Make New Friends but Keep the Old

Friends. When we’re children we often make our first friends with siblings, cousins or neighbors. As we get older, the world opens to kids we meet at daycare, activity groups or school. Sometimes though, especially as we age, making friends gets more complicated.


These relationships can be tricky to manage. Children are usually taught basics of social interaction like sharing or finding better ways to express anger than hitting or biting. If we’re nice or kind, generally others (hopefully) are friendly in return. Being thrown together in environments works, until it doesn't.


Meeting new friends as an adult can seem like an overwhelming task. With the pandemic, we were told to social distance – which had more to do with physical distance, rather than not interacting socially. But as humans we do generally enjoy occupying the same space with the people in our lives so that was tricky. If your social net wasn’t strong pre 2020, it might have been a challenging year.


Online or in person one of the best tips for meeting new people is to find folks that have similar interests. It’s almost a guarantee that if you have an interest in something, someone else does too. Check out social media platforms to help find your people. Facebook offers a wide variety of groups. Instagram and TikTok are easily searchable using hashtags. Once you find your folks, take a second to get the lay of the land. Make sure you know the platform and group rules. When you’re comfortable, jump on in!


In person, the same philosophy holds true. There are great opportunities through websites like Meetup.com that allow folks with similar interests to meet up in person or online. You may take a dive even more local for social clubs or organizations. Where one of our owners live, there are groups that get together regularly for square dancing, stamp collecting and art. A great place to find more information about what might be available locally is often your public library. They also could have programming you could be interested in, and where you might meet other like-minded people.


The relationships we already have are important too. Don’t forget to nurture those connections. Call or text a friend you haven’t spoken with in awhile. You might have to set a time for the conversation so you both are able to give the attention the friendship deserves. As we all get busier, sometimes weaving friend time into other needed tasks like grocery shopping or running errands can be helpful. You get a required job done, and it’s made all the sweeter by time with someone you care about.


One thing I think we have all learned over the past year and a half is that life is short. If someone is important in your life, tell them. Let those friends know how special they are in the moment when you think of it. Building a maintaining a strong personal social network isn’t always easy, but it makes our lives more vivid, fun and joyful by the presence of good friends.


If meeting new people seems impossible, or your worry of saying the wrong thing is beyond what you can handle there is help. Call us at 234-466-6274 or fill out the contact form and schedule with one of our therapists. We're here to help.


*** If you guessed that one of our founders was a member of Girl Scouts, give yourself a gold star!