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  • Let's Talk: How to make new friends?

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    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 150
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Let's Talk: How to make new friends?

    Wed Jun 16, 2021 3:10 pm

    Image

    Most of us experienced making friends for the first time during childhood, school being the most popular place for such deed. However, as we grow up and are life's change, we may find ourselves facing this dilemma again. How to make friends?

    Why was making friends in childhood easier than in adulthood? Perhaps because we were placed in the same physical environment than other peers our age, whether that was school or groups of extra curricular activities such as sports, music or arts. Although it might sound like a cliché, group activities remain the best place to meet new potential friends.

    However, the main difference in our adulthood is we’ll need to invest time to cultivate new friendships just as we do with a romantic relationship. According to a recent study from the University of Kansas (Hall, 2019), it can take around 50 hours of time spent together for two people to become casual friends and 200 hours of quality time to become close friends.

    For the previous reason, it’s important to choose an activity that you’re passionate about or that you really enjoy. Here are some ideas:

    1. Volunteer
    2. Join classes: sports, dance, arts, culture, crafts
    3. Join groups: book club, language exchange, bush walking/hiking
    4. Virtual options in the Covid era: Meetup, My Social Calendar and even Facebook groups

    Resources
    - Hall JA. How many hours does it take to make a friend? Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 2019;36(4):1278-1296. doi:10.1177/0265407518761225

    Let’s talk! Reply below
    -What kind of new friends do you want to make? Where can you find these kinds of people?
    -What are the barriers to making friends in adulthood? Is shyness stopping you? How can you build self-confidence?
    -Have you got any resources to share with others? Maybe a good book, blog, a helpful link, or a nice quote help?

    @Deyfhob @Katiee @Simply me @PnorkelPW @ScorpionPW @Gizelle @Queenofthesouthernlockdown
    2 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 145
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Let's Talk: How to make new friends?

    Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:48 pm

    This is a really interesting topic @Peace Dove and one that I have thought about a lot. Those statistics are really interesting as well so thanks for sharing :)

    This was a real challenge for me in early recovery because I had to cut off a lot of friends that I had who were still using and was afraid of being lonely. The main place where I was able to make new connections and find new friends with like minded people was in 12 step meetings. I think any peer group is a great place to start because it's people that have been through or are going through similar things so they understand but they are a positive influence because they are finding a new way to live. This was very different to the "friends" I thought I had who tried to drag be back down with them once I got clean.

    Being a musician was another huge driver in finding new friends as well. Playing gigs, meeting other artists, collaboration and building new connections that way served me so well and is how I met some of my closest friends.

    I have definitely found it more challenging to make new friends as I progress further into adulthood and that has made me really treasure the friendships I do have and given me a deepened appreciation for the people in my life which I try to show in how I treat them.

    Something I heard that really helped me in regards to all of this in my early days was "those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter". It helped me to have faith that even though I had to cut some people out who were very close at the time, that it would be ok and I would find new people, new connections and a new life worth living. It also reminds me that whoever is meant to be on this journey with me, will be and it's as simple as that.
    4 x
    Simply me
    Member
    Posts: 69
    Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:51 pm

    Re: Let's Talk: How to make new friends?

    Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:18 am

    Heylo @Peace Dove, folks,

    It may sound simple, but it took me some years to discover the gifts of sharing a cuppa. I was used to sharing other things, not so nourishing. Grandmothers offered, friends to be. It took me a whiles to accept, and now I offer. A cuppa can be a way to befriend and affirm, that's safe from triggering, and creates a vessel where connections can be birthed. Now I gather a collection of coffe, tea, herbal tea's and honeys to brew with. A few people get to know that if they ask me cuppa? I'm made happy, and I know I won't be offered something I no longer wish to imbibe. It's also a code for pop over for a chat?, which becomes a two way street...

    I'm not really a party girl anymore, groups can do my head in....the dynamics, the numbing I once did to attend such occasions are no longer wanted in my life, but I still love a good belly laugh. I walk a lot around the hood where I dwell. A smile can be a simple opener, where once I didn't even meet eyes, now I get heylo's or returned smiles more often when my eyes meet, friendships take many forms and levels. Species too. I reckon it's partly about how I feel in myself. Doona days when my cores wobbly, if I can, I prefer to retreat than meet. That's ok too. I let folks know where I'm at, after a while they get it. It makes the times when we do connect special, a choice.....

    I'm a homebody. So when I invite a being into my space, I'm letting them in to my world. Which is a way to share more of my story than I can always conjure in casual conversations, or feel comfortable doing so with all. It's my sanctuary and I'm protective of it. However, more than one friendship has begun with 'Mind if Í walk with you a while' or simply chatting out n about, then a couple shifted gears after time passing to 'feel like a cuppa?'

    @ScorpionPW I love that quote and also call upon it regularly...:).
    4 x
    Calvino01
    Community Builder
    Posts: 202
    Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:05 pm

    Re: Let's Talk: How to make new friends?

    Mon Jun 21, 2021 5:38 am

    Thanks for your reply @Simply me :)
    It's nice to build new connections with people and I also agree that its good to have time for yourself and be in your own company to recharge :)
    0 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 145
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Let's Talk: How to make new friends?

    Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:34 pm

    It was so nice reading that @Simply me :)

    I love how something as simple as having a cuppa can become such a warm and delightful baseline for making new connections and creating a safe space for yourself with other people.

    I always enjoy how articulate yourself and the way that you write. It's easy to connect with, so thanks again for sharing this.

    How are you travelling?
    0 x
    Peace Dove
    Community Builder
    Posts: 150
    Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 9:22 am

    Re: Let's Talk: How to make new friends?

    Tue Jun 22, 2021 5:34 pm

    Thank you @PnorkelPW, @ScorpionPW, @Simply me and @Calvino01 for joining in the conversation.

    I agree with @ScorpionPW, you have a beautiful way of crafting your posts @Simply me. It's always such a pleasure to read your entries. You're so right, smiles can go a long way. Reminds me of the song that says " when you smilin', the whole world smiles with you". :D :D :D

    Yes, and thank you @ScorpionPW, you've touched a really important point. For many people in recovery, having to cut tie with friends is part of the process. And generally speaking, there are many circumstances in life that put us again in a position in which we need to restart our social networks from scratch, whether that be recovery, moving to a different city, changing interests you used to had in common with friends (e.g. having children, not enjoying pubs/bars anymore...).

    Sometimes we underestimate the tools we already have at hands. For example, I recently joined a facebook group of females in my suburb and I have a coffee date next week with a potential new friend. Local facebook groups can be a great resource, I've seen some for mothers in each suburb, singles, females, etc. And there's all sorts of things out there for everyone to join.

    Volunteering is often another option we underestimate. When I was new in this city, I found an add on Seek that lead me to a church near my home (regardless that I'm agnostic) and they linked me to an elder woman that I used to pick up from her aged care home once a week. We mainly just went for a walk, did her errands in the shops and then had a cup of coffee (until Covid...). I always felt I was getting so much more out of it than her because it was incredibly rewarding and also she showed me things like the Chemist Warehouse, Lincraft and the best coffee shop in my area.

    There's something for everyone, whether your cup of tea is kids, elder people, animals, environmental causes, sports, dancing, arts and crafts....

    What are other places you can think of are a good place to make friends?
    1 x
    ScorpionPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 145
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Let's Talk: How to make new friends?

    Tue Jun 22, 2021 8:37 pm

    I really like hearing the examples that have been working for you to create new connections in your life @Peace Dove. Thanks for sharing :)

    Does anybody have anything that has been working for them?
    1 x
    Katiee
    Member
    Posts: 44
    Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:54 pm

    Re: Let's Talk: How to make new friends?

    Thu Jun 24, 2021 1:21 pm

    I struggled with this a lot coming into sobriety. I have social anxiety so struggle to meet new people. I beat this by volunteering. I started going to my local community centre as a customer for a budget food program. I kinda kept to myself but and just sat in the corner. The director of the community centre kept coming out and talking to me and each week she would get more and more out of me until I had eventually told her my whole life story. She said I would be great as a volunteer and would love to have me on board. I ummmed and arhhhhed for a few weeks then just decided to take the plunge to do it. I made several friends throughout there that I met that where customers. It was a really great experience and helped me gain enough confidence to join the workforce. Since joining the workforce I have made another friend and we keep in contact on a regular basis.

    I have also made some friends online due to Dave groups. This helps if your feeling isolated and detached from the real world. Plenty of local community groups online!!
    4 x
    Calvino01
    Community Builder
    Posts: 202
    Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:05 pm

    Re: Let's Talk: How to make new friends?

    Thu Jun 24, 2021 2:27 pm

    Wow @Katiee what great progress you have made! Volunteer work can be so rewarding !
    1 x
    PnorkelPW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 89
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Let's Talk: How to make new friends?

    Thu Jun 24, 2021 10:09 pm

    For me it's about doing the things I enjoy and letting the rest happen. That's when I meet likeminded people.

    I've played golf and joined up with other people on the day, I've gone to spirituality workshops and met other people. Met people at a sound healing. When I studied new subjects I made lifelong friends and by hanging out with them I've met new people that way too.

    As I've started to explore new things and create the life I want to live, I've found that the friends have come as a bonus because we have common interests that are real............not chemically enhanced emptiness that masquerades as friendship
    2 x

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