Ways To Make New Friendships

  • Time to read: 4 min.

Leisure activities are an ideal way to make friendships. Participating in leisure activities can significantly improve mood, cognitive functioning, and physical well-being. You will meet new people and develop new skills, as well. 

The best way to keep our minds sharp is to stay active and social. The more we use our brains, the better it will work as the brain has a “use it or lose it” rule. It needs stimulation, or it will start to deteriorate. Many that are feeling lonely do not have a social life. However, there are ways to make close friends without feeling too young or too old and out of touch.

Social Networks

A social network is a grouping of people that are connected. You can make these connections in various settings. The depth of the bond will lead to the labelling of the association; friend, family, lover, acquaintance, or colleague. 

Social networks are the way we validate ourselves, and they support us. Social media has dramatically influenced how we interact with one another in the modern world, and Facebook is a prime example of this. It has changed how we think about relationships and friendships and how we share and consume information. Social media is the “virtual world” where people communicate and, in some cases, share information. Social media has significantly influenced how we interact with one another in the modern world. Unfortunately, while social media is a platform for communication, it is also a source of increased anxiety, loneliness and depression among all populations of society, making leisure activities, recreation and hobbies more important today than ever. Our guide, What Healthy Leisure Activities Can Do For You, explains the importance of leisure in your life. Ironically, we can use social media’s positives to build friendships and directly overcome social media’s negatives.  

Online Social Networking 

Online social networks are an excellent alternative to meeting new people and making friends. Social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn or MeetUp offer opportunities to create new connections. For instance, MeetUp is a website that changes how people meet as they age. With MeetUp, users can connect with other seniors and meet new friends in person. Its mission statement is to engage people in their communities, build community and provide social connections for all.  

Online communities have become a popular trend in recent years, with the population rapidly increasing and seeking out communities. These communities provide a space for individuals to find friends and support while living far from their families. However, some risks are also associated with these communities, such as a lack of privacy and protection. 

We all need to be aware of online hazards, which can happen in various ways. For example, someone posing as an interested partner, workplace colleague, or caregiver; posting fake profiles and making it look like they are older; or posting false information about themselves and their family, so online safety is essential to know and to keep yourself informed of as changes happen daily.

Tips To Make Friends

The best way you can make new friends is to find others with which you have a common interest. It can be anything from playing sports, knitting, playing bridge, gaming, fishing or volunteering at the local animal shelter. Here are a few tips for making true friendships.  

Be open and receptive to meeting new people. If you are shy or not particularly outgoing, try volunteering, joining a gym, or joining a book club, as these groups are often where good friendships begin. There are many leisure activities for introverts that can also provide social opportunities to make friends.

There are many Meetup groups worldwide, perfect for meeting new people. These groups offer a variety of interests, activities, travel experiences, literary discussions, civic organizations or volunteer opportunities. If you want to make friends with similar interests in your area but don’t know where to start looking, Meetups will help.

Join an online community or forum geared towards your interests, where it is easy to chat with others from around the world who share your passion for travel, gardening, or photography or attend a local event like a mixer or meeting.

Get involved in your community by volunteering at a place that interests you or for local events like food and blood drives. Join a support group, club or organization where you can meet people with similar interests.

If you’re looking for a low-key way to create new friendships, consider participating in a social activity like tennis, bowling, fishing, woodworking or cooking classes. Many communities offer cooking courses, and the experience is educational and fun; many lifelong friendships have blossomed from these classes. Alternatively you could simply introduce yourself at a coffee shop, library book club, or community center near you or attend a concert or sporting event and chat with others.

Maintain Your Friendships

Friendships are important to us. They provide us with a sense of belonging and feeling valued. Close friendships boost are health and well being and also offer us emotional support, advice, and companionship. We need to invest in our friendships, but when you first meet someone knowing what to do or how much time and effort to put forth can be challenging. However, there are some things that we can do to maintain our friendships and find the balance we are looking for.  

  • Stay in touch regularly, even if you only have time for a quick call.
  • Spend quality time together.
  • Express gratitude
  • Be honest about your feelings.

Final Thoughts

Many feel like they have no one to connect with and spend most of their time alone. However, there are some ways you can meet new friends at any age. Making friends is good for our health and happiness. Knowing where to look is key and participating in a leisure activity is the most straightforward place to start.

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