As we near the holiday season, some of us will be dreaming about good times surrounded by family and friends, and others will be wishing they had friends to celebrate with. In our busy lives these days, it's not always easy to make and keep friends. People move away, interests change, and there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. But the good news is that there are people available all over the place that would love to be your friend. Here are a few handy tips for meeting and making new friends:
1. Take up a hobby or two.
One of the great things about the modern age is that there is an audience for everything. Interested in underwater basket weaving? Don't be surprised if there's an internet group of people dedicated to it. Of course, if you have a hobby that local people are interested in, so much the better. Try this website that specializes in getting groups of people with common interests together: http://www.meetup.com/
2. Join a class!
Almost every community has a selection of interesting, low-cost classes. This is a great way to meet people, because you always have something to talk about, and there's always a reason to meet up outside of class and study or discuss the topic. When the class is ending, remember to follow up by getting contact information of possible friends.
3. When you meet new people, be a good listener.
Sometimes it seems like the art of listening is lost. If people aren't already looking into the distance figuring out their next thing to say, they're rudely engrossed in their cellphone. Find people that want to converse, not give a monologue, then listen hard, and ask interested questions.
4. Have low expectations.
Sounds strange doesn't it? But the truth is, when you meet new people it's easy to write them off as having one fault or another. Give a person a chance to show you what they're about, and you may discover a new best friend
5. Be flexible and understanding.
Most of us lead complex lives, laden with hidden responsibilities. If someone can't make it again, or forgets even more than once about a set date, don't assume the worst. Just stay flexible, and keep your options open. Sometimes you just need one good chance to get to know each other, and then both of you begin to understand each other's schedules and energy cycles.
Keeping Friends Tip:
Old friends can be lifesavers. It's all about contact. Some people will drift away without regular contact. Even a brief handwritten note under their windshield wiper, or a suggestion to meet for half an hour for coffee can make all the difference.
How to Make Friends
The Friends and Friendships Web
How to Meet People