In the busy world of adult life, prioritizing friendships can be difficult. Maintaining existing relationships requires constant work and making new friends is even tougher.
The last two years of lockdowns and working from home have only added to the pressure.
Whether you’ve recently returned to the office after a Covid absence or you’ve started a new job and are working remotely, here are three tips for making new friends this year.
1. Be proactive
The first step to making new friends as an adult is wanting to make new friends. You might already be juggling a successful career with parenthood, a partner, and your extended family. Finding time for new friends will require commitment. Do you really want to add to your already busy life?
The answer to that question is likely to be “yes”. Friendships, especially after the enforced confinement of lockdowns, bring a sense of belonging and can give a boost to your happiness and self-confidence while reducing stress and anxiety.
Friendships are worth pursuing and so you’ll need to give the same commitment to them that you give to other aspects of your life. Make time for building friendships and be proactive.
Find time in your busy schedule to make a plan and then stick to it. Organizing a work lunch with your team or a new colleague is a great way to meet new people and find common ground. Failing to attend, however, could mean you lose the chance of a valuable friendship.
Missed appointments and last-minute cancellations can add up. We all have friends from our younger days who we’ve lost contact with, without being able to remember how the parting occurred. Don’t make that mistake here.
Go out of your way to make new acquaintances and go beyond a Facebook “like” or a Twitter follow. Be proactive in meeting new people and making arrangements and then be sure to stick to them.
2. Be positive
At the start of the UK’s first coronavirus lockdown during March and April 2020 the Office for National Statistics (ONS) highlighted the issue of loneliness.
More than 2.5 million adults reported feeling lonely “often” or “always” between 3 April and 3 May 2020. Worryingly, this is broadly the same as the figures pre-lockdown, confirming that the issue of adult loneliness predated the pandemic.
Around 7.4 million adults confirmed that their wellbeing had been affected through feelings of loneliness, and working-age adults who live alone were the most likely to report that they were lonely.
Loneliness might have affected your confidence or your sense of self-worth but try to remain upbeat. Instigating social contact as an adult can feel awkward, especially if you’re on the lookout for new friendships.
Acknowledge awkwardness but remain upbeat and also be patient. It will take time and mutual interests to get to know a new person.
Try to be positive in your communications too. Having someone new to talk to might feel like a great opportunity to let off steam but negativity can be draining. Make a list of the things you have to be thankful for and you can begin a potential new friendship on the right footing.
3. Seek out like-minded people
If work and family are leaving you with little spare time, starting or maintaining a hobby can be tough. Making time to join a local sports club or organisation could be a great way to meet like-minded adults.
At work, you’ll have your company in common with colleagues, as possibly certain skillsets too. When looking for potential new friends though, be sure to seek out people that genuinely interest you. That might be due to something as simple as a shared view or a colleague’s involvement in a pastime you’d like to try.
Sports clubs or creative hobbies can be especially useful for cultivating new friendships. The joy of creativity could give a boost to your mental health, while competition will help maintain physical fitness and potentially create strong bonds due to the shared experiences of you and your teammates.
The Pension Planner’s Introduction Incentive Programme
At The Pension Planner, we can’t be there to help you make new friends but we can give you £50 if you recommend an existing friend to us.
We want as many people as possible to benefit from financial advice. That is why we recently launched our Introduction Incentive Programme that aims to match more of your friends and family with the professional advice they need.
Introduce us to someone who books an initial meeting and you’ll receive £50. It doesn’t matter whether that meeting takes place face-to-face or remotely and there’s no requirement for them to become a client.
So, what are you waiting for?
Get in touch
We’re here to give you peace of mind that your long-term financial plans are on track and that your dream retirement is attainable. If you have any questions, get in touch. Email email@example.com or call 0800 0787 182.