Why friends mean so much in your 50s-and how to meet more

Why friends mean so much in your 50s-and how to meet more

The friends you make later on in life are often the greatestof confidantes, but if you’re struggling toexpand your social circle, here are some tips.

The friends you make later on in life are often the greatest of confidantes, but if you’re struggling to expand your social circle, here are some tips.

As time goes by, we can get stuck in a rut in many ways – including forgetting to focus on widening our circle of friends.

But there are many good reasons why we should. Read on to discover easy ways to do it, plus the benefits new friends bring with them.

Why new friends matter now

Research consistently shows that sociable people are happier and healthier. But don’t worry if you’re not a ‘big group’ person – it’s about forging relationships that are right for you.

If crowded get-togethers make you uncomfortable, there’s nothing wrong with having a coffee with one or two good friends once a week. After all, some of us are naturally more introverted than others and forcing yourself into situations that make you nervous and tongue-tied can be completely counter-productive.

That said, while it’s much more comfortable to stick with what we know, studies show that having a diverse group of friends can help to make us more creative, better at problem solving and help expand our horizons, both literally and figuratively.

Our brains work harder when we have to consider something from the perspective of someone very different from us, which broadens our knowledge and hones our social skills as we work to accommodate the viewpoints of others. So, don’t be scared to connect with someone from a completely different background from you – you might be surprised at how much this kind of friendship could benefit you.

What you can do

Feeling a bit daunted? There’s no need. Here are some of the best – and easiest – ways to meet new people and enjoy all the benefits of a wider social circle…

1. Volunteer

If you’re considering things to do after retirement, volunteering can be incredibly rewarding. Whether it’s reading to young children, caring for abandoned animals or undergoing a training program to equip you to counsel adults or children in distress, volunteering means you’ll immediately find yourself surrounded by like-minded individuals with whom you have something in common.

Not only will your work give you something to chat about when you’re breaking the ice during those first few tentative conversations, knowing your paths will cross regularly means you have the luxury of developing a new friendship over time. There’s no pressure to get dates in an already full-to-bursting diary – just a gentle blossoming of a warm and genuine connection.

2. Join a club

Whether you love chess, tennis, walking or gardening, a club will introduce you to people who share your passion or encourage you to learn a new skill.

It all helps to make life more interesting and to nurture fledgling relationships. It’s also a good excuse to spoil yourself with some new kit that’s just right for your hobby. Keep it clean and fresh with a combination of Ariel Original Washing Liquid for pre-treating any stubborn stains and Ariel 3in1 Pods for bright, clean results every time.

3. Be open

This sounds simple, but can be incredibly difficult. If you’re committed to starting life over, begin by being mindful of the judgments and suppositions you make unconsciously on a daily basis, and challenge these thoughts when they come into your mind.

Note how often you unconsciously avoid making a connection with others in an effort to protect your personal space. But by being open to making new friends, in both your mental and physical attitudes, you radiate a positive energy and invite the same back.

So smile, make eye contact with people and leave any judgments at the door. Make a conscious effort to connect with people you wouldn’t normally gravitate towards and see what happens. You’re not committing to anything – but you could meet a kindred spirit.

How do you recommend making new friends at this point in your life? Share your advice with us below.

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