It sounds so lame for a girl in her 20s to be saying this, but I need to make some friends – and it’s hard! When I look back I realize that every friend I have is from school or work, and of course these develop because I see the same people everyday and am forced to interact with them. I made friends and when I left high school all the hard work had been done, it was simply a matter of keeping in touch with them.
As we get older though people move or, as has happened to me, they change and you and that person just don’t click anymore. To be honest I felt like a total loser for having such few friends in my life, and then I stumbled across this article on xojane http://www.xojane.com/relationships/the-plight-of-the-best-friendless, and realized that I am not alone!
So how do we make friends? Like I said, most of our friendships come from hanging around the same people on a regular basis at places like work. You have some sort of common talking point and of course eventually you are going to feel comfortable enough talking to these people outside of the work situation. Work friends are great, but we need to get out there and meet people in other places. Unfortunatley in this current world many people my age say that they make friends through drinking, and its not surprising. You are far less self-concious and much more chatty with a few drinks in you so talking to strangers seems pretty easy. Going to a bar, talking about music or whatever then waking up with a new friend is easy, but I don’t really like this idea.
As I have mentioned I am not much of a drinker anymore and I do think this is kind of a false way of meeting people. I also think that as I don’t drink, if I meet drunk people then we aren’t going to have too much in common (not that these people aren’t amazing and really cool, I just think we might want to do different things when we hang out). If you want to make friends the best thing you can do is look at yourself. What types of things do you like to do? If you like reading, join a book club! Exercise? Take a class like Zumba. It seems silly to spell it out but if you go to places that you enjoy then you are going to meet people that you have a common interest with and there is a chance that you may just make a new friend.
We live in a time when we don’t use out conversations skills all that much due to the internet and phones (I sound like such a nana). That’s all well and good, but when you turn up to a club or event with the intent to meet some new people then you need to brush up on your conversation. It can be so daunting to go up to a stranger and say something, but chances are they are feeling just as nervous and self-concious as you are! One great icebreaker is just commenting on the class you are at, for example ‘that was such a hard yoga class, I haven’t been practicing it for very long, how about you?’ A little chit chat can go a long way especially if you make that effort each time. Asking people how their weeks are going or if they have seen some new movie or read a new book is a great way to get to know someone and find out if you have much in common.
This may seem a little lame, I mean learning to make friends is what little kids do right? But I do think that during our 20s as we go onto that next stage of our lives many of us realize that we don’t have as many friends as we used to. I know that for me socializing is hard and I have struggled to have to confidence to just start talking to strangers and meet new people. At the end of the day though life without friends is not a life well lived.