Making friends comes super easy to some people but for others like me it can be quite challenging, confusing and difficult at times..
Forever and ever since I can remember making friends has not been easy. Don’t get me wrong I have friends in my life but finding those people who call me their person and who are loyal to me in those moments when it matters has never been easy for me.
It seems like most other people talk about their close friends. People they have known since they were 2 years old or in primary school who they could not live without. I could not even tell you the name of one “friend” I had in primary school before grade 4.
I have had some close friends over the years but they have moved away which has often left a gap and a longing in me to find more local friends I can spend time with. Being an extreme extrovert sucks sometimes and making friends as an adult can be challenging.
I decided at the start of 2015 that I was going to focus on intentionally connecting with other mothers at school in an attempt to try and make some meaningful friendships. It has been a year since embarking on this journey and I am proud to say I have felt more connected with friends. So here are some tips that worked for me.
- School pick ups and drop offs are where all of the initial connecting happens so if possible try and be there a little early to give yourself the space to talk with other parents.
- Attend any birthday parties your child is invited with the intention of talking and connecting with other parents. I found birthday parties a great way to get to know other parents which made it much easier and natural to connect at school.
- Volunteer in your child’s classroom which helps you get to know the other kids your child is friends with which makes it much easier to talk to their parent when the child is already familiar with you.
- Be brave and invite your child’s friend and parent out for a play date at your house or at the park this is a great way to get chatting and get to know people better.
- Understand that it takes time so don’t get disheartened if nothing has happened in the first few weeks / months of school.
- Try not to be offended if someone you would like to be friends with doesn’t show interest in wanting to be friends with you. They might be really busy and have their personal quota of friends and they just don’t have time and space. Move on and don’t overthink it.
- Be open to meeting other parents in all situations. I have found a couple of my new friends sitting at gymnastics lessons, pregnancy appointments, trampolining etc. Sometimes you just have to be brave and be the first one to say hi.
- This is a little quirky fact but I have found that any expat mums in my children’s class seem to be more open to connecting and my theory is they have less long term relationships as they may be newer to the country so more open to finding new friends.
I guess the main thing I learnt through this is it takes time but you have to be intentional about meeting and chatting to people. If I had of just hoped it was going to happen but didn’t do anything about it then I think I would be in the same place I was when I started out.