Make New Friends Quickly

By Catherine Ryan for Life & Beauty Weekly

When we are young friends are especially important. Then as life moves on we change, we develop new responsibilities with family and work. With less time outside of family and work it is not uncommon that we lose contact with our best friends.

“During mid-life women are especially occupied,” says Dr. Irene Levine, Professor of Psychiatry at New York University and the author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving to Breakup with Your Best Friend. “But it is important to have friendships during this time because friends help reduce stress, blood pressure, and the risk of depression.” And, Levine adds, friends add a little fun to your life.

Please note the following strategies to learn how to find and develop friendships that are worth the effort. It only requires a little extra effort, but finding a good friend has no price.

1 Be active in groups to which you belong

If you already belong to groups be more active. Instead of just watching your child’s football games become a member of the board that governs the league. Instead of just going to conferences at school become truly active in the PTA. Levine says do this to, “relate more often to people whom you already know.” Doing this allows friendships to develop naturally.

2 Find one new friend

When you find someone that you like, work to make the relationship grow, every day. “Show your true self slowly, and hope that your new friend will do the same”, recommends Levine. Have coffee together and start talking about your common interests or backgrounds. Resist the temptation to control this new relationship and let it happen.

3 Become part of a group

If you are not part of a social group and find the thought a little scary there is a solution. Develop relationships one at a time. Once you have a couple of acquaintances and friends you will find the group less frightening.

4 Be open to new friends

“It may sound silly, but most friendships are born of a smile and a sociable attitude,” says Levine. This means talking to people wherever you can, in the elevator, at the the pool, while you wait at the doctor’s office, at your child’s ball game… “If you act in a friendly manner and you let people that know you are interested in them, some will respond and become your new friends.”

5 Cultivate new connections

Once you have made a friend, do whatever you need to do to find time to be with her. If you are very busy don’t feel obliged to take time from work but look for other options such as going to the hair dresser on the same day and having a cup of coffee afterwards. Synchronizing your schedules gives you and your new friend time together without overloading either of your schedules. “And remember you do not always need to get together face to face. Facebook, text messages, and short phone calls are great ways to stay in touch,” says Levine.

And never think that the time you spend with friends is lost time with your family because healthy time that you spend with your friends is good for everyone. Time with our friends helps us recharge our batteries and maintain a sense of perspective. Good time with good friends will make you a better mother, wife, daughter, and sister.

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