Studies have found one in four young people report they have no close friends at all, Zero and 75 % of young people wish they had more friends.
If you feel lonely or would like more friends you are not alone. So many of us feel that we would like more friends. It seems like such a simple and natural need yet we mistakenly believe friendships should just happen automatically.
The reality is that it takes an intentional effort to build new friendships and it takes time. If it’s important to you, think about how you might be more strategic. Our Facilitation team can help you to think about all the ways to start meeting new people.
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Making New Friends
It can take time and effort to meet new friends. Very few people meet someone once or twice and develop a friendship.
How many people did you meet last year? Of those people, how many did you follow up with and have a second conversation? How many did you invite for coffee? And of all the people you met last year, how many of them became friends? Be patient and committed.
Start by considering…
- Getting involved in regular community activities with people who share an interest or passion is the best way to develop new relationships.
- Whenever possible, get involved in activities where the same people gather on a regular basis. While there is never a guarantee, being involved with a group of people over time creates the conditions where new relationships are possible. For example, if someone is interested in theatre, a season subscription would be fun but will offer little opportunity to meet someone. Volunteering with a theatre group either on-stage or behind the scenes where the entire group is together for planning, rehearsals and performances over the course of months has much more potential.
- Hospitality is also a great way to develop new friendships. Are there people you might invite for a coffee or lunch? Can you host a dinner? Could you bake something or share something from your garden with neighbours? As you meet people you like, extending invitations or finding ways to be helpful are a great next step.
- Create a list of all the activities you are involved with and list those people who you like and could extend an invitation to. Making new friends is very much a numbers game. The more people you are exposed to, the greater the chance of making a new friend.