Thinking back on our younger years, so many of our happiest memories are filled with special moments with friends. Whether it was going away on holiday together, sharing in the joy of a new addition to the family or laughing around a dinner table until the early hours of the morning. Our friends were implicit to our everyday lives. But for some reason as we get older, and almost without even noticing it, our social circle starts to slowly fade away and get smaller and smaller until we reach a point one day where we go to pick up the phone and don’t know who to call.
Friends are such an important part of our lives, but the older we get, the more anxious and uncertain we become on how to actually make them. So we’ve compiled a list of tips on how to make friends as you get older:
1. Find a Group That Shares Your Interests And Hobbies
By pursuing something you are passionate about, you are bound to meet people with similar interests.
2. Try A New Activity Or Class
That thing you’ve always wanted to try? Why not just go ahead and do it! Doing something new is fun and exciting, and makes for a great conversation topic when meeting new people inside or outside of your class.
3. Put Yourself Out There
Living in a community like Garden Grove, you are surrounded by people who are in a similar stage of their lives, so it is very likely that you will find someone you connect with. However, as nerve-wrecking as it might be, you need to put yourself out there in order to find those people. Start by identifying people you think you could get along with, then go up to them and ask them if you could join their table for lunch, or join in on their card game – or better yet, ask them to join in on your card game! The kind of people you are likely to want to be friends with, are the people who will happily say yes. So throw caution to the wind and just go for it!
4. Ask Questions
When meeting new people or in the initial stages of building a friendship, the simplest technique to strengthening a bond is to ask questions. People love talking about themselves and by this age we have had a lifetime of experiences that we would all happily share if someone were to just ask. So start by using what you know about the person and go from there. Otherwise, here are some ideas of good questions to start an interesting conversation:
- Where are you from?
- Have you always lived in Durban?
- Where did you grow up?
- Do you have any children?
- Do you have any brothers or sisters?
- What did you like to do for fun when you were younger?
Make sure to listen and show your interest by continuing to ask questions on the subject or jump in and share your own relevant stories.
5. Use Your Connections
If you live alone or battle to put yourself out there, then you need to make use of your connections. Whether it is asking your adult child to arrange a lunch date with one of their friends and the friend’s parents, or asking your friendly neighbour to introduce you to their parents. People are always willing to help, so don’t be afraid to just ask.
6. Use Social Media
Just because we are older doesn’t mean we can’t use (or learn how to use) social media. There is a reason all the youngsters of today are on it and that’s because it connects us to people. You will be beyond surprised at the old friends or acquaintances you will find who are also using things like Facebook. Social media means that distance is no longer an issue, you can chat for endless hours with your childhood friend who lives across the world or reconnect with an old acquaintance who you never knew lives just down the road.
If you aren’t sure how to use Facebook then ask someone younger to help you get set up – otherwise, you could always just open Google and ask what you must do on there. It’s really that easy. You are never too old to make a new friend, have a new experience or enjoy yourself. If you make a little bit of effort, show interest, open yourself up to new people, ideas and activities you are bound to come across one (or two) people you really enjoy spending your time with. So put yourself out there, because loneliness should never be the only option.
You are never too old to make a new friend, have a new experience or enjoy yourself. If you make a little bit of effort, show interest, open yourself up to new people, ideas and activities you are bound to come across one (or two) people you really enjoy spending your time with. So put yourself out there, because loneliness should never be the only option.