Making new friends is always a challenge, whether you’re six or sixty. The process of making friends hasn’t changed since your mother told you to be a friend to make a friend.
The first step in making new friends is to adopt a happy, friendly attitude. Start talking to everyone you encounter during the day. Say “hello” or “good morning” to people you pass on the street or meet in the grocery store. Once you’re in a friend making the mood, it’s time to start looking for new friends. But where? Here’s a list of places you’ll find like-minded people.
- Community Senior Center/Park District. Here you can find a long list of activities designed with seniors in mind. You’ll find everything from bus trips to matinee performances of an opera to outdoor yoga in the park. There’s always something going on from square dancing to bridge groups to hiking.
- Take a class. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn, check with your local community college. Whether it’s improving your skills as a photographer or mastering your computer, you’ll find a course that can help you.
- Improve your health. Local recreation centers run classes designed for seniors. Enclosed shopping centers often have walking paths mapped out so you can walk with a purpose and window shop at the same time.
- Volunteer. Every community offers opportunities to volunteer. You can read to young children at the library. You can tend a community rose garden. A hospital always needs friendly faces to help patients.
- Church or synagogue. Houses of worship often have coffee hours after services. Stay for those. Mingle. Ask about programs for seniors. Once you hear about a group that interests you, go to a meeting or two.
- Independent living community/ Retirement community. The best way to find many friends is to move to an independent living community. Here you will meet people of your age and interests. A retirement community is also the place where you can take the classes and activities that you like the best and enjoy them with your new friends!
This list is only a start. You’re the one who has to make a move. Pick something from this list to explore. You’ll find people there with a like interest. Once you see a group with a similar interest to yours, participate in their activities. That makes it easier to have a conversation or join someone for coffee.
You’re not going to be making many friends if you’re sitting at home, waiting. Go out, explore, have fun. Say “hello.” Invite the people you meet to join you for dinner. Be friendly. That’s the best way to make friends.