How To Make Friends and Banish the Lonely

Happy Friday, y’all! Welcome back to our two-part series on friendship. Lori Rogers from My Evident Faith is here again to help us understand ways to make new friends and banish the lonely. We started with a focus on how to maintain friendships and live your best life. Now, we’re striking out and talking about how to make friends.

How To Make Friends

Kool-aid, popcorn, and the radio. That was all I needed when I was ten and I was making a new friend. Today making friendships for my own kids are a little more high maintenance, but they are still much simpler than making friends as an adult.

Have you ever felt lonely and in need of friends? Sometimes a move creates a need to make new friends, but there are other reasons as well. If you have a new baby and your friends are not in that same phase of life, this, too, could be a reason to make new friends. Another example might be new employment – if you change jobs, and all of your friends were previously your colleagues, it may not be possible for you to continue those great after-work friendships that you had with work friends.

how to make friends

Way To Make New Friends

So what are you supposed to do? Well, I hate to break it to you, but this is going to require some work. But then, like a good marriage or a well-behaved dog (!), some things are worth the work.

1. Join a Professional Organization

If you file a tax return, and even if you don’t, there is probably a professional organization that you could join. Are you a school secretary? Join a local chapter of NAEOP (National Association of Educational Office Professionals). A digital media fan (and who isn’t?), look for a branch of the Social Media Club in your town. If you Google “professional organizations” and your town, you might be surprised at what sort of groups are available. Once you are involved, make sure to participate!

2. Become Active in Your Church

So many of us go through the motions of church, filling our own desire for prayer and meditation, but never taking the next step, which is fellowship. People were made to socialize. Get out of your comfort zone and become an active member. It might take a few months before you find a connection, but it will happen eventually.

3. Take a Class

The class could be on anything, but if you have an interest in writing or the visual arts, you might find someone to hang around with who shares those interests. You could also take an aerobics class or exercise class – after a few classes, invite a few people (or everyone!) out to get a drink. You will be surprised at how many people will accept an offer like this. Other people are looking for friends, too!

4. Join an Online Community

There are many, so you will have to be discerning, but there are other people out there who live near you and share your interests. I know of several bloggers who have held Girl’s Night Out events and invited their readers to a night at a restaurant in their town or nearest city. They split the cost of their meal and for a bargain were able to make new friends with people who shared their passions!

how to make friends

Be brave, force yourself to make connections with people. When you meet someone you are drawn to, force yourself to invite that person to get together. We need friends to push us, to inspire us, and to hold us up. New experiences, more joy, and life lessons can all be gained by being a little bold and inviting others into your life. And you can skip the kool-aid and the popcorn!

About the Author

My Evident FaithLori Rogers writes about all the bumps and tire-tracks that come with life’s parade of daily adventures. She writes at MyEvidentFaith.com, where she tries to keep it real and be brave about showing her Christian faith. In addition to writing as therapy, she does a little bit of hiking, a lot of reading, and a lot of glass lifting with her cherished friends. She can be reached at myevidentfaith@gmail.com or on Twitter @myevidentfaith and on Facebook at My Evident Faith.

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About Francesca

One of two behind The SITS Girls and Bloggy Boot Camp. Believer that this community is a movement, and not just a website. Currently on a quest for unending free WiFi & stronger caffeine. I'd love to get to know you better: Find me on Twitter @FranBanducci and on Google+.

Comments

  1. Sage advice! Your blog post really hit home. After some life changes and a job change, I found myself at a place I had to reevaluate and work on finding new friendships. It does take effort and your outline of suggestings is on the mark.

  2. I really liked this for myself and a friend of mine who recently moved – we are both struggling to find our new “community” at our new locations! I really liked the taking a class or joining a group. I’ve found that since I love to run and be athletic it always works better for me to try and meet friends through these activities than anything else. I automatically know I will have something in common with them from the start!

  3. Those are a lot of great ideas. I’ve heard that if you are meeting new people, you are expanding your ideas and resources, but if you are not making new friends and your circle of friends is shrinking, your world is shrinking and you are in danger of becoming narrow minded.

  4. It’s so hard for me to make friends ’cause I’m SO different from other people I’ve met. They all think I’m a weirdo or something so I don’t really bother but all those ideas sound like pretty good ways to find people that might be like me. Except going to church. *shudder* I refuse…

  5. It can be tough to take a risk and reach out the first time. But every friendship that I’ve ever made and now value so highly started because I took a risk. Every. Single. One.

  6. What a great post … sometimes it seems easier to just avoid the scary, intimidating task of putting yourself out there to meet new people. But, more often than not, it’s worth it. Thanks for the reminder that it’s not that hard, and tips!

  7. This is a really great post! Especially as you get older.

  8. These are great tips! I am currently at a new stage in my life, the empty nest! I am slowly reaching out to new groups in my community and church. Everything I was involved in revolved around my kids. I do have a great network of friends online, but it is nice to SEE people in person occasionally!

  9. I want some friends! :(

  10. Thanks for this post. I often forget that I can’t do life alone (or with my computer). I used to volunteer for everything at church but recently I’ve found myself rather staying home. Grant it, it may have a lot to do with my growing baby bump, but you’re right. I need to make an effort to make and maintain friends. I never thought that friendships could be developed over the internet, but since starting SITS I’ve been able to meet so many wonderful, special ladies. : )

    Vonae Deyshawn
    http://www.myvirtueplace.com

  11. I have often wished I could get all the lonely people I know in one room–I remain convinced there is someone out there who is the perfect friend match, if only those two could meet!

  12. This is so weird that I would see this post. I was just thinking today “” I need more mommy friends” One of the things that happens when you have no children and neither do your friends and then you are the one WITH the baby and now I’m thinking ” I really need to hang with some moms :)” I’m super active in church though so I have a lot of great people there but I’ll take the tips on other groups because I really need my daughter to have fun with other babies right now she’s an only child.

  13. Very interesting and very helpful as I have moved from one country to another and now have a small child so it can be hard to make new friends. I have started to go to some baby groups and classes and this seems to be fruitful :)

    Thanks
    laura x
    http://www.sidestreetstyle.com

  14. totally need this, I get so stuck in being “so and so’s mom” and it is just easier to avoid everyone… heck there is never any pressure to change from my yoga pants!

    but then I see all of these women getting invited to things and having fun, and I have to admit it makes me jealous- and then it is like a trip back to high school being reminded of all of the things i was not invited to…

    Pity party for one!

  15. I love that C.S. Lewis quote. :)))

  16. Good tips for making friends. I used to have tons of friends, then had three children and put my social life on hold. I’m happy though, and blessed to be married to the best friend I’ve ever had. ;)

  17. And here I thought I was the only one!

    Seriously, these are great ideas. Adult friendships are so much more difficult because of all the things you’ve got to juggle–marriage, kids, job (or your work as a SAHM–that would be me), etc.

    And the problem I find is that your friends change based on where your kids are at the time. Right now I’m looking at all my friends from my twins’ preschool who will all scatter to different elementary schools next year and wondering, “What then?”

  18. These are some great suggestions! Making friends later on in life is such a difficult thing. But I think you provide some really interesting ways of branching out and meeting people who share common interests.

    Also love that C.S. Lewis quote. How very true that is!

    Hope you are all enjoying your weekend :)

  19. The key is something in common. Thanks for the suggestions.

  20. Great tips – it’s funny that these are so obvious, but sometimes we forget them. I met friends at the dog park – we’re all dog lovers and now plan play dates and support each other with dog care and dog fun. There’s a site called Meetup.com that I has great groups with common interests, but I prefer local groups. When I was new to my city, it was really nice connecting with people one on one and now I have a great group of friends.

  21. Lori – I love this series!
    When the kids are young I find it is easy to meet people through them…but what about when they move on. These are great recommendations for the “empty nest” Thank you!!

  22. If you have children in elementary school, join the PTA. Get involved with like minded parents. I also belong to different synagogue committees and interact with people at different stages of life. Who says friends have to be your own age?

  23. Great ideas! I have found myself moving to another state…too many times…and am always seeking out new friends via new organizations, etc…just like you suggest.
    I find myself telling my kids {over and over} to …”Just say HI…it is the first step”. Sometimes adults forget this…and I end up having to remind myself of it, too.
    Thanks for sharing!

  24. These are great ways to get out and get to know people.

  25. A few of these things apply to me. None of my friends have kids, we no longer work in the same place, and I just moved across country. I am apart of a few online communities where I hope to meet new people.

  26. This article hits so close to home for me. After having my son it was like all of my friends vanished off the face of the earth. I definitely plan to share this in one of my next blog posts!

    Thank you so much for sharing!!

  27. Need this. A very good article

  28. As an adult it is definitely harder to make friends – especially when you don’t have kids. I really like your suggestions because with each one you already have something in common with the people in the room – your in the same profession, have the same religious values, or are interested in the same subject. Thanks for the post!

  29. Great ideas! I’m a big fan of Meetup.com. They have a group for every hobby and interest.

  30. Great post. And your site is very nice ; – >

  31. Great suggestions! Thank you. :)

  32. Love this! This is so great – especially if you move to a new town and find yourself wanting friends. As an adult, it’s not as easy to make them.

    Thank you for the thoughtful post!

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