“The strong bond of friendship is not always a balanced equation; friendship is not always about giving and taking in equal shares. Instead, friendship is grounded in a feeling that you know exactly who will be there for you when you need something, no matter what or when”. Simon Sinek
A lot has happened to me in the last 12 months the biggest impact on me has been the people who have come and gone from my life as always what has gone was a bloody blessing although it didn’t feel like it at the time and what has come has been the biggest blessing of all. It is safe to say the friendships I have developed in the last 12 months have certainly shaped me into a better woman and a better friend. Making new friends as an adult is some scary shit! I also think its something we think is a lot harder then it actually is, we naturally feel we will look stupid or have a fear that they will laugh at us but the truth is most p[eople are kind and want to make more connections. So here are my six steps I have tried and created new friendships from.
Make the first move
Sure, asking someone you like but only sort-of-know to make plans might be scary, but the worst thing that will happen is they’ll say no. If there’s a person you had a laugh with during a workout or at a party, ask if they’d like to get together sometime. You don’t have to make it formal or weird; coffee and brunch are perfect ways to get to know someone better and who the hell doesn’t like brunch or coffee!
There had been a woman at my gym who always worked out at the same time as me, after a couple of weeks of hi’s and smiles we started chatting about life. The fact we were at the gym at the same time showed a common interest and one of my favourite things about women is most of us are cheerleaders for each other. We swapped workout tips and stories of cheeky nights out and then one day I suggested we grab a coffee after our workouts which we did and let’s just say our friendship has lasted longer than the one I was having with the gym!
Use an app
Let’s just say Bumble has done more for my friendship circle then it has my love life! So last year I decided to give Bumble BFF a whirl, much to my surprise it has been one of the best decisions I have made in my adult life, this little app has introduced me to some of the most incredible women I have ever met. One advantage of using an app is it takes a lot of fear out of trying to befriend someone as everyone else on it is looking for the same thing. However, like Bumble or Tinder, there are some odd people lurking in the depths of the internet. I have had one occasion when I meet a woman who was looking for more than friendship, there are the people that just want to message endlessly, having a text-based friendship and the ones that you meet and wonder how you got it so wrong!
But then there are the ones you meet, the ones who you feel like you have been friends with forever, the ones who come into your life and make it a little happier. If you struggle to talk to strangers or are worried about looking silly I would highly recommend using Bumble BFF, it might just surprise you.
Accept all the invites
We all know how good cancelling plans can feel but if a coworker, acquaintance, or whoever else invites you to that barbecue or cocktail party, just say yes and go. We know showing up to events alone might feel mortifying, but we promise it seems scarier than it actually is. If someone asks you to coffee or brunch, go! Nurture those “acquaintance-ships” into real friendships. As tempting as those nights in with Netflix is, don’t give in to the urge if potential friends await you outside. You can’t complain about not having friends if you don’t actually go out and try and in 2019 “I have no one to go out with all my friends are in relationships” is no longer an excuse that is valid. I have been invited to invites where I know only the host and I am not going to the lie the first 20-30 minutes aren’t great but as a rule, people aren’t arseholes and someone will come and talk to you. I was invited to a Thanksgiving dinner last year where I only knew the host and if I am honest just stood there petrified as everyone else in the room knew each other. I must have looked like a piece of furniture unable to move or make eye contact, luckily the loveliest lady noticed, gave me a hug and continued to chat to me, eventually bringing me out of my shell and allowing me to talk to other guests. Plus that lovely lady is now stuck with me as a friend!
Be social on social media
We all have those people we follow on Instagram and would like to be friends with IRL. Well, hey, why not be? If you’ve been following each other on social media and you live in the same area, send a quick message to ask if they want to meet up. Even if you don’t live in the same city or even the same county there’s nothing wrong with a few more online friends to chat with online.
So the Thanksgiving event from the above point was hosted by a woman who I met on Instagram and she has actually guest blogged for me. Sarah has been following me on Instagram pretty much from the start, we live 20 minutes from each other and were both posting about the same areas, the same walks. We had sent the occasional DM and eventually decided to have Sunday dinner together, we have been friends ever since which has led me to meet new people through her.
I also started this blog to document my travels around America which I did after going to stay with a woman I meet on Instagram who lived in North Carolina, she invited me over to the states to stay with her, I accepted and had the most wonderful time. So next time you see something on Instagram you love or a person who loves the same things as you drop them a DM, start a conversation they may never reply but they might and they may have been wanting to chat to you.
Try new things
Group classes, clubs, and meetups are great places to meet new friends. From spin class to yoga to walking groups, there are opportunities galore to introduce yourself to people with similar interests. If cold introductions make you break a sweat, try signing up for something where interaction is more of a given: Salsa classes, cooking classes, hiking and running groups, or anything involving games are good places to start. Meet up is a great app to find local activities and remember the fact you are in the same class or group is a common interest and starting point for conversation.
Talk to strangers
I am not talking about running up to strangers in the street and declaring your need for friendship but for example every Sunday I go to Starbucks for a coffee and to write some blog posts, an older gentlemen came in with his two adorable dogs, hat on, hunched over and didn’t make eye contact with anyone. Because I can not resist a cute looking dog, let alone two I walked over to him and asked if I could pet them, he looked at me and I gave a massive grin. We sat and chatted for an hour, he was telling me all about his dogs while I sat there accepting lots of wet kisses. Now every Sunday all three of them bounce in and come and sit with me for a coffee while he tells me about his week. Not every friend has to be a bestie, sometimes a friend is just someone you can stop and have a coffee with.