Happy Friday, Friends! I recently have been thinking about friendship, the beauty behind it and all the glory of this incredible word. But, also how difficult it can be to make friends both after college and into our adulthood when we are starting families or establishing our career.
My Nearest + Dearest
I recently had a babysitter for Emmy come over last weekend to watch her while James and I went out on date night. She is 29, just moved to AZ from Seattle and Nannying/Babysitting full-time. She’s ADORABLE! But, she opened up to me about the difficulties in meeting new people and establishing friendships. Most of her friends her age are either having kids, getting married or immersed in their career. She is single, in a new state and just wants to get her feelers out.
I could so easily relate to her story. I was one of the last of my closest friends to get married and have kids. At first, I was wrapped up in the excitement of my new life as a bride but then I myself, started to feel left out of the mom-gang and meeting new friends started to prove a bit difficult. But, I also was a bit closed off as a naturally private person and putting myself out there was just vulnerable + scary.
For example, I moved to Manhattan Beach, CA after college and knew one person, my brother. I went on Roommates.com looking for just someone to pay the other half of the rent and met one of my dearest friends. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding + someone who introduced me to another one of my favorite people who helped me get my first job in the Fashion Industry, paved the way for me to meet some great people and incredible experiences. Not to mention, she makes me laugh and even if I don’t see her for years + years, the second we do, it’s like we never left each other. [I love you, Jen!]
What’s even more ironic is that these two incredible friends of mine met a a bar in a Hermosa Beach, CA. Yes, a BAR. They were both there with separate friends and just starting talking and opening up about how they were both looking to meet some new and interesting people. Well, that one conversation opened the door to the three of us becoming lifelong friends. So, have a drink and approach someone at a bar, you’ll make a new friend for life. Ha!
I also put myself out there and joined a Mom Group once Emmy was born and have found some dear friendships that are just so invaluable. But, what do you do to meet people when you don’t have kids yet?
I got to thinking about this + how to meet new people. I came up with some goodies:
- Join work events out of the office [even if they seem boring.] I worked in the Fashion Industry for years in Los Angeles and I met some really special friends through my time there over the years. I remember almost having to invite girls out to lunch or dinner so that I could get to know them outside of the office. I feel like having a coffee or glass of wine is just a lighter setting where people can open up a bit.
- Join a softball, volleyball or sports group. If you are into sports but don’t know how to meet people that have similar interests, join a sports group that plays once a week and embellish on those similarities.
- If you are a new mom, join a mom group in your area and meet women who are in the same, unchartered water as you are. Having someone to bounce silly questions off of are essential, they are in the same boat.
- Accept any and all invitations; dinners, lunches, happy hours, work events, sporting events, play dates, etc… You never know who you are going to meet and you might find that you meet just one person who could turn into a lifelong friend.
- Smile, be kind and engage in people; even if it’s at the grocery store. I’ve met some friends just from engaging them out + about. Being kind to someone could make their day and yours. It’s a golden rule.
- If you meet someone, tell them you’re new to town or just expanding your social circle and would love to meet new people. Being honest is a great way for people to invite you out and introduce you to new people + things. Just be you and people will follow.
So, be open, be vulnerable and exude positivity. That alone will draw people to you and invite people into your life that you otherwise, might not have met if you were closed off. It might not be easy but what challenge isn’t worth doing even if it just strengthens our confidence? Be YOU for you are enough and people want to meet you!