As humans, we’re wired for connection. From first breath well into our sunset years we seek the kinship of others, searching for belonging within our families, friendships, and communities — looking for our place among people with the ideals and interests we aspire to bring to our lives.
But finding your people isn’t always easy, and even when you do life has a way of complicating things. I don’t know about you, but over the years many of my besties have moved away. And while we try our best to keep in touch, weekly Facetime dates just aren’t the same as getting together face-to-face. Those life-long, long-distance friendships are priceless, but it’s still nice to have a local squad you can turn to in celebration or sadness — friends you’d do anything for in return.
When it comes to friendship it really is the more the merrier. So, if you could use some help widening your inner circle check out our suggestions for finding your people, and fulfill your #squadgoals
1. Be Yourself
You’re not going to find your folk if you’re not being yourself. To attract the right people, the ones who will love you — and who you will love — unconditionally, authenticity is key. Be who you are and your kindred will find you.
Try new things! Sign up for the pottery or dance class you always wanted to try. Join a sports team. Find a cause you’re passionate enough about to volunteer for. In the worst case you find out toe shoes aren’t your thing. Best case you uncover a new purpose or stumble upon a new obsession, either way you’re going to meet folk with common interests that could lead to new friend connections.
3. Free Your Mind
“And the rest will follow,” at least according to R&B/ Pop vocal group, En Vogue. But delivered in a pop song or not I think it’s pretty solid advice. Don’t let prejudices, stereotypes, or assumptions stand in your way of connecting with people different from you. In fact diversity only makes a group stronger. As long as there’s something real that binds you and you treat one another with respect, differences like race, religion, age, and ability — or any other — don’t much matter.
4. Get Social
Are you obsessed with embroidery? A writer of short stories? Maybe you’re a bike enthusiast, or an amateur yogi — whatever it is that grabs your attention I guarantee there’s an online community for it. A great way to meet like minded people in your community (and across the globe) is to get involved in the online social spaces devoted to them. Places like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and reddit are great places to start to find the online spaces that appeal to you. Before you know it you’ll be attending local #tweetups and making online connections irl.
Go to that #tweetup. Strike up a conversation with the cool mom in your photography class. Invite your neighbour over for tea. Whenever you meet someone you’d like to get to know better don’t wait around for them to approach you. Don’t risk missing the chance of missing a true friend connection. Take a risk and make the first move. You might just make a new friend for life!
Robyn McNeil is a Nova Scotia-based freelance writer, bartender, and assistant editor of the Whole Family Happiness Project. She lives in Halifax, with her son and a penchant for really strong tea, yoga, hammocks, and hoppy beer.
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The Whole Family Happiness Project is a group of moms exploring our connection to our individual purpose, our family happiness, and the happiness of the world around us. Come join us on Facebook.