Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


13 Ways to Make Friends

posted by Beyond Blue

friends.jpg

From the number of comments (over 200) posted to my “12 Ways to Make Friends” article I now know that many of us are lonely and would love a new friend. So I’ve revised my post, added one more place to meet people (Church! Thank you, readers, for this suggestion), and let my editor, Holly, work her magic with the accompanying art. To view the gallery, click here. I’ve excerpted my introduction below.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it also takes a village–at best a supportive community, and at the least a few very good friends–to keep a person sane and happy. All of us need companionship, which is exactly why teenagers are texting their friends in the middle of dinner (TMI, BFF, OMG …), and why people who didn’t own a personal computer last year now have profiles on Facebook, My Space, and other social-networking sites. 

Beyond Blue reader Rock wrote: “I am 56 years old and it’s a comfort to me to read how many of you have experienced what I have in feeling lonely and not able to make friends and connect with people.” So many others have articulated the same. Even those in happy marriages or committed relationships, even those surrounded by people who know their name. In our hearts, we all crave for the deep connection that a graced friendship can offer.

Maybe the first trick to finding friends is to befriend ourselves, and to become comfortable with silence, because no one has the power to make us feel okay with ourselves but us. But, lest we stay quiet for too long, here are 13 techniques to meet new friends, which I think everyone can benefit from, because, as I learned in Girl Scouts a few hundred years ago (where I didn’t make any friends…some are silver and the others are old, I mean gold.

Learn How to Make New Friends… by clicking here.

To read more Beyond Blue, go to www.beliefnet.com/beyondblue, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.



  • Ovidia

    Therese, let me add my two cents to the “get a dog” suggestion in your post.
    Even if it goes without saying that you should NOT get a dog if you cannot devote time, money, attention, training and affection to the dog, I’ll say it anyway! There are still lots of great options for you even if having a full-time dog isn’t in the cards for you right now. Consider volunteering (wasn’t that another way to make friends?) at your local animal shelter or breed rescue group to walk or play with the dogs, or, if you can, consider providing foster care. There are always many more dogs than foster homes available, and it’s a good way to enjoy many different dogs short-term.
    If you decide you do want to adopt a dog, remember, there’s a reason we talk about these animals finding “a forever home.” Please consider adopting from your local animal shelter, or, if you need a certain kind of dog, as I did (needed a hypo-allergenic dog), contact breed rescue organizations in your state.
    Most importantly, do a little research. Learn that just because a dog is AKC registered or “has papers” doesn’t mean it may not have a whole host of physical or emotional problems. Enjoy the process of discovering what kind of dog might be right for you, and please, please please, make SURE a dog you adopt does NOT come from a puppy mill unless you, as I did, adopt puppy mill rescues.
    OK, sorry about the soap box, and off topic at that. I have four dogs myself and three are puppy mill rescues with special needs. For more information on puppy mills, if there’s anything else I can help with or to see ridiculously cute pics of aforementioned dogs, please look me up via the Beyond Blue group as “Thorsburg.”

  • Mary Anne Heyde

    T,
    Let’s not forget what has proven to be the #1 best method for me anyway in meeting new people/making new friends. The internet and sites like Beyond Blue. I cannot thank you enough for the time and devotion you have given to keep this going for all of us out here who suffer from depression, feeling lonely or misunderstood. You have proven to be a friend to me and that is PRICELESS!
    Some of the ways listed in the Learning how to make friends are far fetched for some of us I think. Alot of us are so not into normal society and reaching out, even leaving our homes sometimes is hard to do! I think having a computer at home where we don’t have to worry about getting dressed, how we look etc is much easier for alot of us.
    Having the availability of support groups, online chat etc is a life saver literally. There have been times in my past when I was contemplating ending it all when just the right person or msg came along at the time I needed it the most!
    Even church turned out to not be a good place for meeting people for me. I met a man through a church function, an outdoor festival that I fell in love with, thought was save and ended up marrying. We had a daughter together in 1995. The only GOOD thing that came from that relationship. He turned out to be an alcoholic, did not have a spiritual relationship with a higher power at all, turns out he was wking the festival and kiddie rides at the festival that day as part of a carnival that came in to twn. A CARNIE! yes I carnie at a church festival, my picker is broke. Put a crazy, dysfunctional man in a group of people and I will find him every time. Also I have visited alot of differnt denominational churches over the yrs. They have been so hypocritical that it turned me away from organized religion. I consider myself a spiritual being rather than religious. I walk a Native American path now, that of the “old ways” and am closer to my higher power that I choose to call Great Spirit than I ever was when I was attending church. I begin my day with prayer and asking to be led to do the next right thing. To be of service to others and to let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in the site of God/Goddess. I believe that God is both male and female and we were created in thier image. Well enough on that, I said myself not long ago and got blasted for saying it that I did not want this site to turn into a religous site. We need it for our imbalances, mental illnesses a place that is unbiased about our personal beliefs.
    Again, thank the GODS for YOU Therese and Beyond Blue, I for one am blessed that our paths have crossed in this life and you have been added to the group of people I am privledged to call my FRIENDS!
    much love, Mary Anne

  • marilyn

    i think the sygestions are great but i like Mary Anne said sometimes the traditional paths dont always work.and many a day when i thought whats it all worth i have came here and found understanding a kind word or just chating and it has given me the lift i need to get through another day.so have to say your group has really made a differance in my life.i feel blessed to be part of it all .you are blessing to everyone.

  • Frank

    Yes, I truly have found friendship in this safe haven. I don’t post often but do feel a sense of community with kindred spirits. My prayers include the participants because I know of your/my struggles. We all have a shopping list of issues with which we deal, but it’s great to be able to stop and actually line through something on the list from time to time. This is the place to do that. Try a few of the methods for friendship or self-esteem and see how it works out. I’m guessing you’ll have good results. Sometimes we just need a kick in the britches to get moving. The lethargy can be overwhelming sometimes but know, KNOW, KNOW that there are lots of folks pulling for you. So, try to find a smile and an ounce of resolve.
    One of your friends is praying for you even now.
    Frank,

  • valerie

    Thank you so much for adding “church” as a place or way to meet/make new friends.
    When we recently joined our new church at the beginning of the year, I made sure I volunteered or joined some different things–a book club, volunteering in the church office, etc.
    With the book club, in particular, I’ve met the most wonderful women. And I’ve learned that by being open myself and sharing of myself, that they in turn have been willing to open themselves up. We have become a “small group” of sorts and know that we can meet and talk knowing that our conversations are confidential.
    Now, just b/c you make friends at church doesn’t mean that you’re not possibly opening yourself up to being hurt. I mean, let’s face it: We’re all sinners. We all at times say the wrong things, do the wrong things, unintentionally hurt another person.
    But what’s the other option? To isolate ourselves? Yes, this is part of depression, one of the symptoms of depression. By isolating ourselves, we make it easier to stay in that black hole and we don’t even give others a chance in trying to help us get out of it because they don’t EVEN KNOW we’re hurting to begin with.
    Thanks Therese for all your hard work on these blogs. You do a fantastic job! You open yourself each and every time you write something. Because like you’ve said, you get positive comments but you also get NEGATIVE comments. And doggone it if those negative ones don’t just hurt so bad that you probably forget the good ones.
    Maybe you could have someone edit the comments you get! ha All the negative ones, they can just throw out. Constructive criticism is one thing but some people just don’t think when making comments and don’t realize the sensitivity that some of us have and how badly it will affect us and our day. So, surround yourself with all the good stuff and keep expanding that self-esteem file. We have enough stuff in our own heads to supply us with negative feedback. We certainly don’t need it from fellow human beings!
    Love Valerie

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