I have to admit that after entering my thirties, I have somehow managed to find myself in a phase of (a small level of) social anxiety. I’ve noticed that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more reserved.
It’s not always easy for me to carry on conversations with strangers, or even people who are acquaintances.
I can’t say for sure whether this is a defense mechanism I’ve developed from sometimes feeling intimidated, or whether it’s out of fear that others will reject me. Or maybe I honestly just feel shy, like I did as a kid.
No matter how you slice it, making new friends is difficult.
It’s no coincidence that dating apps have jumped on the bandwagon of making space not just for romantic relationships, but for people to meet and develop friendships.
While I have not tried the friend-zone of a dating app, I can imagine it would prove handy to find people with similar interests—especially if you’ve just moved and are new to a city!
I am slightly old-fashioned and like to work from a “vibe” sort of place.
In recent years, my new friendships have developed at, or from, work. This is probably one of the easier places for this to happen since people are destined to spend many hours a week together at work, and therefore inevitably end up talking about personal life.
However, I would argue that you don’t always mesh with coworkers, so it can still be quite an effort…
To be honest, though, I feel like I won the coworker lottery! There is not one person at my workplace that I don’t enjoy talking, working, or hanging out with!
I know, I know, big help I am.
I have always found it helpful to not only find common interests with people I work with, but to also listen to their interests that are different from mine. It’s a good way to get to know them better while learning something at the same time (that you might also be interested in)!
And if it doesn’t feel too crazy uncomfortable, you could even try a new activity with a coworker, or check out their hobby. I once went skateboarding with a coworker to see what it would be like. I sucked at it, but I tried it and made a new friend in the process!
The hardest part about making friends is trying, putting in the effort. But the truth is, once you at least try, you’ll most likely see that it’s not quite as difficult as you originally thought.
I would encourage you to to strike up a conversation, find a common—or uncommon!—interest or activity to do together. Try, try, and try again.
It takes time to find your people.
But once you do, it is well worth it! Happy friend hunting!