I was a hermit for some years. I’d kicked all my friends out of my life. My friends are awesome and all kept a light on for me until I was ready to re-emerge, but in the meantime I’d also moved away and so I needed to make new friends as well.
It’s been quite a journey and I’ve learned a lot. At nearly 50, I can say I know it’s possible to make friends at any age.
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Task 1: Passion equals friends
Do what lights you up, but don’t do it on your own. Find people who share that passion. Organise a group (book club, crafting circle, hiking club etc) or join one that’s already there.
Nothing beats the feeling of: “Wow, I can gush about my passion for hours and nobody glazes over!” when you’ve met your tribe, those who share your passion.
Task 2: Go where people are
Join courses, weekend workshops, retreats – whatever takes your fancy. You may not have the money to go out and do something every weekend of the year, but look what’s available and plan in advance.
This is where a budget comes in! Save up for this one weekend course of yoga, or meditation, or an evening class or whatever. Suggest to go for a coffee or drinks afterwards. See what happens.
Task 3: Be interested, not interesting
This will come as a relief, especially for introverts: There’s this idea that you need to dazzle everyone with your fascinating personality in order to win friends. The opposite is the case.
Everyone loves talking about themselves. Ask thoughtful questions and listen, really listen to their answers. Remember what they said, mention it the next time you meet. This shows you care enough to remember.
Making friends is not a question of age, it’s a question of being open to it. Try it and you might surprise yourself.