* This is a sponsored post on behalf of O, The Oprah Magazine and Holland America Line.

Recently I wrote an article about the 9 Reasons that we Need Friendships.  As a child, it used to be fairly easy to make friends. You could just walk up to someone interesting and ask “Will you be my friend?” and they usually said yes.  As an adult, it’s a little less easy to find new friends, especially when you’ve not really tried for a while.  It’s not an uncommon phenomenon. It has been said that there is an epidemic of adults not having friends. But we can easily change that.

Here are 9 ways to find and make new friends:

1. Spend time around people.

That may seem overly obvious but it needs to be said.  Hang out at the coffee shop, attend a sporting event, enroll in a small group at church, take a workshop or join an organization. When I first moved to Idaho, I had no friends. Luckily our home had a homeowner’s association so I met and became friends with some of the women in it. I’ve also met some great friends in an organization called Rotary International.

2. Volunteer.

Volunteering is a way to meet friends with a common interest and/ or goal. There are all sorts of ways to volunteer and it has the additional benefit of doing something good for the community.

3. Go on a cruise!

Cruises are great places to meet people. The ladies you see in the photo accompanying this post are 3 of the ladies I met on a cruise to Alaska. We now plan getaways together because we had such a good time!

On cruises, there is shared dining, dress-up events, dancing, excursions and lounging-around time. There are also many cruises that have themes so you’re likely to meet people with similar interests. Holland America has Oprah-inspired cruises that feature her book club, Super-Soul Sunday guests, meditation and yoga and other events based around living your best life. (I’ll be attending the January O-inspired Girl’s Getaway cruise to the Bahamas!)

4.  Once you’re out an about, you need to start conversations and make small talk.  Here’s a cute video with some tips!

5. Reintroduce yourself at the end of a conversation.

We often don’t grasp at a person’s name right at the beginning of a new conversation. Before you leave, reintroduce yourself and ask for their name again. That way, you’ll have a better chance of remembering it.

6. Accept every invitation.

Even if you’d rather say “no” at first, make a point to accept every invitation. The more you say “yes”, the more you will be invited. Don’t be too precious about who you hang out with in the beginning. These are all learning and growing experiences and will help you to narrow down the kinds of friends you’d like to have.

7. Change your attitude from indifference to excitement! 

If you have heard Brene’ Brown speak or read any of her books, you know that she talks about vulnerability. Sometimes when people are chatting with us or invite us out we are afraid to be excited because that may show that we care “too much”. So we hide behind the mask of indifference. Change your attitude!  Be vulnerable. People will be happy to be around someone who is enthusiastic and will probably extend more invitations!

8. Extend invitations to others.

This is where you may need to step into some discomfort but it will be worth it.  Start small – maybe a coffee date or a shared workshop, something that doesn’t take all day and has an easy exit strategy. As you get to know each other better, you can plan longer, more involved things.

9. Be a good friend.

Be trustworthy, reliable, honest, loyal, empathetic, non-judgemental, supportive and a good listener. You know the drill.

Do you have any additional tips that have helped you to meet people and make new friends? I’d love to hear them.

*Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine have partnered to pair the eye-opening wonder of travel with
the soulful, inspiring content found in every issue of the magazine. Experience the power of carefully curated O-inspired onboard programming rooted in O’s Live Your Best Life mission throughout 2018 on Holland America Line cruises sailing from North America.

October was the final sailing of 2018 with O and Holland America Line on the Adventure of Your Life cruise, featuring special appearances by O editors as well as thought leaders, visionaries, and members of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100.

Learn more at HollandAmerica.com/OprahMag


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