Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Girl Talk--Making New Friends

I won't lie, I picked this topic because making friends is a newer challenge in my life and I wanted the advice. I'm so glad that these three ladies were willing to share because I have really walked away with some good advice and encouragement. I can't wait for you to read on about making new friends--maybe you'll even make some new blogging friends in the process. After all, that's what my hope for this series is!

Meet Tanika

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What are some challenges that interfere with making new friends especially for women?

 I think a big portion of it is the fear of rejection. What if they don't want to be friends with you? What if they don't like you? What if? It takes you right back to high school and the cliquey people and you are the loner who just wanted to fit in. I know that is still a big fear for me every time we move. We all just want to have friends, and we all just want to be liked. The fear of that being rejected is scary and is scary enough to convince you that you are better staying at home.

 Can you explain some situations you've been in where you had to make new friends?

 My husband is in the military so we have moved a few times (and I am sure will move a few times more). That definitely puts us in a strange place to make friends, it's not exactly easy.

 What are some suggestions/tips you have for making new friends?

 It is hard to make friends, but the first way I go about it? Church. We go to church every Sunday and EVERYONE wants friends. There are very few people in this world who don't want a friend! So I just talk to EVERYONE, invite people to dinner, invite over for play dates for Gracie, go to every church function and activity. That's how I get socially integrated quickly. I am already really good friends with the Primary President in our ward!! You gotta be active and it will be a lot easier. This time, we bought a house instead of renting, so these neighbors are gonna be our neighbors for awhile, knowing that--I made everyone cookies and attached tags with our names, house number and pictures. That way they knew where to find us! I am SO glad I did! One neighbor already brought me a HUGE slice of cake and we have pending dinner plans with two other families. The point of all of this is...you have to make the effort. You have to nurture the friendships, you have to take a chance that you might get rejected. But with the chance of rejection also comes the chance of finding a best friend that will stay with you for life! You won't remember the friends you didn't make, but you will remember the friends you did!

What are some advantages/blessings that have come from putting yourself out there and making friendships?

 You get to meet people you never would have normally and those people can change your life!!!

 Anything you'd like to add about making friends?

 Just take a chance! You never know where a best friend could be! But you gotta take that chance! IT'S WORTH IT. 

Check out this post on Tanika's blog about making new friends... I am IN LOVE with it!

Meet Sarah 

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 What are some challenges that interfere with making new friends especially for women? 

 BABIES! Oh man. It can be really easy to make friends with other new moms thinking there must be so many things you have in common - but i have found it to be the total OPPOSITE! There is so much competition and snark, that is really has been harder than i ever imagined! Age can be hard too. Some of my best friends in college were younger than me, and it's been really easy to lose that as i got older. Now I'm married with a baby, and they're still going downtown every weekend with little to no clothes on to see who can drink the most and end up anywhere but home. It can be hard to relate when you're on such different levels!

Can you explain some situations you've been in where you had to make new friends?

 Marriage. Combining my life with my husbands life has definitely meant needing to make new friends. It happened again when he switched to a new job company which requires many company parties and fancy dinners. And again with the babies thing. If were trying out a new parenting class, a new music session or a swimming lessons - mom's all around! Do you feel awkward for 10 seconds as you introduce yourself to a stranger in hopes of making a new friend, or do you feel awkward every hour for the next 10 weeks because you have no friends?! 

What are some suggestions/tips you have for making new friends?

  Approach Approach Approach! Don't wait for someone to approach you, because everyone is waiting for that! Be bold and be brave! If i don't know how to start, i always try to think of a compliment. "Oh hey, i love your dress! Where did you get it?!" or something as simple as that can strike a conversation! 

What are some advantages/blessings that have come from putting yourself out there and making friendships?

You really have nothing to lose, you never know what you could be gaining! I found my husband because I put myself out there and that is the best thing yet! 

  Meet Susannah

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What are some challenges that interfere with making new friends especially for women? 

I hate generalizing a gender and saying ALL women struggle with something or benefit from something else. I would say, though, that the majority of us women keep ourselves far too busy and friendships don't thrive that way. Whether we're working women, stay-at-home-moms, housewives, or anything in between we tend to keep our schedules filled and our spontaneity lacking. If we can't call up a friend and grab coffee but, instead, have to schedule a coffee date out weeks in advance, friendship suffers and new friends are nearly impossible to make.

Can you explain some situations you've been in where you had to make new friends?

  After graduating college and getting married I was pretty much completely surrounded by people I didn't know. Sure, I could call a friend from college on the phone but that's not the same as sharing my heart over dinner. I had to buck up and put myself out there in order to gain friendships. I'm happy to say I have some amazing girlfriends now! :-)

What are some suggestions/tips you have for making new friends?

  One of the best ways to make friends is to get involved in things that spark your interest! The best friends I have were made through church, the student wives group at my husbands' school, and even blogging! You have to put yourself out there and be vulnerable - asking others to get together and not relying on them to make the first move. It's hard but it's totally worth it!

What are some advantages/blessings that have come from putting yourself out there and making friendships?

  I would be SO lonely without my girlfriends. Sure, I have my husband but (SHOCKER!) he doesn't completely satisfy my need for friendship. I have friends I can turn to in every situation in life and feel so fortunate to have them!


Now it's your turn! We want to hear from you...what are your thoughts on the challenges and benefits of making new friends? Do you have any suggestions or similar situations to any of these ladies?

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