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5 Ways to Make New Friends – International Day of Friendship (30 July)

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Wondering how to make new friends?

There are a whole host of reasons why you might be looking to make some new friends. As people pack up and move on to wherever the next opportunity takes them, you might find yourself a victim of circumstance in a new area. You might feel you have grown apart from much of your social circle. You might have let your social life slip during a long-term relationship. Or you simply struggle to make friends and have always wished your social life was better.

We could all use more friends in our lives. The important role that friendship plays in health and happiness cannot be underestimated. Studies have shown that the odds of survival in people with a strong social network increase by 50% in comparison to the ‘Billy No Mates’ of the world*, due to suffering from less stress and depression.

If you’re struggling to make friends, don’t despair!

It is easy to feel disheartened and retreat into isolation, but there are plenty of ways you can reach out to new people. There will be many others in the same position as you!

  1. Use technology to your advantage! It is said that our increasing reliance on technology is making it harder to maintain real life connections, but you can use the internet to your advantage. Social apps and websites are not just for dating! There are tons of apps and websites dedicated to finding friends. These include: Bumble BFF, Skout, Hey! VINA, Girlfriend Social and Forever Friends. (Please remember to be sensible when communicating and meeting people online. Make sure you know who you’re speaking to, and tell a friend/family member where you are going when meeting someone for the first time.)
  2. Join a local group! It will help to have a shared interest, hobby or activity you can talk about with new people – MeetUp is an excellent website to find local activity groups.
  3. Take on voluntary work/weekend work! Not only will you provide much needed support to organisations in need, you will also meet new people! Do-it.org is the UKs national volunteering database, and the perfect place to start if you’re looking for volunteering opportunities in your area.
  4. Go back to school! Taking a night, weekend or even online class can put you in touch with a new group of people who are interested in learning the same skill.
  5. Use your existing connections! Sometimes it’s a case of being upfront about wanting to meet new people; ask people you are already familiar with to introduce you to people in their circles.

Remember – don’t give up on past friends! You shouldn’t abandon efforts to keep in contact when you can. If you miss someone, you should do something about it. Additionally – don’t limit yourself to one particular crowd. Be open to forming new connections with people from all walks of life. You never know who you might hit it off with if you have enough in common!

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