Women2Women - Spring 2018 - 22

Growth2Go

Making New Friends
By Sara Frassinelli, Marketing Associate, GRCA

...as an Adult

When in school or college, there is no
shortage of interactions with others in our
direct age group and often fast friendships
are formed. Between classes, clubs, sports
and other activities, it is easy to connect
with people and develop lasting relationships.

Between older friendships ending and
having less time to develop new ones, this
can leave some adults feeling that their life is
lacking and wondering how they can connect.
Friends are a vital part of life and good ones
can significantly boost our mental well-being.
"There's no doubt that a friend adds to
the fullness of life. Authenticity, honesty,
and trust are qualities we expect to find in
a friend. There's an understanding that the
binding together of people in friendship helps
each of us define and realize a meaningful
life," states a Psychology Today article on the
topic of friendship.
As adults, without the built-in convenience
of classmates, what can we do to develop friendships? Below are some tips to get you started.

#1 stay Alert
Adore working out? Scope out someone
at the gym or in your yoga class and start a
friendly chat with them. Love taking your
dog for walks? Check out the local dog park
for other canine lovers and see if you may
have more in common while playing with
your precious pups. Like checking books out
from the library? Observe those book lovers
around you and strike up a conversation
about your favorite authors.
22 Women2Women Spring 2018

STOCKBROKER / 123RF

However, as we depart educational institutions and embark into adulthood, it can
be trickier to form new friendships. On top
of that, we may drift apart from the friends
that we made earlier in life. There are several
reasons why this happens - less time, more
experience, lower tolerance for disingenuous
people, different priorities - all of which are
completely normal.

#2 Get Involved
If you're not attending community events,
joining clubs or volunteering, consider it!
(Check out our brand new Lend a Hand
section for current volunteer opportunities.)
These activities provide another great venue
to meet like-minded people. Once you're out
and about, chances increase of interaction
with someone who could become your next
great friend.

#3 Start Something
Ask a few colleagues or acquaintances to
join you for happy hour, with one stipulation
- they must bring a plus one that you have
never met before. The more you expand your
circle, the easier it will be to meet someone
like-minded with whom to form a friendship.
Not into drinking? Start a movie or book
club - one watch/read per month with a
discussion at a restaurant or café afterwards.

#4 Ask Questions
Once you find someone to converse with,
ask them questions. People love to talk

about themselves, so if you can get them
started on a topic they love, it should keep
the conversation rolling. Furthermore, when
people respond, listen! No one wants to
talk to someone who is clearly just waiting
for their opportunity to speak again. Show
sincere interest in what people have to say
and ask follow-up questions.

#5 Be Yourself
Once you have found some new people
to interact with, the key to building and
maintaining friendship is being genuine.
Relationships are built on trust and loyalty,
so don't pretend to be something you're not.
Additionally, while you know your own
likes and dislikes, keep an open mind when
encountering people with different passions
and beliefs. You never know with whom you
could really bond!
Ultimately, if you want to make more friends
as an adult, seek out (or create) opportunities
to be around people. Striking up a conversation
isn't nearly as hard as it may seem, and you
could just find a new best friend!



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