This blog post is part of my FREE training for 2020 called Best Decade Ever. You can sign up here at any time by going to MelRobbins.com/BestDecade
You are the only one who can do the work to make your dreams come true, but the people you surround yourself with have the power to positively and negatively affect your choices and habits.
In yesterday’s live video, I talked about the 5 types of people you need to have on your Dream Team. In case you missed it, here’s the list:
- The Cheerleader: This is someone who is a reliable source of encouragement. They’re on your side, and they help pick you up when you’re feeling down. They’re one of your biggest fans, and you can always count on them.
- The Challenger: This is someone who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. They might be your polar opposite, which is a great thing because they give you new points of view and help you see your blind spots. Their advice might be uncomfortably honest at times, but you know it’s coming from a place of care rather than criticism.
- The Comfort Zone Crusher: This is someone who gets you out of your comfort zone and encourages you to try new things. They’re that one friend that’s always there to join you when you want to try something new, and they can help you break the ice when you’re doing something that’s out of your comfort zone.
- The Motivator: This is someone who is probably way ahead of you. They’re inspiring to you because they show you what’s possible when you do the work.
- The Safe Space: This friend is someone you are 100% comfortable with, and can always be yourself. They make you laugh and remind you to not take yourself so seriously. They’re always there to listen.
These can be people you already know, but it’s okay if you haven’t met them yet. It might take a while to meet them and grow those relationships. Some of them you don’t even have to know personally– some of the biggest motivators on my Dream Team are people I’ve never even met, but I’m constantly learning from them.
If these people aren’t already in your life, you’re going to have to make some new friends. Sounds scary, right? It’s not as bad as you think!
Did you know there is actually a recipe for friendship? In most studies by sociologists, it’s been found that there are three key things that form a friendship: proximity; repeated interactions; and a communal setting where people feel like they can let their guard down.
When you’re younger, you have all those ingredients baked into your daily life– it’s easy to make friends with people you go to school with, or play sports with, or are in a club with. But when you’re older, there’s less opportunity, and it’s usually a bit harder to find.
If you’re beating yourself up because you think you have no friends: stop. There’s nothing wrong with you if you find meaningful friendships are lacking in your life. It happens to everyone as we get older.
This list of five tips leverages that recipe to help you find your very own Dream Team:
The best way to find new people is by doing something new. When you’re doing new things, you’ll be exposed to all kinds of new people.
In last week’s blog post, you got a HUGE list of ways to start working on your dreams. A lot of them involved doing something new by joining a club or taking a class. They’re also an incredible way to find all the ingredients you need to make new friends.
Here’s a list of ideas:
- Volunteering or getting involved with a local organization or charity you love
- Taking an in-person class for one of the skills you need for your dreams
- Joining or starting a book club
- Joining or starting a writing community
- Joining a co-working space
- Going to networking events in your area
- Join an adult sports league
- Join a gym or try Crossfit
- Trivia night at your favorite bar
These are just a few of the places you can start looking. Let me know in the comments if you have another idea!
Put yourself out there
I bet every person reading this is already getting sweaty palms at the thought of having to talk to new people or joining a new community. Making new friends as an adult is no easy task– but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
It does mean you’ll probably have to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there. You’ll have to be vulnerable, and that can be really scary, but it is the only way to form true friendships.
The reason it’s so scary is because our brains love being comfortable. It’s why you keep going back to old patterns over and over again, like hanging out with the people you don’t really like that much or know aren’t good for you.
But in this stage of your life, you’re not looking for comfort, you’re looking for growth. You’re going to have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
To make new friends, you have to be active about it. If you’ve taken the advice above by joining a new community and find yourself starting to connect with someone, make the first move. Ask them to get coffee, or meet up for a movie, or to come to an event with you. Break the ice by giving someone a compliment, asking them a question, and introduce yourself.
If you’re nervous about making new friends, check out this tip that will get anyone to like you instantly. It’s one of my favorite tricks when I’m feeling nervous about being in a new setting.
Take another look at your circle
Before you write off everyone you know and start focusing on making all new friends, take another look at the people in your circle:
- Is there an old friend or colleague you’ve fallen out of touch with? Reach out to them to say hello and catch up!
- Do you have a neighbor who gardens just as much as you do or a co-worker who also loves baking? Ask them for coffee or to join you in doing the activity you have in common.
- What about that person at the gym you always make small talk with?
- Your kids can also be great matchmakers for friendships. Reach out to one of the parents who also has a kid on the soccer team.
A friend of a friend of a friend
There’s a whole group of people that you’re already almost connected to, and they’re easier to meet than you think.
If you’ve got one good friend in your life, chances are they know some cool people too. Offer to help them set up a group outing or event that can get a bunch of different people together.
You can also bring people together by hosting a party or a game night that encourages your friends or coworkers to bring a few of their favorite friends.
Simply having a conversation with someone in your life by saying “I’m trying to expand my friend group, would you mind including me?” can introduce you to a whole new set of people.
Online friendships can be incredibly meaningful, and sometimes they end up being friendships in real life, too. It’s a huge reason why there’s a Facebook Group for Best Decade Ever to connect you with other people who are dedicated to working on their dreams too.
There’s a lot of noise to cut through, but social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can be full of opportunities to meaningfully connect with people you have a lot in common with.
- Try looking for Facebook groups that are on the topic of what your dreams or interests are.
- If you’re documenting what you’re doing on social media, connect with someone doing the same. Ask them for coffee or if they want to collaborate on content.
- Reach out to someone with your dream job on LinkedIn, and ask if they’d answer a few questions over coffee.
- If your dream focuses on writing, there’s a whole community on Twitter called the #5amwritersclub. Use that hashtag and cheer others on! If your dream isn’t writing, there’s likely something similar in your niche. Take some time to look for it.
- Try an app! It’s not just for dating anymore. There’s more than a few apps out there for finding new friends.
But please be smart about any online friendships you have by practicing online safety.
One more important note….
Meaningful friendships take time to build. Don’t expect too much from someone too soon. It’s ok if someone says no to hanging out. They might not be in a place for new friendships right now, or they might have a ton going on in their lives. More often than not it has absolutely nothing to do with you, so don’t beat yourself up. Keep putting yourself out there, and you’ll find your people.
Do you have other tips for making new friends? Share them with me in the comments below!