Creating a Rich Social Life and Making Your Best Friends


A full social life and deep connections are key to living the healthy life! Look here for the steps to take to create your best social life and fun ideas to get you started!
The connections we form, the friends we make and keep, the family life we create -- all of that, in my opinion, is what makes life worth living and, by the way, plays an enormous part in living the healthy life! Have you caught the many studies and other articles discussing it's significant impact on both our physical and mental health?


If you have more friends than you can count - the kind you consider "high quality" - and other deep relationships -- wonderful! You are very blessed.  But, I must ask: have you ever, at some point in your life, found yourself with less than a stellar social life or even a small circle of people to call true blue?  Life is full of changes that can negatively impact our social lives and cause it to wither.  I know I have found myself feeling a bit friendless when many of my "besties" moved far away. Maybe you, too. So, how did that happen? And, more importantly, how to fix it?  Let's explore that a bit and if you want to improve your social circle - even just a little - let's get on with it! After all, if you want a great social life and better connections,  it is up to you to make it happen!




How A Social Life Can Go South


There are so many ways someone can find themselves with an unsatisfying social life. Do any of these situations feel familiar:
  • You've moved to a new city and don't know many people yet -- if any.
  • You've been in a long-term relationship or changed your marital status and have let your social life dangle.
  • Good friends have moved away, began demanding careers or started a family and just are not available much any more.
  • Current friends don't match your lifestyle or values.  
  • You're different - you seek to be around people more.
  • You are shy and find friend-making difficult.
  • You made some mistakes with a friend or two and took the friendships for granted.
Of course, there are other reasons too, but whatever the reason, we are here to move past it. 




How to Become a Great Friend-Maker


I've noticed people who are really good at making friends naturally tend to do a few things. If you mimic their behavior, you just may become "one of them," too:

1.  They look around.

Good friend-makers draw on current contacts. Here are some places where some great friends may be hiding for you that you may not have considered:
  • Acquaintances you're friendly with when you run into each other, but who you do not see regularly
  • People at work or in your activities who you get along with
  • Friends of people you've gotten along with in the past
  • Those who have extended invitations, but for some reason you were not free
  • Friends you've gradually lost contact with 
  • Relatives with your interests or in your age group

2. They put their hand out.

Good friend-makers extend invitations and don't think too hard about it or worry too much about being rejected. They make the gesture to do something together with people that interest them. Simple, right? Well, I know it is not always easy to be the first to stick your neck out. But, remember all those people can think you are interesting and great to be around, but if you don't take any actions to do something with them, then you won't form new relationships and make friends. Instead, those people will remain as the nice guy with the great dog you see in the dog park every weekend, the fun woman in your yoga class or friendly neighbor you pass in the hall and complain about the noise together.

Yup, maybe it should be you to take it beyond the acquaintance stage. If you want more friends, you must put in the effort.  If you're bored on the weekend, get in touch with various people and put something together yourself, or find a way to be included in others' plans.  Let others know you're interested.


3.  They say yes. 

Skilled friend-makers accept most invites. If you are trying to expand your social circle and someone asks you to hang out, score!  Go do it.  Don't turn down a chance to get out there with people.  Ignore those thoughts it may not be fun, and go anyway. You never know! I can tell you I was basically forced to go out with my girlfriends one night many years ago and I met my husband that night! And, on another occasion, I insisted my husband go to an event with me and he made a great business connection that day! As I said, you just never know!


4.  They keep building.

If the tennis match was fun or drinks sparked a great conversation or points of interest, good friend makers keep in touch and try again. Of course, not all friendships have to be deep ones, but over time a tighter relationship with some of the people you meet can happen with more experiences and time together.

One or two good friends may be all you need for a great social life -- others may want more. However, either way you will most likely begin meeting friend's friends expanding possibilities as well if that is what you seek.






Key Points to Create a Great Social Life


Keep these other points in mind when creating that great social life of yours:

1.  Don't be too choosy.  

First impressions may not always be correct.  For example, if your initial goal is to get some sort of social life going after moving to a new town, try being open-minded to do activities with anyone you seem to get along with. The first people you meet may not be your ideal friends, but it could lead to them.  You can always decide later if it is a good match or not.  And, don't let age, gender or social status lead your decisions either.  Some of the best connections I had at work were with coworkers much older than I.

2.  Don't get discouraged easily.

Sometimes the party will be a bust, sometimes you just won't click, sometimes people behave badly. We have all been there. Do not take it personally, keep the big picture in mind and begin again.


3.  Be patient.

It is so important to realize that it will take time to form real friendships.
Going from having no plans,to having that established contact list on your phone for people to engage with or make plans is for the long haul and usually reflects your efforts or a whole lot of luck!



Get your social life in gear and try 15 of these suggestions to start having more fun, making great connections and bettering your mental health and mood!


15 Actionable Ideas on How To Bump Up Your Social Life 


Here are some tangible ideas (some large, some small) to get you started on improving that social life of yours and sharing all the wonderfulness of you:

1.  Join in.

Research meet ups in your area and find a few to try over the next month or two . . . or even start one yourself!

Don't miss this:  Look up meet-ups in your area here.


2.  Make it right.  

If you wronged a friend in the past, fix it! Apologize and try to begin again! Don't let wonderful people get away if you can help it. Your relationship may even be stronger afterwards.

3.  Plan a regular shin-dig.

Schedule a yearly party you want to host either at home or in a park or restaurant or even an ice cream parlor.  It does not have to be elaborate or difficult.

4.  Go back.

Choose two people you want to reconnect with that you have lost touch with over the years and make the initial calls, the emails, the letters.  You enjoyed them in the past and I bet they would love to hear from you.  I recently connected with a childhood friend of mine I had not talked to in decades and it has been so fun to reminisce and reconnect.

5.  Get out your calendar.

Set a goal to invite people over regularly - whatever feels good to you - once a month. every other week -- for tea, coffee, dinner or watch a movie.

Don't miss this:  Sometimes an impromptu gathering is the most fun of all. Just do it and here is how to do that.

6.  Facilitate.

Pick 2-3 people that you think would get along and plan a regular coffee date that meets for just an hour - everyone has an hour.  You can make the focus to bounce work ideas off each other, share child raising advice or travel ideas -- whatever you have in common.

7.  Improve your hobbies/skills.

Enroll in a class or clinic.  Sign up for a healthy cooking class or join a clinic to work on that golf swing or improved running times, etc.  You will have others that already share your interest right there to initiate friendships.

8.  Exchange information.

When you feel comfortable, make a habit of getting people's contact information.  You can't assume you will see them again and if an opportunity arises that you want to extend an invitation to an event or group get-together where he or she expressed interest, you will have the ability to actually get in touch.

9.  Challenge yourself.

Create a goal to initiate conversation with a new person each week. A lot of people, while out, wait for other people to talk to them. Become that person that initiates conversation even in a line at the bank!  Get in the practice of doing it.

10.  Attend some lectures.

This is a low key way to meet people and even if you don't, the inspiration you can receive from new ideas and concepts is great for you and makes you more interesting too.

Don't miss this: don't be a snore and choose at least one of these 39 ways to be a more interesting person

11.  Do it again.

Go walking, jogging at the same time everyday. Take your dog to the dog park at the same time. You are bound to see others with the same routine and perhaps make a friend.

12.  Look the part.

Look pleasant. Smile and appear approachable.  Not many want to talk to the grouch.  When you look like you’re having fun, others want a part of that.

Don't miss this: Tips to making your best first impression.

13.  Take interest.

Please take a genuine interest in people. Small talk isn’t even necessary – particularly because it can be painfully boring. Think of a few questions to ask your potential friends and actually listen to their responses and build from there.

Don't miss this:  The key to your strongest relationships.

14.  Keep in touch.

Even a text to say hello is so easy to let others know you are thinking of them and remembering important days for them or wish them luck on a project, etc.

15.  Work on what you have. 

Getting more out of your current relationships can go a long way to making for a meaningful social life.  Make more effort in the ones you already have.


Please do add in any experiences you have enriching your social life in the comments!


For More On The Topic . . . 

18 comments:

  1. I had to cut some friends out of my life a few years ago, as they just weren't supportive, but since then I have made some amazing friends. I think it's important to remember that people change, and that's okay.

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    1. Excellent point, Dannii. Situations and people change and evolve and that can certainly affect our relationships and require a good hard look. Thanks for adding in.

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  2. Awesome tips! I think it is so important to work on the social media. It is an excellent way to interact with others and strengthen relationships.
    Thank you so much for sharing it on #TipTuesday.

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    1. You are so right, Debbie! It is a great tool to connect with people. So glad you added that here! Thank you.

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  3. Great tips- the first step is always saying yes to any invitations :) #sharewithme
    Debbie
    www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com

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    1. You are right -- sometimes we have to force ourselves but usually it ends up well!

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  4. Great information!! As someone who works in a very male dominated field (engineering) I always have trouble making good girl friends. Thank you for the tips!

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    1. I can see that situation being a challenge in many fields, Amanda. Perhaps the girlfriends and wives of all those males or look elsewhere for girl time, I suppose. Hope some of the tips help you! Let me know and really good luck!

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  5. Lots of good points! I think you are so right about accepting and extending invitations. It can be intimidating and uncomfortable, but so worth it. Tonight we had dinner with a couple we did not know well. We were a little nervous, but had a wonderful time and are looking forward to round two. I'm so glad they extended the invitation and that we accepted! #FridayBlogBooster

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    1. It is so wonderful when that happens - when you open up and click with someone else and bonus points if it is a couple - kinda hard to find sometimes! Great for you, Wendy! Happy you came by.

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  6. Love this as an expat it wasn't always easy making friends in another country and culture. It clashed most times but it took a few years and I have a solid group that I can count on now. I love them. I hope that they call me a good friend and I like to think I am one too. Great tips. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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    1. Yes, different cultures can pose a challenge but if you push through can make the most rewarding of relationships meshing two cultures! Good for you, Jenny!

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  7. This is a wonderful post for making friends. I've gotten comfortable just hanging with family over the years that it would be hard if I had to get out there. Lol

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    1. It is great when family can be friends, too, but do try to reach and extend yourself. Who knows what you will learn and what you can give, too.

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  8. I can definitely relate to this! Thank you for linking up at the Tips and Tricks Link Party! Pinned!

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    1. Glad to hear it, Gabby! Thanks for coming by.

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  9. What a valuable post! I have always loved and valued my friends and social connections however I must admit that over the years some friendships withered away for various reasons and some friendships have become less close. It is also challenging to make and maintain new quality friendships so thanks for sharing your valuable tips and suggestions for enriching and maintaining our social lives and friends on the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing.

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    1. You are so welcome, Deborah. Our relationships take effort but are so worth it! Thanks for all your kind comments.

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