The haze is back. As much as we dread the return of this respiratory threat, there is little that…
There will be a point in your life where you might realise that making and keeping friends is no longer as easy as it used to be as while we were schooling, where being in a common environment together with not-so-like minded people forges unlikely friendships without much effort. You come to realise that as an adult, friendships take time and commitment to grow and flourish, and if you don’t start investing in these relationships early enough, you might end up feeling lonely especially if you are more introverted or shy in social settings.
However, don’t fret- there are many others in your situation as well. You may try the following tried-and-tested ways to create more adult friendships while investing in your own well-being at the same time.
Sometimes making a new long-lasting friendship begins with saying a simple “Yes!” When your existing pals, colleagues or contacts ask you out for an event or gathering where there will definitely be new faces, don’t hesitate to agree and be open-minded about meeting new people, even if it might be a last minute invite. It might be difficult to find the confidence and courage to be around new people and make small talk, but the more you expose yourself to it, the better you become. Try to find common topics of interest and don’t make the entire conversation about yourself.
A fantastic way to get to know new people in a less structured or stressful setting is during a workshop or class. There are many opportunities to make friends while working on your fitness or interests, while bonding over these sessions. In a space with many strangers, just remember that the rest might be as shy or scared as you when talking to new people, so don’t be afraid to make the first move – what is the worst that could happen anyway? You might never even see these people again, for all you know.
Once you’ve secured new acquaintances, try to request to follow their social media accounts or mobile numbers so that you can all catch-up for coffee after the event or class, especially if you haven’t finished discussing any engaging common topics or hobbies due to limited time, where hopefully you had to spend time getting to know others in the room as well. To make it less formal, reach out to acquaintances whenever you come across another event that you think they might be interested in and invite them to it!
“Work” within your current pool of old friends, acquaintances and contacts and try to organise a get-together for old times’ sake. You might realise you either do not ‘click’ with certain friends anymore after a long time apart with your peers going down different paths in life, or you might realise you actually identify and are more alike with some acquaintances that you didn’t feel so close to before. Nevertheless, it will also be good practice to ‘flex’ your social muscles and get out of your shell every now and then to reconnect with old friends who knew you from way before your “adult” self.
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