Today we are connected more than ever but those connections are not nearly as deep as the numbers show.
While we get social support from social media it’s different from having a trusted confidant. We don’t have as many close friends that we trust to share our worries or secrets with. Because of this, we may want to meet new friends or take the time to make lasting friendships.
Keeping friends can be tough, life is busy, period.
Time seems to have a life of its own, but keeping connected even if its just 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 friendship alive, do not take it for granted and give it some attention.
Why friends are so important
We know how good 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 its common for people not to click with each other immediately, but with a little time things change. First impressions may not be accurate and soon they can become friends or fall in love.
Movies often show this scenario. The story goes something like this, girl/guy hates each other, they are forced to spend time together and then, they fall in love or become great friends. 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 easier in these situations to grab a coffee or perhaps you could invite someone to lunch. This will give you a chance to get to know them better.
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. By doing good for others will help 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 may enjoy. Hikers, Foodies, sporting, you name it, the group tour exists.
Even if you are not traveling with any group, Airbnb has “Experiences” which are smaller tours that you can book wherever your destination may be. I love that you can explore on your own, but also 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.
Brene Brown gives great TED talks and her books are very popular. This book is a NYTimes bestseller that talks about true belonging and the courage to stand alone. Check out this great deal from Amazon! I thought the block saying is a great gift for a good friend. A friend of mine gave one as a gift, and it was very appreciated!