Though young people seem to dread getting older, the truth is, many things get better with age. We tend to have more self-confidence, more money in the bank, and more time to explore our goals and dreams.
But in some ways, getting older can be difficult. We tend to lose connections with friends and can find ourselves feeling alone and isolated. And it’s not as easy making friend in your 60s, 70s, or 80s as it was in your teens and 20s.
Human beings are social creatures. We become depressed and anxious when we become isolated. And studies have shown that we age better and are healthier when we surround ourselves with friends.
Though it can feel challenging to make new friends in your golden years, it is very possible to do so and here are some tips to get you started:
Commit to the Process
Making new friends will take a bit of work and commitment on your part. You can’t expect to give it one week and find 5 new close friendships. Just commit to the process knowing it is, in fact, a process.
Change Up Your Routines
You can’t expect new people to come into your life by doing the same old thing day after day. You’re going to have to step out of your comfort zone and try new things, visit new places and explore new hobbies and opportunities. The good news is, while it may feel a little uncomfortable at first (especially if you’ve gotten very comfortable in your daily routines) the payoffs – those amazing new connections with wonderful new people – will be entirely worth it.
Be Open Minded
Be open to friendships you may have never been open to in the past. If you don’t think you could ever be friends with someone from a different political party, economic background, or someone younger, think again. A new person with different life experiences can greatly enrich your life and perception of the world. That’s a beautiful thing!
Lose That Fear of Rejection
A fear of rejection is one of the biggest we humans face each day. Yes, you are going to feel vulnerable putting yourself out there, and yes, not everyone you feel a connection with will necessarily feel the same. But here are a few other truths you should remember:
– Most people feel the need to connect with others and are happy to make new friends.
– We all feel awkward with small talk and the beginning stages of any new relationships.
– All of your most meaningful relationships you’ve ever had started with you getting to know a stranger. Even your own children were strange new beings that you had to get to know.
Don’t allow yourself to become lonely and isolated. There is a big world out there with wonderful friendly people who are just waiting to get to know you! And if you are suffering from social anxiety and would like to speak to someone about that, let’s talk about how I may be able to help.