THE SOCIABLE YEARS
When you start work, you’ll probably be mixing with people of different ages and backgrounds, which can open up your friendship group – but it can still be tricky to break into a new circle.
THE SOLUTION Use your current friends to meet other people by suggesting they bring new colleagues or flatmates along to parties. Use Facebook and WhatsApp to make new connections, but fix arrangements offline; don’t expect a few likes on a post to turn into friendship.
Dr Amy Banks, a psychiatrist and the author of Wired to Connect, suggests you check in with a friend a couple of times a week. “If you neglect friendship at any stage of life, you’ll feel less competent when you meet new people,” she warns.
If you’ve never felt comfortable in groups, this is the time to break away as it should be easier to have a drink with an individual friend than it might have been at uni. And don’t feel bad about it. “Not joining a group is fine,” says Banks.