Friendships are some of the most important relationships that we can have throughout our lifetimes. Friendships allow people of all ages to practice their social and emotional skills, such as communication and empathy. In our past article The Importance of Friendships we discussed some of the many reasons why we all need friends. Some of these reasons include the following:

  • Increases sense of belonging
  • Increases positive mood
  • Decreases stress and anxiety levels
  • Improves self-confidence and self-worth
  • Helps to cope in times of stress
  • Encourages healthy lifestyle choices

Friendships also combat social isolation, loneliness, and depression by providing us with emotional and social support (see BetterUp and VeryWellMind for more information). According to MentalHelp’s article, friendships also provide us with a place to learn how to productively handle conflict and disagreements with those we care about. 

Unfortunately, sometimes it can be difficult to make new friends – especially as an adult. Although adult friendships are just as important as childhood and highschool friendships, providing many of the same benefits mentioned above. According to a WBUR radio article, making friends as an adult is difficult because it does not happen organically and it requires you to feel a bit vulnerable when asking for the other person’s contact information. However, according to Very Well Mind, having an open and positive mindset can help you make new friends. The article also suggests that making work friends does not mean you should only hang out with them at work – try inviting them to after work activities too. 

However you are still struggling to think of people you would be friends with, try stepping out of your comfort zone a little bit and trying new things or joining a club or organization. Mind Body Green and GoodRx Health suggest trying some of the below groups:

  • A new yoga or workout group 
  • Joining a church choir or other musical group
  • Joining a book club
  • Connecting with co-workers at a work committee
  • Joining parenting groups
  • Senior centers
  • Volunteering at food banks, pet shelters, or youth organizations
  • Join a sports group or team

Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of groups or places where you can meet or make friends. And if you are unsure about where to start, go do something that you are excited about and/or interested in.

Of course meeting friends is just the first step, the next is maintaining that friendship. The New York Times and GoodRx Health noted that to maintain friendships one needs to put the effort in. Friendships require people to reach out to each other and communicate. Another great way to keep friendships working is to make and keep plans with each other. Maintaining friendships also requires people to care about each other and show empathy towards one another. 

Well we hope that this article encourages you to go out and make a new friend or two!

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