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How to make new friends?!

Making new friends ... how? where? when? 
 
This is something that comes up all the time in the forums! 
 
people GIF
 
How, where and when do we even start when it comes to making new friends?! 
It can feel scary, but is definitely worth finding the people who are the same kind of weird as you! 
 
We have some ideas of things to do if you're lonely over here Cat Very Happy
But let's make this thread the place for people to support each other, share practical tips that they've tried, or brainstorm new ideas, on how to go about meeting new people and befriending them! 
 
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Next week we will be going LIVE chatting to the Naked Farmer... who is that and why is he naked? Go here to find out more and submit your questions for the chat!

Re: How to make new friends?!

I find the older you get the harder it is to make friends, especially as a lot of my friends are either in serious relationships or having kids and I am here going: I have a cat, I'm still waiting to meet the right person, I'm studying... haha! 

I often think of  this lyric from the song Dear World by Echosmith: How many souls can be crowded together And all of us feeling alone? because that's often how I feel as I am at a different life stage to my friends. I remember chatting with some friends a while ago, 2 of them married and pregnant and I was halfway through my Cert. 4 in Community Services and one of them said to me that she couldn't imagine studying and dealing with assignments and she couldn't wait to be a mum. When I was thinking that I couldn't imagine being married and pregnant as for the first time in forever I was finally feeling like I was exactly where I was meant to be. We are both the same age but in completely different stages of our lives and it's hard because I still want her friendship but it's hard to relate to what she is going through. 

I will say that because of this I am having to expand my friendship group and the definition of friendship to me is changing. Before I thought in order to be good friends with someone you had to spend a lot of time in person with them but some of my close friends are ones I haven't spent more than a few days with but we chat online most days and we live on other sides of the country from each other. I also think making friends does require and effort on both ends and if the other person isn't willing to put in effort then it's not worth pursuing.

Here are some ways that I have made new friends:

  • Volunteering - I am a mod (and youth ambassador) for RO so that has helped me meet some amazing people, but I have also volunteered at the local youth centre which has helped meet some great people. I will say putting yourself out there and volunteering can be daunting but the pay off can be worth it.
  • Through my studies - even though they are what I call 'seasonal friends' I've realised that these friendships can help make study bearable and it's great to use their knowledge and be able to help each other with assignments.
  • Friends of friends - I've met some great people through friends and it's a great way to expand your group with some familiarity. I remember reading somewhere on a blog that a great dinner party idea is that you invite a group of friends and they each bring someone (you included) that no one else will know and you meet people you may not have crossed paths with before. You could use this idea for so many events (movies, picnics, bush walks...) and as everyone will be feeling out of place to a degree so it makes things a lot less awkward. 
  • Going to events alone - go to a book signing, or listen to someone talk on a topic you are interested in or even to a sports game. You will meet people that you have something in common with (which breaks the ice) and you never know you might have more in common than you first thought and friendships will start to naturally form.
  • Join a club - a lot of community centres and youth centres run a wide range of programs that you can get involved in. It might be a book club, or a fitness club or even an art therapy group. It might be hard at first but after the first couple of sessions things will get easier and friendships will start happen.

But once you have made these friends how can you keep these friendships developing and making them into something special? Here are few fun ideas you can do with them:

  • Discover a new café or introduce them to your favourite - have you been wanting to check out a new café in your area? Invite them to join you! Or introduce them to your favourite place to sit and people watch.
  • Play board games - board games give you something to do and helps get the conversations flowing. Board games you can play with 2 people (or a crowd) include: Coup, Codenames (you can play this with 2 people but I have only played this with a group but its a great game), Scattergories, Organ Attack (the people behind Awkward Yeti created it and the illustrations are hilarious) or just do a puzzle together. 
  • Bake - I used to love baking with friends though I haven't done it in ages. Try a new recipe together, have a bake off or you can even bake to raise funds for ReachOut!
  • Watch a funny show or movie together - there is something about laughter that brings people together and its great to bond over a funny tv show or movie. I highly recommend Brooklyn Nine Nine as its a show that everyone seems to like.
  • Be tourist in your own town - go to the zoo or aquarium, take a tour of a local hot spot, check out those typical tourist spots that you never go to and take cheesy selfies and photos.

As always remember that friendships take work and communication is key, don't be afraid to put yourself out there and you might just meet some awesome people that will stay in your life. 

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Whatever it takes I know I can make it through!

Re: How to make new friends?!

great topic @gina-RO
**NEVER be afraid to ask for help because your WORTH it!**

Re: How to make new friends?!

This is amazing @ErinsAntics!!!! 
So many good ideas!! 

 

I love what you've said about "changing definition of friendship" - because really, friendship, is just something we call the connection we have with another person. Heart

Friendship can help us to feel supported, and valued, and it doesn't necessarily need to tick many other boxes to do so!

Seasonal friends are a good example of this - just because someone is only in your life for a certain amount of time does not make that friendship any less valuable! 

I've learnt this more and more as I get older -some friendships are only there for a certain period of your life, whether it be one semester, or a holiday, or even a day at a particular event , and that's still valuable and important. 

 

Online friends can be amazing friends too!  A lot of online groups will do meet-ups from time to time which is a really cool way to make IRL friends too. (this forum doesn't do this as we protect anonymity, but other groups do! ). 

 


Another good idea is starting a new hobby- like a dance class, sport team, book club or a class of some kind. 

 

I think a good one that people often forget about, is connecting with old friends, or acquaintances- reaching out to people you think you could get along with.
We all have a list of people on facebook or instagram who we hardly ever see - chances are a bunch of them could have friendship potential! 

Don't be afraid to send someone a direct message, and ask them for coffee or to see a movie, or go to a local event together. 

I've taken this initiative myself many times, and it has paid off!

 

If it's less awkward, arranging a "friendship date" with a group of 3 or 4 people is good idea too. Others may be in exact same situation as you and be really grateful that you reached out. 

 

Any one else have any ideas or experiences, please share! 

 

 

 

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Next week we will be going LIVE chatting to the Naked Farmer... who is that and why is he naked? Go here to find out more and submit your questions for the chat!

Re: How to make new friends?!

So I just had to share this story Smiley Happy last week I started my Diploma in Community Services and while I had a few familiar faces in my class from doing my Cert. 4 there were also a few unfamiliar faces. I have found that most people are close to me in age compared to my Cert. 4 where I was the second youngest which is nice.

So on the second day (I only have class 2 days a week) I invited a new girl to sit with me for lunch and we got chatting, it turns out she is new to the city and doesn't know many people (she moved with her boyfriend from up north). Then the following week we continued to chat and we really hit it off and she mentioned that she was finding it hard to meet people and she loves shopping but hates shopping alone so me being a bit of a shopaholic, I suggested to her that we should go shopping next week so next Friday I am going shopping with a new friend Smiley Happy 

 

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Whatever it takes I know I can make it through!

Re: How to make new friends?!

@ErinsAntics that's an awesome story! And really highlights the steps you've taken to begin a new friendship Smiley Happy Thank you for sharing Heart

 

Let us know how the shopping trip goes Smiley Tongue

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No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish