Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday Thirteen #310 - Making Friends

My friend Di over at her blog posted yesterday about how difficult it is to make friends. Since I still needed to do my Thursday Thirteen, her post made me think perhaps I could come up with 13 ways to make friends.

1. Join a club. This could be a photography club, book club, a writing group, a philosophy team, or whatever. Not that I am aware of any local philosophy groups, but maybe you could start one.

2. Go to church. Where I live, here in the Bible Belt, this seems to be the number one way folks make friends.

3. Take a class. I'm not talking about an online class although I suppose one might make online friends in those sorts of classes. But if you are looking for face time instead of Facebook time, you might actually venture into a classroom.

4. Play a sport or go watch ballgames. If you have an interest in a sport you could meet others who are also interested.

5. Volunteer. There are lots of places to give your time - libraries, animal shelters, old folks' homes, hospitals, homeless shelters.

6. Go to bars, coffee shops, or similar places. I actually don't suggest you do this because I don't think it is safe, but I know people do. I think the first five suggestions are safer and better ways to go about making friends.

7. Get to know your coworkers better. If you have a job and work with others, getting to know the people you work with can have multiple benefits.

***Unfortunately, those seven ways are the only ways I know to go about meeting people. So I'll finish out Thursday Thirteen with ways to be a good friend:***

VA Senator Tim Kaine listens
to Hollins University President
Nancy Gray.
8. Listen. This is probably the number one requirement in a friendship, the ability to listen. A little empathy helps, too.

9. Be loyal. Don't gossip about your new friend, stab them in the back, or take advantage of them. Stand beside them, not in front or behind them.

10. Be trustworthy. This is rather like being loyal, but it also includes things like showing up on time for a lunch date, leaving your cell phone off while you're visiting with your new friend, and keeping any confidences shared.

Making friends at a "local bloggers" meet-up!

11. Stay in contact. This can be via email, Facebook, phone calls, or actual face time, but this is vital if you want to maintain a relationship. Blog comments count, too!

12. Make plans. Don't wait for your new friend to invite you somewhere, take the initiative and ask them to lunch or an event. All they can do is say no, right?

13. Accept invitations when they are offered to you. If you say no every time someone invites you along, eventually they will stop asking. So go have a good time!

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a while and this is my 310th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. I have close friends but am bad at initiating plans. Luckily, some of them are.

    I think the one bar we have a in Floyd is a pretty safe place to meet new friends. Everybody knows everybody or somebody who does.

  2. Great post. I have found with having kids and being involved in their schools, sports and activities many wonderful and strong friendships have evolved. I think it is good for children to watch their parents make new friends and see what it takes to be a friend.

  3. I love making new friends, and I've found the best way is to host women's groups in our community. We also have several groups in our church. :) Great advice! Happy Thursday!

  4. Great list... all thirteen. Enjoyed this, Anita! We seem to move often so I don't put myself out there much anymore in the 'making friends' department... but I do enjoy having good acquaintances. Ones that make me laugh are the best... xox

  5. Good list, Anita. Making new friends is much harder for some than others, but getting involved in thigns that interest you is a good place to start. Blooming Butterflies

  6. I've met a lot of people in bars, coffee shops etc, but none of them became friends. Clubs have proven good, though.

  7. what a great list! and i really enjoyed our lunch outting. it was fun seeing that picture again! i make friends through my kids and their school and sports....once they are grown, i'll have to resort to your list lol

  8. This is a great list of ideas. I think making friends can get harder, as we get older!

  9. I had a problem making friends when I moved to Virginia. This was a shock to me because I make friends everywhere. I have a good girlfriend who I met taking a class at the local community college 25 years ago. I have another girlfriend of 15 years who I met when I volunteered to be the secretary of a club. I've met friends at horse shows. I met a friend in response to a flyer I put up on a bulletin board in the supermarket looking for another mother who wanted company going to the park. I have even knocked on new neighbor's doors and introduced myself. In Virginia, I joined clubs and attended horse shows, joined an animal rescue group, and even went to church, though I'm not religious. Oh! And I also put up a flyer outside the Minute Market looking for someone to trail ride with. I'm telling you, I reach out. But I did not make many friends. Certainly no good girlfriends who will attend my daughters' weddings or whose phone numbers I know by heart. I believe it is because I'm a Yankee. People down there didn't trust me and some felt threatened that I would try to inflict my "city ways" on them. And truthfully, we are very different culturally. I was afraid to be myself. I was afraid to admit I supported gay marriage, Planned Parenthood, and was for gun control. Not being able to make friends down there was one of the reasons we moved away. Now I am back in Jersey, in a different part of Jersey where I didn't know anyone, and yet I have tons of friends here in just a year-and-a-half. Just today I took Kelly to a horse show and I met new friends. Everyone was talking to me. Everyone acted like they were happy we were there. I didn't feel that at all in the 7 years we were in Virginia. We sat at the horse shows all day long, trying to talk to people, offering to help, smiling and making eye contact, and we'd get disinterested nods and a quick mercy chat. I'm sorry Anita, I don't mean to bash your state, but I'm kind of traumatized by it. It was not a good time for us. I never used to think this--I used to think the person was not trying hard enough to make friends--but now I realize that sometimes the place is wrong.


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