Sometimes making friends can be difficult, especially if you have recently moved to a new place. It might feel like everyone else is already connected, and you’re all alone. It can be challenging to know where to start when trying to develop your community. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and sadness, which can be tough to deal with.
A Simple Intervention to Make Friends
Here’s one simple intervention I have used in my own life when I have moved to a new place and was trying to develop my community: Reach out to one person every day. Each day, I make it a goal to contact one person to try to connect or make plans. Here are a few reasons why this plan works well:
- It’s doable. Reaching out to one person every day is doable. It isn’t overwhelming. It takes less than 5 minutes. Trying to make a bunch of new friends all at once can feel overwhelming, and your tendency might be to give up and quit. Make your goal easy and doable.
- Consistency is key. When trying to improve something in your life, consistent effort over the long haul is key. So get in the habit of reaching out to someone every day. By engaging in this behavior every day, pretty soon it will become part of your normal routine.
- It’s important to take the initiative. I remember when I first went to college, I thought friendships would just happen. When they didn’t happen right away, I got frustrated. What I didn’t realize was that relationships don’t just happen—you need to take the initiative to build friendships.
- Everyone wants friends. Here’s a deep truth: everyone wants and needs friends. Intimacy and relationships are core needs of every person. The people you are reaching out to probably want relationships just as much as you do. So it’s not a difficult request. Everyone likes to grab a meal or catch a movie.
- Building friendships take time. Close friendships don’t happen overnight. Many of my closest friends right now, I didn’t necessarily feel close to them right away when we first met. But we kept hanging out and doing life together, and slowly but surely, we developed a close friendship. If you want to build relationships in your life, the key is putting in the time consistently.
Discussion: What do you think about the idea of reaching out to one person every day? If you’re struggling to make friends, is this something you would be willing to try? What strategies have you found helpful when trying to make friends?