New Zealand Woman’s Weekly
Make friends at any age!
It seemed so much easier when we were kids. You got chatting to someone, said, “Hey, wanna be friends?” and it was a done deal.
But making new friends when you’re older can be much trickier. If you’re looking to expand your social circle, here are some ideas that might help:
Reconnect with old friends. Friendships can be neglected thanks to the demands of family and work. Look back at friendships you had in the past and reach out to people you’d like to spend time with again. Social media is a great way of doing that.
Join groups or organisations where you’ll find people with common interests. If you’re a history buff, find out about the local historical society, or if you’d love to play tennis, look for a nearby tennis club.
Check out meetup.com. It lists a variety of organisations, from movie fan and fiction writing clubs through to craft, outdoor activity and dog walking groups.
Find out if there are groups in your area set up to encourage friendships. For example, the Auckland Friendship Group organises activities such as pub quizzes, monthly lunches, group walks and visits to farmers’ markets, with the aim of encouraging friendships in a safe environment.
Think about getting to know colleagues better. Sometimes it’s not possible to talk much to a workmate during the day, but if there’s someone you think you’d hit it off with, make a point of having a friendly chat when it’s appropriate, and then maybe suggest going for a coffee.
Don’t forget, friendships can take work. According to one study, it can take six to eight social interactions with someone before you consider them a friend. It’s worth making an effort to suggest meeting up from time to time or even just phoning once every couple of weeks to see how they are getting on.