How to make new friends as an adult and live happily
As we get older, many of us can find it challenging to make new friends or connect with other adults, causing us to feel lonely and isolated.
Building positive relationships with others is vital to our mental wellbeing as it provides us with peace of mind that we are not alone.
As August plays host to Happiness Happens Month, we thought it would be a good idea to help those who may be finding it difficult to make new friends, whether through relocating, experiencing a life-changing event, living with a disability or just simply not knowing where to begin in meeting like-minded folk!
Below are 4 categories that address some of the challenges we face as adults, each of which include links to some amazing bloggers who have openly shared their experiences and how they overcame the challenges they faced.
Ways to make new friends as an adult
Just as many children make new friends at school, so adults tend to make new friends at work. After all, it’s only natural to try and get on with the people who you see nearly every day. But what if your circumstances mean you’re unable to work?
Perhaps you’re a full-time carer for a disabled family member, or you’re a new parent learning how to manage a different routine. These types of scenarios often require you to spend a lot of time at home which, over time, could make you feel isolated from other people.
It’s important for you to realise that you are not alone and these feelings can be reversed with just some small changes to your routine. Take a look at the blogs below for some great tips and wise words on how you can make new friends as an adult.
Living independently with a disability
If you have a mental health condition or a physical disability, there are literally thousands of different products that can help make even simple everyday tasks easier.
These products are called “daily living aids” and, although familiar to those working in the healthcare industry, many people who would benefit from using these products are often unaware of their existence!
From bathroom aids to help prevent falls, to mobility aids which support you indoors and outdoors, living independently with a disability is now much more commonplace, enabling you to make new friends much easier – as the bloggers below demonstrate.
Did you know that loneliness can be as harmful for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day? With studies showing that over 800,000 older people (65 and over) in the UK have no close friends, loneliness is an epidemic which is spreading fast and must be stopped.
You may have moved to a different area, with no friends or family in the immediate vicinity, or you may be living with a disability which mentally or physically prevents you from venturing too far from your house.
Whatever your situation, the bloggers below share some wonderful advice based on their own experiences of loneliness and how to bravely conquer it so you can get out there and make new friends.
Connecting with others
Despite making great strides in disability rights and equality over the years, some people still find it difficult to communicate with those living with a mental health condition or physical disability – particularly if their condition means they act differently to what is accepted as the “social norm”.
If your condition has ever been the target of negative attention, such as prolonged stares or rude comments, it’s really important for you to focus on how you feel about yourself. The more confident and comfortable you are with yourself and your abilities, the less others opinions or reactions will affect you and the more you'll want to make new friends.
An inspirational example of this is Lee Kingsberry, a 32-year-old man with Cerebral Palsy who made his wheelchair into a mobile disco after getting “tired of people staring at him”. He’s now turned that negative attention into something much more positive, with some people even approaching him to request songs!
Take a look below and find out how these bloggers have responded to connecting better with others.
6 Acts of kindness I’m grateful for as a Disabled Person – by Sarah
When I Asked My Daughter, “What Do You Think I Feel About Your Disability?” – by Ellen Stumbo
Holding a Conversation with a Brain Injury – by Michelle Munt
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