Right now life is pretty good and I can honestly say that I am satisfied both personally and professionally. However, a short time ago that wasn't the case at all; there was something missing. After some self-reflection, I realized that I was in dire need of some good old-fashioned girlfriends. You know, the kind you laugh and cry with over a few too many glasses of wine, and the ones that actually listen when you're having a bad day. The only problem was that I had no idea how to go about finding these wonderful women.
I'm an employee by day and a homemaker by night, leaving little time for a social life. While I knew a few women that would seemingly make great friends, I had no idea how to kick-start a relationship with them. Making new friends as an adult is worse than dating because most women simply don't have the time to foster a new relationship. It can be even more challenging if you're the newbie and it appears that all the women you want to be friends with are already friends with each other. I wasn't about to start prowling online for new friends, and approaching random women while grocery shopping would have made me look like a stalker. Frustrated and driven, I set out to make a few worthwhile friends. Let me tell you, it was easier than I ever imagined.
The first and most crucial step in building new friendships is to put yourself out there. If you're shy like me you'll have to step out of your comfort zone and embrace your inner extrovert. Strike up conversations with fellow parents at school functions or the playground. Don't be afraid to go up to someone who is standing alone and introduce yourself. Chances are they are looking for someone to talk to just as much as you are. Not sure if you have anything in common? If you have children, there's your common ground. If you hit it off with a fellow mom, get her number and invite her over for a play date.
When building new friendships it is important to approach people with an open mind. You never know who will become your closest confidant, so be careful not to pre-judge someone based on how frazzled they are at the playground. If anything, that's the perfect time to offer someone a helping hand and strike up a good conversation. Also, keep in mind that not every woman you meet will be the right fit and that's okay. Some friendships will grow while others fizzle out, but in the end you'll find a place where you belong.
Creating new friendships is akin to networking in the professional world. Once you build a relationship with one person, be open to meeting her friends or introducing her to yours. Next thing you know you'll have a host of women to turn to and talk up a storm with at the next school fundraiser or birthday party.
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