How do you go about making friends as an adult?

Posted by miller0304 @miller0304, Jun 1 7:23am

How do you go about making friends as an adult? Depression and some codependency has made it difficult to maintain friendships I had. Insecurity and fear makes it difficult to make friends now
Any advice appreciated

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Hi @miller0304, You ask a really good question. I have lost some of my best friends the past 3 or 4 years and also struggle to make new friends. Sometimes life gets me down and I always had a friend I could talk with to make me feel better. Now I don't have as many of my old friends to turn to. I think part of the answer lies within our own effort to make new friends and some also may be our current situation and mobility. I did find a couple of articles that may be helpful.

— Tips for Making Friends When You're Depressed: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-friendship-doctor/201610/tips-making-friends-when-youre-depressed
— How to Make Friends as an Adult: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-make-friends-as-an-adult-4769076

I find that sometimes if I get with a group or I'm at a social gathering, I have an opportunity to meet people I don't know and can try talking to see if we have something in common to get the ball rolling. Do you have any group or social activities that you like to do where you can meet new people?

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Think about making friends in a different way. My mother always said, "To make a friend, you have to be a friend" . Mom had many. Also remember Dale Carnegie, "It's always all about the other person". So start mixing it up in your current groups and try a new group or two. Start a few conversations to see if you have things in common. Ask people, where do you work? What are your hobbies, etc. Be interested in them, don't just bloviate about yourself.

When you find someone who seems nice, go for a phone call, zoom, or coffee after the NEXT meeting. Go slow, don't overwhelm. Be genuinely interested in other people and they will be interested in you. Next thing, voila, you'll have a bunch of new friends.

Remember, not everyone will respond but don't worry and don't take it personally. You don't want just anybody as a friend. You want people who you genuinely bond with! Good luck.

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This group (below website) has been of help. Check it out. Go on to the website to find out if there's a group near you.
Stay strong don't lose hope. Quality of one friend is a treasure – Someone you can share your heart with without stigma.
Blessings
https://sanctuarymentalhealth.org/

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i do not really have any friends at this age (67) except occasionally on the phone. i have no idea how to go about making friends or maintain a friendship either. i am also busy working on my health which isn't too good for my age. help! i have been lonely and disconnected for a very long time. i think i make a good friend and respect the beliefs of other people.

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@theai

i do not really have any friends at this age (67) except occasionally on the phone. i have no idea how to go about making friends or maintain a friendship either. i am also busy working on my health which isn't too good for my age. help! i have been lonely and disconnected for a very long time. i think i make a good friend and respect the beliefs of other people.

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@theai It seems to me that with the isolation we had to go through with the COVID pandemic, it has been difficult to reverse ourselves now and get out more. At least, it is for me. As an introvert, it never has been easy for me to make or keep friends.

As others have mentioned, finding a "common ground" is practical and part of it all. In our little town here, I finally had to set aside my desire to just stay home, and volunteer with the valley's community association [run by 6 hardy volunteers!] to get involved and meet some people. Likewise, heading in to a craft/book/home improvement store, stepping out of my comfort zone to interact with others. You never know as you start a conversation where it might lead, you know?

What type of activities might you enjoy doing with a new friend?
Ginger

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That is a great question and one I'm glad you asked. I moved 5 years ago to be closer to my daughters, from a medium sized city where I had all my friends, my church, a part-time job … everything that kept me busy. Where I am now is a small town with little to nothing to offer. I've tried Newcomers Club, but all they do is go out to eat … I don't have the $$ to do that every month. I live in a senior community, which also has folks who should be in assisted living or a nursing home. The folks here are huge gossips and rumor mongers, I have been stung twice by women I thought were friends so now I stay in my apartment except for taking my dog out. I've visited several churches. I need to get settled into a church … I think that would help; otherwise, I'm at a loss to suggest anything.
Barb

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@theai

i do not really have any friends at this age (67) except occasionally on the phone. i have no idea how to go about making friends or maintain a friendship either. i am also busy working on my health which isn't too good for my age. help! i have been lonely and disconnected for a very long time. i think i make a good friend and respect the beliefs of other people.

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I hear what your are saying. I'm making it a point to try new things since Covid has also curtailed so many activities.
Do you have a senior center? There are so many activities to choose from and you can go without a friend or partner.,I've also found the libraries a wonderful resource. Book clubs, activities, groups who learn about plants or ancestry. Exercise.

Being able to go on my own without a partner lets me make connections.
I'm often surprised at what I like and often just have mini conversations with people I don't know. .
For me a simple interaction and connection can turn around my day.
Also each day I look for some little unexpected thing that makes me smile. A good start!

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That is a great question! I have struggled with this since I moved to the Midwest from Oregon. It is super hard to find people that are willing to let you "in". I know that COVID has not helped any. I am tried to use Meet-up to meet people but the town I live in is so small they don't really have anything.

I am slowly building relationships at work, but it is hard when you are in a new town, new job, and you don't know anyone.

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Hi Rhonda …. AMEN! That's where I'm at but I am retired and live in a senior community … a Section 8 apt. I always pretty much lived my life of "trust til you have a reason not to trust." Unfortunately, here I have had to go totally the opposite …. "don't trust until you're absolutely sure you can trust." For me, if and when I find a church, I'm hoping that will help. Otherwise, I have no idea why I moved from my condo in Frederick, MD (lived in Frederick for 30 years) where I had my part-time job, my church, my friends, and everything I knew … it was all because my girls hounded me until I moved. What a mistake. Good luck.
Barb

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@gingerw

@theai It seems to me that with the isolation we had to go through with the COVID pandemic, it has been difficult to reverse ourselves now and get out more. At least, it is for me. As an introvert, it never has been easy for me to make or keep friends.

As others have mentioned, finding a "common ground" is practical and part of it all. In our little town here, I finally had to set aside my desire to just stay home, and volunteer with the valley's community association [run by 6 hardy volunteers!] to get involved and meet some people. Likewise, heading in to a craft/book/home improvement store, stepping out of my comfort zone to interact with others. You never know as you start a conversation where it might lead, you know?

What type of activities might you enjoy doing with a new friend?
Ginger

Jump to this post

thank you ginger for your input. i don't know what i would enjoy doing; just about anything i would think. i guess i just have to give it time. i'm still recovering from a stroke but will step out to the senior center or library and see if anything there is worthwhile and provides any space for interaction.

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@miller0304 Hello, I'm 67 and time has flown. I feel 17, young, confident, self-assured and I was an extrovert. I was involved in the ecology club, drama, music, intramurals. If I had a part in a play, you could count on me to ad lib. Singing in a group was glorious. Singing a solo? That's when I first became aware of my anxiety and it manifested itself in my breathing. If you can't breathe, you can't sing.
Without going into boring details, a couple of years ago, my psychiatrist explained to me that he thinks I am an introverted extrovert. Not recognized in the DSM 4322…LOL…my psychiatrist explained that over the years, I developed a self-imposed restrictive behavior–kind of a way to prevent rejection. There's alot of psycho babble on introverted extroverts and vice versa. I've read quite a few articles. So, slowly I've been putting myself out there. Mostly online in the last couple of years, at least joking around, trying to be witty rather than sarcastic.
I was visiting my friend in Colorado. We were at a Walgreens and she was calling me from the register: "Come on you old wobbly lady!" "Old Wobbly Lady…you mean an OWL? An Old Wonderful Lady?"
I have since refined my OWL status to Outstandingly Witty Lady. I have a pink owl on a Keychain to remind me of that day. I stood up for myself. Turned a negative into a positive, and for a moment, I was an extrovert.
I'll keep practicing.
BTW…my friend and I have known each other since the 2nd grade.
I cherish our friendship. It is indeed difficult to reach out to others. However, when a window of opportunity opens, I do reach out more often.
I figure, I might find a person as lonely as me, but I'll be a little braver, say hello and bring that person a little spark of motivation.
"Hope is the joyful expectation expectation of great things to come."–unknown

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How to meet people? Here's a shot, Me, I flew down to phoenix Az to help elderly mother move back to MPLS. I was told a week to pack and load pod now that I'm here it looks more like 2 weeks. So I'm excited to go see new top gun movie maverick . ANYBODY IN THE CHANDLER, MESA,TEMPE AREA INTERESTED IN GOING TO SEE THIS MOVIE AND GETTING A BITE TO EAT BEFORE OR AFTER THE SHOW? Today is monday June 6 looks like I'll be flying back around the 18 of June so anytime between those dates I'm available have a great day dave

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