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I’ll Be Your BFF

“It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.” – Marlene Dietrich

In my journal group yesterday, Emily read the character sketch she had written about her childhood best friend, Katy. The best part about journal group is reflecting on the journal entry after it is read. Emily went on to reveal that, although she and Katy are still in contact, they are not involved in one another’s daily life as they had been as kids.

In recent years, Emily has become close friends with Jessica, a coworker. They see each other at least five days a week and socialize outside of work. Emily was taken by surprise when Jessica introduced Emily to an acquaintance as “my best friend, Emily.”

Emily finds it hard to describe anyone as her best friend because it seems disloyal to Katy. What about you? Do you have a best friend? Is that the same best friend you had when you were ten? Or do you have a best high school friend and a best work friend and a best neighborhood friend?

You can never have too many friends, but sometimes we might feel like we could really use one more.

As adults, making friends seems harder than it did when we were kids. Kids spend most of their time with others their own age going through the same experiences and friendships often develop naturally. Prospective friends are all around. Adults have a harder time recognizing and connecting with prospective friends around us, and we may be rusty on our friend-making skills.

Here are a few tips that might help you find a new friend:

  1. Try something new. When you try new things you meet new people, and those people are already doing what you want to try. Have you secretly wished you could try your hand at art or learn to ride horses? Give it a shot and see what happens.
  2. Volunteer. Volunteering not only gives you the opportunity to meet new people who share an interest, the volunteer experience in itself boosts your happiness level. Every volunteer I have ever met says they feel they receive more than they give. Plus someone in the community benefits from the efforts of the volunteers. Win-Win-Win.
  3. Shake the family tree. If you are lucky enough to live near family, how about getting together with that cousin who was so much fun at family get-togethers?  Remember the aunt or uncle who took you to your first rock concert? Maybe it’s time to see that band again on their 20th anniversary tour.
  4. Try something old. With social media, it is easier than ever to reconnect with old classmates or the old soccer team. You probably still have lots in common.
  5. Ask for a “date” or a favor. Once you have met someone you would like to be friends with, invite him or her to have a cup of coffee or a beer. It’s a small risk, but it is the first step to move from acquaintance to friend. Or follow the advice of former Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neil, and ask someone to do you a favor.
  6. After you have talked with someone on the telephone a few times and feel a connection, finish a telephone call with, “Good to talk with you my friend,” and see how they respond.

What other strategies have helped you develop friendships now that you’re a grownup? What do you do to maintain your current friendships?

Read more posts by Dianne Morr here. Dianne blogs for JenningsWire.