Advice on Making New Friends

Advice on Making New Friends

Enough discussion of loss! Let’s talk about making new friends and building new relationships! It’s the holidays, and likely you’ll be meeting new people at parties and neighborhood events. Hedda Bolgar encourages everyone to join a community, and her 103 years of life experience lend weight to her suggestion.

Sometimes forging a new friendship is easy: you have something in common that draws you not only into the same community, but into direct contact. Your kids are best friends, or you decide to carpool together, or you share an office/cubicle. But other times building a friendship takes work, and we are often out of practice.

When I graduated from college, I moved to a new city where I knew next to no one and lived alone. I was lonely. I soon realized that I would have to put forth effort into making friends: a new concept for me. I began by joining communities: I joined my sorority alumnae association, reached out to my coworkers, and joined a church. When my husband and I moved to Raleigh, 8 years later, I had to start the process again, so I joined a new church and a book club.

Joining communities is an excellent first step to creating new friendships. The next step is to “ask people out.” Find someone you want to know better, and invite him/her to a one on one activity. It’s awkward at first, but the risk comes with a huge potential reward.

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