When we are little kids, making a new friend is as easy as going up to someone our size on the playground and asking them to play. As we get older, friendships are often built into homeroom classes and extracurricular activities. But as we continue to get older, making new friends begins to take more work. When we no longer have the basketball team to rely on for friendship, how do we make new connections?
Making New Friends
A 2019 article from the Mayo Clinic tells us: “Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure, and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). Studies have even found that older adults with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.”. This shows that having friendships is an important part of mental and physical health. And while it can feel overwhelming to figure out how to meet peers and make friends, there are steps you can take.
You won’t make new friends by staying at home or spending all your free time on your phone. The first step is to make yourself available to get out into your community. A local music event, class, or lecture instantly puts you in a room with people in your community who share your love of bluegrass or ancient civilizations. You automatically have common ground and an opening for conversations.
Once you have created an opportunity to meet new people, the next step is connecting. It can be intimidating to talk to new people, but this is where being in a situation where you share interests can help. Many classes will have you work together in pairs or groups. There is usually time for introductions and icebreakers. What most people want in conversation is someone who is being genuine and open. You can build rapport by asking questions and showing a genuine interest through eye contact, body language, and reflective listening.
Realistically, you will not make a best friend in every class or event. Just like in romantic dating, you will need to connect with a few people before you find those people who you want to invite into your life as a friend. When you feel like you’ve made a good connection, follow up by reaching out to them and asking if they are interested in spending time together or attending another activity. Once you have set up a time to meet, be sure to follow through. People want to be friends with those who are trustworthy and will show up when they say they will. That dependability shows your new friend that you respect and value their time, and they will respect and value yours in turn.
blueFire PuLsaR for Young Adults
blueFire PuLsaR helps young adults step out of their comfort zone, improve their self-esteem, and helps our clients build their confidence through self-success. Our program helps create positive changes and improvements through engagement and adventure. We have a supportive environment that encourages clients to push themselves physically and emotionally to create lasting changes.
Life is a journey. Our comprehensive multi-faceted and clinical approach in the wilderness helps young adults and their parents navigate this journey in a positive direction. We believe that through a balance of self-assessment, insight-oriented therapy, outdoor living, adventure activities and academic focus these young adults will find their true selves. For more information please call (208) 268-1380.