People tend to make fewer friends as they approach midlife, according to an article in the July 13, 2012 issue of “The New York Times” entitled “Why Is It Hard to Make Friends Over 30?“Adults get busy with careers and families and they don’t always have much time for friends. They also spend time with people they don’t necessarily choose to spend time with; you don’t get to pick your coworkers or the parents of your children’s friends, for instance. If you want to meet new friends, you may need to seek out opportunities to do so.
Work for It
Many people meet friends at work. Join coworkers in the cafeteria at lunchtime or for drinks after work on Friday afternoon. Volunteer to help with the canned food drive at Christmastime or sign up to play on the company’s softball team in the summer. Avoid gossiping around the water cooler, though, and make sure you behave professionally in the office.
Volunteer for It
Volunteer with an organization that supports a cause you believe in and meet others that feel the same. Volunteer at your child’s school and make friends with other parents, for example. Help out at the local animal shelter and meet other animal lovers, spend time with other book lovers assisting with the fundraiser for your local library, or work with your local parks department and meet other outdoorsy types.
Learn Something New
If you’ve always wanted to learn to cook gourmet meals, speak another language, belly dance or knit, sign up for a class. You can find free or affordable classes at local community colleges, vocational schools, craft and hobby stores, fitness centers and churches. Have fun, learn a new skill and meet other people that share your interest.
Be a Good Sport
If you enjoy a sport, join a team. Whether it’s a softball team, a bowling league or just a group of guys shooting some baskets, you’ll spend time having fun with other people that enjoy the same activity you like. Team sports foster feelings of camaraderie and mutual encouragement and support, as well, providing a good environment for making friends.
Pray About It
Join a church, synagogue, mosque or other religious institution to meet people that share your faith. Many have special activities aimed at newcomers. Don’t just show up for the service and then leave. Stick around for the coffee afterward. Bring a covered dish to the potluck dinner. Join the choir. Volunteer to help out with the vacation Bible school.
Never Say No to a Party
People that go to parties and other social gatherings are usually friendly, sociable people, so parties provide an excellent opportunity to make friends. If you tend to be rather quiet and shy, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation website suggests looking for someone else that seems quiet and shy at a party and approaching him.
The New York Times. Why Is It Hard to Make Friends Over 30?
Palo Alto Medical Foundation. How to Make New Friends.
Psychology Today. Why It’s Hard for Adults to Make New Friends.