Work It Out Wednesday: 8 Ways To Beat Loneliness

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No matter what stage in life you’re at, it isn’t always easy to make new friends However, making friends later on in life can be much more difficult. There may be colleagues at work, people you know at the gym, somebody you walk past every day?

How many would you trust with a secret, or a problem? For people who have moved away to a new town, or whose relationship circumstances have changed, having to make new friends can be a daunting prospect. Following these suggestions can help make finding new friends a bit easier.

1) Do something! Don’t stay in waiting for new friends to suddenly appear. They won’t. Sign up for an evening course and you could learn a new language, become a wine expert, improve your cooking skills, or make better use of your computer in just a few weeks. Go on the works night out, anything rather than spend another night in front of the TV.

2) Get Connected. If you can’t find a hobby or a social activity that interests you, why not see if there’s an event near by on something you have been interested in.. These are a great way of meeting people, and can be invaluable if you have moved to a new town, and don’t know anybody. As well as like minded people, these clubs offer many social activities and social group events which can range from quiz nights at a local pub, to foreign travel, and may include special offers on such products as medical insurance.

3) Speak Out, or Just speak. Although easier said than done, try not to be shy when meeting people for the first time, even though you may feel you lack confidence. When you are in a social situation, aim to make the first move, and other shy people will be glad you broke the ice. Accept that you won’t like everyone you talk to, and not everyone will like you.

4)  Look Around. You may be able to tell a little about a person from the way they dress, or from what they are carrying. If somebody is carrying a camera, listening to a favorite song make eye contact.  If they are reading a book or magazine, walking a dog, or pushing a pram, you might have something else to talk about. Look around.

5) Ask. Try to ask open questions such as “What do you think of …?” rather than “Do you like …?” as they require a more detailed answer, and encourage conversation. Questions that require a Yes or No answer don’t make for an easy conversation.

6) Do something you like. Like minded people can often become friends. If you’ve always wanted to do something different, or take up a new activity, this could be the ideal time. From abseiling to zoology, there’s bound to be a local club or society that you can join. If you’re an avid reader, why not join a book club. Volunteer work can be very rewarding if you have the free time. If you’re an animal lover, there may be an animal rescue center that you could help out. There is always something that you can do in a small way.

7)  Social networking You can also make friends online using social media sites or chat rooms. However, these types of friendships are not usually the same as real life friendships. You might have a great time talking to someone in a foreign country who likes the same music and films as you do, but this friend probably won’t be able to give you a lift if your car won’t start. Look into ‘meet up”.

8) Be active in building friendships. Once you’ve made friends, don’t forget to get a phone number or email address, and be positive! Contact your new friend, but don’t be put out if they are too busy or unable to meet you for a while. Remember not to seem clingy or desperate. If you have the opportunity to make more friends, then do so, don’t feel like you have to rely on just one person.

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