This week in Ask Lucy the question comes from Sonia.

“Growing up it was easier to make friends easily wherever that you went. As a grown up this has been a challenging thing for me. How do you make friends as a grown up?”

I love this question Sonia because I am all about making new friends. It was so much easier as a little kid to make friends. You see when you are a kid anything goes.

Go to any public park and watch kids from all walks of life play with each other. No judgements are being made most of the time. They interact with each other for the same reasons. To play with each other and have a good time while doing it.

Don’t you wish that were still the case as an adult?

As a grown up you have become seasoned to the world. You are more aware of what you do and don’t like in people. As adults you tend to be a bit more selective and cautious with people in general.

Are you a shy person or do you like to mingle and get to know people?

From your question, I’m going to guess that maybe you can be a little shy. There is nothing wrong with being shy. What are your interests as an adult? Do you have any children?

Think of the things that you like to do. What are your hobbies and interests outside of work or the home?

When we moved to North Carolina making friends was a huge priority for me. For one I was leaving the only place I had ever known and it was important for me to make friends. I also wanted that for my whole family, especially our kids.

Once my kids made friends that is how I would get introduced to other moms in my neighborhood. I found a lot of comfort in that and some of my best friends have come from it. Talk about being grateful.

What do you think is preventing you from making new friends? There might be something very minor that is stopping you. Trust me there is always a way to conquer that fear.

It can be scary to make new friends. Making friends when you are younger gives you the luxury of time. Time to get to know someone and gain their trust.

Being older reminds you that you don’t have years to do that. It starts with getting yourself out there. Take baby steps. Go with your gut instinct.

I have been fortunate enough to make some amazing friends at my church, in my neighborhood and at work. I didn’t have years to get to know them, but our friendships with each other feel like that. That is the power of exposing yourself to new opportunities with meeting people.

Personally, I love to meet new people. You never know who you will meet that you will be able to connect with. Check out groups on social media that meet in your area. Often there are other women that wish to meet others too.

Volunteering in your community is another way to become social. Your nearest Habitat for Humanity might have an upcoming project, try signing up for a 5K walk, join a gym or try out a new fitness class.

I know that I have been able to meet some great women at our local gym. Finding ways to make new friends can seem overwhelming if you are not used to it. Don’t let it keep you from trying.

There might be someone waiting for you to make that initial contact. Other people can be shy too. Start observing the things that you have already been doing. Where might there be opportunities to make friends?

Feeling artsy?

Go to a Wine & Design class. Your local community college may have other creative classes to take. Maybe you have wanted to take an introductory photography class. What a great way to meet other folks that share your same interest.

One of my goals when we moved to North Carolina was to meet other women that would love to go get a coffee with me. There is something about talking over a cup of coffee that sparks conversation. My mom gave me the gift of gab on a sincere level.

Now I have friends in my inner circle that I can do that with. I love the variety of friendships that I have been fortunate enough to create here. I’m also grateful for the new friendships that I’ve made on social media. I have met some incredible ladies that way that I find a common interest with.

Grab your journal and write down all of the things that you enjoy doing. Look at your list and plan how you will start to make new friends. Make it a priority. Like I told my kids before we moved here: there’s a friend waiting for you that you haven’t met yet.

The same holds true for you.

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