering along with becoming active in your church/synagogue opens up the door to meet people outside of your normal social circles. You can meet people that share your values and by doing good for others helps us to feel good about ourselves. This is a great outlet that is a win-win.

Meeting new friends while traveling

Try to find travel groups that are smaller and fit your personality. There are many women-only tours or groups specific to your level of physical activity that you would like to enjoy. Hikers, Foodies, sporting, you name it, the group tour exists.  Even if you are not traveling with any group, Airbnb has “Experiences” smaller tours that you can book wherever your destination may be. I love that you can explore on your own, but get the chance to meet locals with this type of tour. Be open and friendly! Mention to the guide that you would like to meet more locals and ask his advice for places to go or see.

There are truly many ways to make a connection while going about your life.  A common denominator will include smiling, showing interest in others and not taking yourself too seriously.

We found some great gifts for friends….

 

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