I’m nearly forty (how did that happen?) and embarrassed to say nearly friendless. I know how that happened. Something about nurturing and maintaining relationships, you know, the stuff that takes, well, there’s no other way to say it, time. Childhood friendships were left along the wayside with the passage of the years. I moved about ten times growing up. I even had high hopes for renewing a few old high school friendships, encouraged by that helpful friend, Facebook. Then there’s my work. Most chit-chatting I do nowadays is done via networking (which has a cold ring to it). And it’s largely superficial: “So what do you do?” Nod, nod of the head. Nothing about their old grannies or what keeps them up at night.
Making new friends is a lot of work!
I know I’m not the only one. A common complaint I hear from my clients, especially female clients, is that they desperately desire intimate relationships. But something keeps them from forging new friendships, whether it’s due to busyness, fear, insecurity, not knowing where to look, or being a different person than when they were twenty, so much so they don’t know what kind of friend they’re looking for.
If you desire greater intimacy, connection, and fun with old friends or need new ones, here are some tips:
- Get out there and look! Most people I know pretend to have a full life in the friendship and social arena, but they too honestly long for deeper relationships.
- Join a club or activity where you will find people with the same interests as yours.
- Prioritize your friendships. Schedule time together.
- Get past the small talk, kid talk, “my life is so busy” talk, and go deep.
- Get out of the box. If you normally shop together, try an amusement park or concert instead.
- Even if you can’t get together, find other ways to regularly connect. A phone call, a card, or an email can show your friend you’re thinking of her.
So, friends, how do you find new friends or strengthen existing friendships? Put your answers in the box below.