The basic needs that people have are being loved, accepted and feeling a sense of belonging. That is all that any of us really want at a core level.
Growing up, we have built in support networks while we are at home or school. At school, we are forced to interact and be a part of groups whether it be in class or extracurricular activities. Then after high school, either we stick with our friends in high school or have a completely new batch of friends that show up in our life.
As we grow older, we stick with the same people or have to find brand new friends for a variety of reasons. I personally always find myself empathetic with people who have moved from other cities or their friends have moved away. Depending on your personality, it may be difficult to meet people you connect with or even develop a friendship with. Then we do meet the people we want to get to know more, the problem is meeting up with different schedules and possible personal resistance to making your vulnerable to having someone new get to know you which can be possibly frightening.
You may be desiring:
-people you can relate to,
-good conversations with and
-have some laughs with,
but the question lies how do you move from being comfortable where you are to a place of uncomfortableness and newness?
So developing new friends is like dating. There is mutual interest and both of you are wanting to explore if you want the friendship. Here are a few strategies to try to create new friendships:
1. Create time in your schedule. I know you are busy, but it must be done. In the beginning try for once a month, where you will make time for a new friend. It could be a lunch or dinner date.
2. Once you have hung out, text or call them. Check-in how they are doing, follow up on something they told you or to make follow up plans.
3. If it easier for you, hang out in a group. This will be easier, less vulnerable and allows others to take over the conversation.
4. If you hang out in a group, do follow up with a text or a call. Then ask to hang out again.
5. Another idea is to do an activity of mutual interest. This will be fun for both parties and requires less talking.
6. Be open to developing a regular hang out time with them. Physical time spent together is the best way to get to know someone.
It is possible to make new friends at any age, there just needs to be an openness to it. Hope these strategies help in developing those key friendships that we all need in our lives.