Making New Friends
Friends make life much more enjoyable, and they can be a great support system as they’re people you can rely on to talk to. However, for many, it can be a challenge to make friends. Social anxiety can be a major hurdle, as can be finding the right people who share your interests. It’s something I have struggled with in the past, so I can sympathize with others who have a difficult time finding and making friends.
Clubs or social communities are great ways to meet other people who share your interests. When I was in college, I joined a few different clubs my first year. I met a few people who shared similar hobbies, which made it easy to converse with them and build friendships. These clubs really helped me when I was struggling to meet and interact socially with others in a new environment.
Another simple way to make friends is to interact with people on social media. There are an endless amount of different groups and communities online that you can explore. You can find groups of people who are local to you and meet with them if you are comfortable doing so. This is a strategy that is helpful, especially to those people who may struggle with initiating conversation in-person.
Practicing methods of reducing your anxiety can be beneficial in overcoming the social anxiety associated with making friends and talking to others. Meditation, deep breathing, and practicing mindfulness are just a few ways to ease the tension of being around others. It’s important to be yourself around others, so that they can appreciate who you are as individual. Understanding that having more friends in your life can further reduce your anxiety should provide motivation for you to go and talk to others.
I recommend taking a look at https://www.meetup.com/ since it's a great way to meet people with similar interests, such as dancing, hiking, and more.
Forming companionships is not always easy, but don’t let that stop you from going out there and trying to do so! You can check out this article for more tips on making friends: https://greatist.com/happiness/how-to-make-keep-friends#make-new-friends
You can also check out this video about a personal experience of how someone learned to make more friends:
-- BitterSweet Coaching Guest Writer