Typically, making friends is something that just happens. It has never been something that you had to give alot of thought. When you were in school it was who sat next to you in class. As a parent, it was often the parents of your children’s friends or the neighbors who also have kids. But after you’ve retired or even relocated, you might find yourself twiddling your thumbs and contemplating how to go about making some new friends. Suddenly there seem to be fewer opportunities to meet new people and when you do make an attempt, you might feel awkward and a tad rusty.

According to research, close relationships are essential for our physical, mental and emotional health. Even our self-esteem and longevity hinge on close relationships. If you find yourself eagerly anticipating the postal worker’s arrival so you can pick up yesterday’s conversation or if you order take out because it could result in a conversation with the delivery person, it might be time to shake up your routine and sharpen those friend making skills.

Here are a few ideas to get you going:


If you take the time to pursue your own interests on a consistent basis (cooking classes, tennis, book clubs etc.) you are likely to find others with the same interests. Don’t trick yourself into thinking everybody already has all the friends they need. Life shifts and changes, people come and go and there are a lot of people looking for a few new friends. Find your sense of adventure again and be willing to take the risk and ask for an email or phone number. Finding new friends may take a little work at first, but the outcome could be a great friend that will last a lifetime.

Carrie Robertson
Research & Community Education

Chicago Skilled Nursing
Chicago Senior Living

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