This post is part of the “Make New Friends” blog series! Be sure to check out the other posts after you read this one!
It’s hard to make new friends these days– you might wonder if it’s even possible. Don’t miss Heather’s good and bad news about finding your new tribe. Plus, get a free list of 79 spots to make friends in “The Ultimate List Of Places to Meet People.” You can get it here:
I sat down at the round table and glanced around at the room full of ladies I didn’t know.
I needed some new friends and wanted to join a Bible study, so there I sat alone, excited but a bit nervous since the person who’d invited me had bailed at the last second.
Everyone was very welcoming, but I started to feel unsure as I noticed people catching up and could tell who seemed to be besties with each other.
How can I break into the group and get to know anyone? Will I be able to become friends with even one of them?
Making new friends is incredibly hard.
It’s awkward to be the one on the outside, or to have to start over with all the pleasantries of “where are you from?” and “what do you like to do?”
I’ve found myself in that position many times as a military wife. We’ve moved 8+ times in 10 years, and I constantly am back at the spot where, again, I have no friends living nearby.
Is making new friends even possible these days?
What hope do we have if we don’t have any friends? Or what if all your friends are self-centered or too busy or majorly toxic, so you need to start over and make new friends?
I have good news and bad news. I’ll start with the bad stuff, so we can get it out of the way.
Like when, as a child, I would eat my peas first at dinner, because I hated peas (still do). But after that horrible taste, I was on to the ham and scalloped potatoes and homemade canned peaches.
So You Want to Make New friends: The Bad News
I like to end on a good note, so here’s the bad news.
Making friends now is harder than when we were younger.
Back (way back) when I was in college, you could walk around and actually interact with people. Like, they would look you in the eye when you passed them, and maybe even say hi.
I got a cell phone when phones were making the transition from being “car phones” that people kept in their cars for emergencies, to smaller hand-held devices you could carry around.
One day I was on the phone while walking to class, and my friend saw me and called me a “Cali girl.”
(No offense if you’re from California. I guess Oregon always got our trends second-hand from the Sunshine state.)
What It’s Like Now
Fast forward to today, and does anyone even look at you when you walk by?
Most pedestrians have headphones or are looking down at their phones at all times. Good luck trying to make a connection with someone in passing!
Not to mention, now that we’re past college age, we don’t have those automatic school friends we met in classes, on teams, and in the dorms.
Where do we meet people now?
Everyone is so busy, it’s hard to get together with people you do meet
I’ve got a meeting. My kid has basketball. Your husband just got back from a work trip so you’d like to spend time with him.
The list of reasons are endless that we often can’t make a friend date happen.
And it’s not just me.
The New York Times posted that “As people approach midlife, the days of youthful exploration, when life felt like one big blind date, are fading. Schedules compress, priorities change and people often become pickier in what they want in their friends.”
Friendship doesn’t seem like as much of a priority anymore. Or is it that everyone already has their friends?
You might be in a situation where you have to stay home
It’s definitely easier to make friends when you can have a flexible schedule to meet up whenever and wherever.
But that’s not a reality for us moms with young kids. And it’s certainly not happening during the season of quarantine i.e. stuck within the four walls with crazy children.
This season of life is challenging and can severely limit our social lives.
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You Want To Make New Friends: The Good News
So, after all that, what’s the good news?
Making and having friends is still important
Maybe now more than ever, we need relationships– specifically friendships.
It’s easy to get into a routine and never stop to invest in relationships. You can get by fine until a certain point when disaster strikes, or you just need to vent, or you’ve been so cooped up in your home that you see your postal worker as your soon-to-be best friend.
Where do you turn for support at that point?
We need friends and family for that basis of support. But that doesn’t just happen by accident.
We have to make a little effort to get out there and interact with people, because relationships matter. In fact, one bit of research says that “70% of your happiness comes from relationships.”
That’s a lot, but that’s also a good thing.
We don’t have to rely on money, our status, or even our immediate circumstances to determine our happiness.
God created us for community, and to rely on Him for our complete satisfaction in life. He created us to be relational beings (70% of our happiness from our connectedness, remember?) who thrive on interactions with others.
If relationships matter that much, it’s time we make it a priority to make new friends and foster the ones we have.
People are lonely (here’s why that’s good)
NPR posted that according to a recent study, “More than three in five Americans are lonely, with more and more people reporting feeling like they are left out, poorly understood and lacking companionship.” And, the study “found a nearly 13% rise in loneliness since 2018.”
It’s easy to believe that everyone else has their tribe of gal pals, but the reality is that most people are feeling as lonely as you are.It’s easy to believe that everyone else has their tribe of gal pals, but the reality is that most people are feeling as lonely as you are. #makenewfriends #momprobs Click To Tweet
And if you’re wondering how to make friends when you have none, you can know that you’re not the only one who feels that way.
Which is actually good news, because it means that the majority of people you see would love the chance to make a new friend– could it be you?
Even when you can’t leave your house, it’s still possible to make new friends.
The other day, when I’d been stuck in my house going on three weeks, I saw a mom and two kids in the street in front of our house. I had to restrain myself from going out and treating them like my long lost friends and asking them a million questions.
I didn’t know I was that starved of human interaction.
I didn’t actually go out and talk to them because (besides restraining myself) I had to wrangle the kids, but it’s a great idea to pop outside when you see a potential friend on a walk with the kids.
Friendships are built on commonality, so if you see a fellow mom strolling nearby, there’s nothing wrong with stepping out on your porch and saying hi. If you ask a question, they might stick around for a conversation, and you’re off!
Wondering how to make close friends while stuck at home? Here are a few ways:
- Join Facebook groups that have people with common interests (moms, artists, sports nuts, whatever your jam)
- Become more active in commenting and interacting on Facebook or Instagram friends’ feeds.
- Develop your acquaintances into friends by starting conversations either online, via text, or on an app like Marco Polo.
- Ask family or current friends to connect you to others with like interests.
- Check out this post on developing friends and acquaintances on Facebook
If you’re ready to start making friends, be sure you download a free copy of “The Ultimate List Of Places To Meet People: 79 Spots To Make New Friends.” You can get it here:
Recognize that you have many qualities people would like in a friend
Do you ever get down about yourself and think that no one would like you, or no one could ever relate to you? Guess what– it’s not true.
You may have weaknesses that aren’t desirable, but so does everyone else. Maybe you’re into something that’s not mainstream. Oh well. That’s part of what makes you unique.
When you focus on being your true self, you’ll be drawn to some and not to others.When you focus on being your true self, you’ll be drawn to some and not to others. #makenewfriends #makingfriends Click To Tweet
Others will feel the same about you. You don’t need everyone to like you to have amazing close friends. You just have to find the people with whom you have things in common.
To prove it, try this: Think of something unique you like, that you think not many people like. Go to Google and type “who likes __(that thing)____.”
For example, “who likes turtlenecks?”
Many people like you are out there. Now you just have to find them.
You can gain confidence to make friends
What if you’re paralyzed with fear? What if you just can’t put yourself out there?
You can grow.
It takes baby steps. You’ll never get friends if you don’t try. It might take a while, but if you keep trying, deep, strong friendships can happen for you.
I used to worry a lot about what people thought of me.
When someone criticized me, their comments crushed me but I either hid it, or I snapped back angrily. My confidence was shaky and I would obsess for days over any rude comment toward me.
But I learned that my identity is not in what other people think, say, or believe about me. My identity comes from what God says about me and who He’s made me to be. When I live in that truth, I have more confidence to make friends because I know that I have something to offer to the relationship. And I believe that I’m valuable enough to get to know.
And you are too.When you live in the truth of who you are, you have more confidence to make friends because you know you have something to offer to the relationship. And you believe that you're valuable enough to get to know. #makenewfriends Click To Tweet
Where do I go from here?
I’m glad you asked. As far as I can tell, the good news outweighs the bad when it comes to making friends.
You can have so much hope when it comes to meeting people and building relationships. And just in case you doubt me, I’m going to give you all the resources that I can to help make it happen for you.
This post is the first post in a set of articles called the Make New Friends Series.
My goal in these posts is to help you gain confidence and take steps to actually make new, better, deeper friendships.
“Make New Friends” posts:
- Want To Make New Friends? Here’s The Good And Bad News (this post)
- 8 Skills That Will Help You Make Friends As An Adult
- 39 Conversation Starters To Make Friends Fast
- 11 Ways To Make Friends And Develop Acquaintances On Facebook
- 25 Little-Known Facebook Groups For Moms To Make New Friends Online
I can’t wait to share these tips and tricks with you. Also, be sure to grab your copy of “The Ultimate List Of Places To Meet People: 79 Spots To Make New Friends.” You can get it here: