October 2023

Happy National New Friends Day

Meeting and having friends has such a positive impact on our mental health, so we couldn’t not talk about it this National New Friends Day.

We love to celebrate things with friends: birthdays, career wins, achievements of all kinds. We also need friends for support during the bad times. Helping us to feel less isolated and lonely. Having that companion can give us belonging and a purpose, especially during those difficult times. Having someone to talk to can help relieve stress, worry, and a lot of other mental health issues – friendship is crucial to our mental well-being!

Meeting new friends can have a whole host of benefits, such as pushing you out of your comfort zone and encouraging you to try new things at the same time! It can help to develop your communication skills, which has benefits to all areas in your life (socially and professionally). Meeting new people can build up your confidence too, in yourself and your ability to mingle within different social scenarios.

There’s a lot of ways you can make new friends, but sometimes the thought of how can be very daunting. We’ve put together a list of different ways you can put yourself out there on the friendship scene.

Register for a workshop or class

There’s lots of things to do near where you’re from that you probably didn’t know existed, and that’s okay! Now is your time to try it out. Airbnb, Tripadvisor, Eventbrite, and Findacraft are some of the websites that will showcase all of the workshops near to you.

You can also join one of your local gyms and try out some of their exercise classes on offer.

Joining a local running group could help you get fit and get social. Park Run is an international organisation that is free and a good chance to meet lots of new people.;

Join a friend-making platform

In an age where online dating is the norm, we often forget that some platforms were designed to match besties. Bumble has a BFF feature which helps you to meet your platonic match – without adding you to the dating pool. It’s a great way to meet people if you’re more introverted or have anxieties meeting people face-to-face initially.;

Facebook now has lots of groups, tailored for different areas, hobbies, wants and needs. You could join one of the many ‘Gals Who’ groups (Gals Who Graduate, Gals Who Sweat, Gals Who Read – you get the gist) and make friends based on what you are interested in.;

Visit local food, art and music festivals

Being an active community member could help you to make new friends, and it’s also a really fun way to spend your spare time! Going out and about by yourself can also help to boost your confidence and over time help you to build up the courage to mingle with the masses.

Join a book club

If you love to read, this is a great way to expand your hobby and meet like minded people. They are a guaranteed way to engage with new people, and it will help break the ice by having something prepared to talk about!

Maintaining a friendship is just as important as making new friends. Here’s a few ways to help you maintain your friendship:

  • Make the time (and acknowledge when you can’t – no one likes to be ghosted)
  • Communicate – especially about how you communicate best
  • Show up for your friends (especially when it matters most)
  • Accept that people and friendships change – people evolve, it’s what we’re made to do. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing!

Meeting new people can be awkward, but you’re practising putting yourself out there and opening yourself up. We are created to connect, sometimes all you need is a little push. Don’t be disheartened if you attend events and leave without making a friend for life – it takes time. Focus on what you can control, and try to enjoy each moment for yourself, the friendships will come with time.;