Even though most of us live in the midst of crowds of people, it’s easy to become lonely and isolated. Making friends is important for our mental and emotional wellness. Here are a few tips that can help you overcome loneliness by making new friends.
1) Get out and about
Staying at home isn’t going to do anything for you. Go for walks, attend lectures or events and don’t be shy to strike up a conversation with the people you may encounter.
2) Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
You might think that all you need is one really good friend, but people move on. Don’t cling to only one friendship at the expense of making new connections. You’ll also find that having a number of different friends prevents you from being too clingy and exposes you to a wider variety of experiences.
3) Stay in touch and make plans
Have you ever said ‘We should get together sometime’? What came of it? Exactly nothing! Stay in touch with your friends by calling them up every now and then and never say ‘sometime’. ‘Let’s get together on Friday for lunch’ is far more likely to result in fun social interaction. Generalized good intentions don’t cut the mustard!
4) Participate in activities
Although joining a club or society might sound like a clichéd way to make friends it works very well. You’ll be meeting people who share your interests. Strike up conversations, be outgoing and friendly without being overwhelming and before you know it, you’ll have a whole new circle of friends. Why not volunteer for a charity or community service that’s close to your heart? You’ll feel good about your contribution and meet people who share your passion for the cause.
5) Don’t worry about age
You really can be friends with people who are much older or younger than you are. Such friendships are often enriching in a very special way. A young, energetic friend can help to lift your mood and an older friend can become a wise and trusted confidant.
6) Try pen-palling
A pen pal or e-pal in your area could become your next close friend. Play it safe at first just to make sure that they really are who say they are and don’t have any nefarious intentions. A same-sex online friend is generally the safest option. If your friend is of the opposite sex, make sure that you understand what they are seeking for out of the association.