so…how do YOU make new friends?

how to make new friends

At some point in our lives, each one of us gets to a point where we’d like to make new friends, whether it’s because we’re feeling lonely, want to add new people to our circle, or simply want to meet interesting people.

 

When you want to make new friends, how do you go about doing it?

 

Today, I invited a few friends of mine to share their hard-earned wisdom in response to this very question. Here they are:

 

Ev’Yan Whitney:

ev'yan whitneyThis journey of adult friendships is ongoing for me. A lot of my friends I met through my work—so, colleagues, clients, wives of my partner’s colleagues.

But lately I’ve been wanting to challenge myself by stepping outside of that cozy predictable little box. So I’m venturing out & taking up space. I’m asking friendly-looking gals about their tattoos, about how they smell. I joined OKCupid to see about branching out & making platonic friendships.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned about adult friendships is that they don’t often come to you; you have to put forth the effort. My mom always told me when I was little that “to be a friend you have to be friendly” & I’m trying to practice that everyday.”

Ev’Yan Whitney is a writer & sexuality doula who helps women come into their erotic power at sexloveliberation.com.

 

Jenipher Lyn:

Jenipher LynAlthough the internet makes it easy to compare ourselves, it also makes it CRAZY easy to start friendships, which i’m SO grateful for! 

Many of my closest friends are women I’ve never even met in person (thank you Skype!). One of my favorite humans I met on Instagram, which quickly escalated into long emails, then text messages of desserts we were eating (every day!), and I can’t imagine my life without her!

Another gal I met from Michelle Ward‘s Clubhouse. We’ve been friends for three years, and I FINALLY met her in person last week! YAY!

Since I’m often lonely, I make a HARDCORE effort to consistently schedule Skype calls or go out of my comfort zone and invite a local new person to tea in hopes of creating a friendship. Sometimes it works and sometimes it flops. Sometimes I’m lonely and sometimes I’m too busy to notice, but I wouldn’t feel as content and happy inside without my girlfriends I’ve met online.”

Jenipher Lyn is an artist who specializes in whimsical, punny illustrations. She just wrote & illustrated an encouraging book for teen girls and strives to save the world, one doodle at a time.

 

Sara Lehoullier:

Sara LehoullierMaking new friends is a joyful adventure for me – I love feeling that spark of connection that happens when you know you’ve met a bosom-friend (à la Anne of Green Gables).

In my case, that typically involves laughter – a shared sense of humor.

To find these folks (and sometimes it happens when I’m not trying), I go to events, courses, infiltrate groups that are associated with things, ideas, activities that I love, with the expectation that I already have at least one thing in common with the other people there, making it more likely that the friendship lightning will strike!”

Sara Lehoullier is a big laugher, loud talker, and lover of connecting the dots who’s working towards happiness and embracing a life that sometimes feels like a comedy of errors.

 

Andrea Schroeder:

Andrea Schroeder“I have two strategies. When I’m feeling brave enough, I go out alone (I pick classes or groups where I’m likely to find like-minded people — meetup.com is a great place to find them). It’s just so much easier to meet other people when I’m not already with a friend and am basically forced to talk to strangers.

The other strategy is just to be friendly when I’m out in the world – I have made great friends this way just hanging out in coffee shops.”

Andrea Schroeder teaches open-hearted, creative people how to access whole new worlds of inner magic & power, so they can bring their dreams to life, with ease and joy.

 

#silverandgoldfriends

 

If you’re feeling oh-so-ready to invite more friendship into your life, join us for Silver + Gold: An Adventure in Making and Keeping Friends. Friend-making will be the very first stop in our curriculum.

 

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introducing Silver + Gold: An Adventure in Making and Keeping Friends!

FriendshipPrint600px

Today I’m really delighted to share with you that Silver + Gold: An Adventure in Making and Keeping Friends is open for registration.

 

What is Silver + Gold, you ask? Well. It’s a four-week e-course adventure in creating and nourishing deeply fulfilling friendships.

 

Starting on April 27th, we’ll explore:

 

  • Why friendship is worth the effort
  • brilliantly simple model that will help you assess what kinds of friendships you have, and what kind you need
  • 100 unique places to meet new friends
  • Tips to make meeting people fun instead of scary, even if you’re an introvert
  • A simple equation to deepen any friendship
  • The truth about what it really takes to make a close friend
  • 4 ingredients needed to keep any friendship alive
  • How to end a friendship that’s no longer a fit

 

. . . and much, much more.

 

Silver + Gold also includes these amazing bonus audio interviews, full of invaluable friendship wisdom:

 

  • Photographer and writer Kyeli Smith on how to make and cultivate friendships with the help of the internet
  • Roller derby yoga teacher and world traveler Kat Selvocki on how to make friends after moving to a new city, state, or country
  • Nationally recognized friendship expert Shasta Nelson on how to know what kinds of friends we need and how to go about finding them
  • Blogger, writer, and teacher Sarah von Bargen on how to go from being friendly acquaintances to friends who hang out in sweats together
  • Writing teacher and coach Deb Cooperman on how to maintain lifelong friendships

 

You can find out more about Silver + Gold and register right here

 


Ooh! ALSO!

Everyone who registers this week (before April 20th) will also receive this free 5×7 print. (I made it especially for you.)

It’s printed on high quality cardstock and looks great framed on the wall or pinned to the bulletin board above your desk (if you’re a bulletin board enthusiast like I am).

 

 

I’m so proud of Silver + Gold, and so excited to share it with you. 

 

I’ve been implementing the lessons in my own life during the creation process, and it’s already shifted my friendship world in beautiful, heart-expanding ways. I can’t wait to see it do the same for you.

Friends, I’m so looking forward to taking this adventure with you.

 

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let’s prioritize friendship.

prioritize friendship

“Older people who have close friends and confidants live longer than those who don’t,” the study indicates.

Like so many studies, this one seems to show that, most likely, having friends helps us live longer.

“Even after controlling for sex and for demographics, health and different habits, the effect of a having close friends was clear, and those with the largest number of friends survived longest.”

Countless studies across disciplines have told us, for years, that close social ties lead to happier, healthier, longer lives.

 

So why aren’t people paying more attention to friendship? Why aren’t I? Why aren’t you?

 

I’d guess it’s in part because our society values other things more. Things like romance and marriage and jobs and babies.

We graduate from childhood, and suddenly, friendship isn’t something we talk about very much.

But when I think about my friendships, I know they deserve more weight than they’re getting.

 

My friendships have guided the course of my life.

 

Adriana’s friendship guided me to good grades in high school and a deepening of my love for learning.

Anjal’s friendship guided me to an interest in food politics and becoming the sort of person who could cook good food.

Michelle’s friendship guided me to become a life coach, that little thing I now happen to do for a living.

 

Perhaps your friendships have done the same for you.

Or perhaps a lack of close friendships has caused you persistent heartache for years. (If this is you, you’re not alone. So many of us long for closer friendships, and more friends, as grownups.)

 

Regardless of what society says, you have the option to prioritize friendship if it’s something you value.

 

You can devote time to seeing the friends you already have.

You can devote courage to going new places and meeting interesting people.

You can devote empathy to supporting friends through hard times.

There may be hundreds more books in print about romantic love than friendship. It may not feel Facebook post-worthy to put gradual, consistent effort into making a new friend. But none of that matters.

 

What matters is that friendship infuses our short lives with meaning and laughter.

 

It increases our happiness, health, and longevity. It just feels good.

Let’s prioritize friendship. Because, to us, friendship matters.

. . .

We’re gonna be talking a whole lot more about friendship in the coming weeks, with the unveiling of Silver + Gold: An Adventure in Making and Keeping Friends. Sign up here to hear about it first.

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who says?

who says?

Who says it’s best to eat three square meals,

Have dessert only once per day

Or less?

 

Who says that I should aim for eight hours of sleep?

Sometimes my body says nine, says nap, says back to bed.

All sleep is not equal.

 

Who says I have to be on LinkedIn to find a job?

When I’d rather be looking people in the eyes,

When I’d do anything (clean the toilet, do the taxes) to avoid updating my profile.

 

Who says I can’t wear white after Labor Day?

No elbows on the table,

That I can’t hug someone I just met,

That my meditation only counts if it’s on a cushion at 5am?

 

Who says? The culture at large?

They plucked these rules randomly, sewed them together with fear.

 

And maybe I’m afraid.

Maybe I have no idea what I’m doing in this life.

 

But I’d rather be terrified and listening to myself

Than pouring concrete over my precious, wise voice,

Acquiescing to arbitrary instructions.

 

I will make my own rules.

I will be my own authority.

And I’ll be afraid, but afraid won’t stop me

From living.

 

. . .

Want more? Sign up here for Soul Notes, the most intimate, wholehearted writing I share. 

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do whatever it takes to believe in yourself.

how to believe in yourself

Sometimes, believing in yourself is the easiest thing in the world.

Other times, it’s the hardest.

 

You can keep a Happy File for yourself, full of encouragement and kind words.

 

Artful prints with optimistic phrases may adorn your walls.

You might have friends who remind you when you forget your greatness.

 

Sometimes, to remember how wonderful you are, you need all that and more.

 

Sometimes you need to write down the truth when it occurs to you, then pop it into your wallet to remind you daily.

Sometimes you need to not just have a Happy File, but print out the most glowingly positive email in the bunch, highlight the best bits, and pin it directly above your desk, where you can’t help but see it daily.

(I did that yesterday.)

 

Believing in yourself will probably cause you to go out of your way. It’s worth it.

 

You’re worth it.

Your dreams are worth it. 

Keep on believing, dear one.

Keep on doing whatever it takes.

 

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50 things you love to do

50 things you love

It’s easy to focus on what’s negative. It’s how our brains evolved to work: watch out for threats (negative stuff) so you can protect yourself from them and survive.

 

But there’s a lot of positive out there.

 

Even on the rough days. And I believe strongly in honoring both the negative and the positive.

Sometimes the positive needs a lot more attention to help it stick in our brains. And sometimes that attention comes in the form of a list.

 

Today I decided to make a list of fifty things I like doing.

 

You’re invited to join me. In fact, I’d love your company. 

So here we go. Things I love doing, in absolutely no particular order:

 

1. Hugging my wife

2. Walking my doggy

3. Getting in bed after a long day

4. Speaking of which: putting on pajamas after a long day!

5. Watching Seattle’s fascinating, varied clouds as they move across the sky

6. Enthusing about how much I love Hozier

7. Singing

8. Humming

9. Tipping extra at the coffee shop

10. Writing with my favorite Muji pens

11. Baking chocolate chip cookies

12. Hosting sweet attic meditations

13. Cradling a warm cup of tea in my hands

14. Brewing my favorite tea for friends

15. Running

16. Listening to Serial (so sad it’s over)

17. Enthusing about Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

18. Soaking up live music

19. Taking showers

20. Summertime swimming in lakes

21. Having deep, deep conversations

22. Listening deeply during coaching sessions

23. Getting extremely excited when people I love have good things happen to them

24. Reading Harry Potter

25. Putting on underwear that’s actually very comfortable

26. Yin yoga-ing

27. Savasana-ing

28. Finding the perfect card for the perfect person

29. Sitting by a warm wintertime fire

30. Brunching with friends

31. Exploring Washington’s marvelous hiking options

32. Opening mail from friends

33. Getting crafty (particularly when it involves sparkles)

34. Taking blurry photographs of sunsets

35. Driving across the 520 bridge

36. Going to the movies

37. Tending to my houseplant

38. Checking things off a list

39. Browsing fancy supermarkets

40. Snuggling with my pup

41. Smelling anything that involves eucalyptus

42. Smelling every perfume in a store

43. Moving and sweating at the gym

44. Hot tubbing

45. Looking at the stars

46. Sitting on the dock

47. Listening to country on the radio

48. Stretching out my toes

49. Doing restorative yoga

50. Listening to the sounds of rain falling

 

So . . . what do you like doing?

 

Feel free to share your own list, of any length, below in the comments, or on social media with the hashtag #welcomingthegood. 

I can’t wait to see more things people love and keep adding to my own list of delightfulness.

. . .

welcoming the goodIf you’re keen to cherish and draw even more wonderful things into your life, you might enjoy Welcoming the GoodIt’s a free two-week exploration of the good that’s already in your life, and the good that’s out there waiting for you to find it. Join us here.

 

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look how far you’ve come

winnie photo

Last night, I took our dog, Winnie, on her usual final evening walk.

As we were climbing back up our apartment steps, I had a moment of realizing, with wonder, that this simple act wasn’t possible six months ago.

 

When we first brought Winnie home from the shelter, she wouldn’t climb the steps.

 

(I have to say, I don’t blame her. They’re open-backed steps, so from her height, she could see right through them and down to the concrete far below. Scary.)

I tried to coax her up with treats, to get a running start and see if that would convince her, but nothing helped.

She was adamant that she was not climbing those steps, and so I picked her up and carried her to our door after each walk. Literally.

After a couple weeks, we got to the point where if we went up the stairs quickly enough, and with enough food incentives, she’d only stop at each landing.

Now, she tries to run up ahead of us, particularly if she knows it’s almost time for breakfast.

These days, I don’t even think about how I’m going to get her up the stairs, because we’ve crossed that hurdle. We’ve achieved such success that what used to be problematic is now a complete non-issue.

 

Of course, I’ve moved on to other worries — seemingly countless ones, in fact.

 

How will we get this pup to stop barking at other dogs on walks?

Will there ever be a point at which she’ll actually walk next to me without me having to remind her once per second?

Our successes have faded quickly from my mind, replaced by new problems and concerns with varying feelings of urgency attached to them.

 

I, and my clients, do this everywhere in our lives.

 

A former client of mine is now making a living with the passion work into which she was transitioning when I first coached her. She’s had huge successes — increased income, thrilling media coverage, and growing expertise in her profession.

And she wonders, sometimes, how she’ll ever reach her next income goal. It seems impossibly far away.

Because I’ve gotten to witness her astonishing achievements over the past couple years, I reminded her of how very far she’s come. Perhaps it sunk in deeply, perhaps it didn’t.

I hope it did. She’s done such incredible work, and I want her to take credit for that.

 

I want each of us to give ourselves credit for all that we’ve done, regardless of how far we still have to go.

 

There will always be more mountains to climb. That’s one of the sweet truths of being alive — there’s absolutely no final destination, no matter when or how we die.

There will always be more ground to cover. But gosh, look at yourself! You’ve come so very far.

 

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noticing. appreciating. welcoming the good.

welcoming the good

The first week of my Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy class, our homework was to notice and record a few pleasant things we noticed each day.

 

We were looking for tiny good things. I mean, really tiny.

 

The class was meant for people who, like me, were dealing with depression, so any experience of pleasantness, no matter how slight, was considered a win.

 

I was so depressed that week. Which was the whole reason I was in the course.

 

I needed it.

 

Surprisingly, it wasn’t hard for me to find pleasantness in my day-to-day life, despite my overall state of distress.

 

There was so much pleasantness everywhere. Even in (generally drab and smelly) Midtown Manhattan, where I worked at the time.

 

There was the grand, echoing main hall of the Midtown post office. The delight of getting to choose which stamps you wanted to buy.

 

The warmth of the sunshine on your face when you stepped out of the buildings’ shadows.

 

The crazy earrings the security guard always wore, a different pair every day.

 

The welcome opportunity to stop and breathe at a red light.

 

I was surprised, because there were more pleasant moments filling my life than I even had time to record.

 

On their own, they weren’t much. Unnoticed, they were nothing.

 

But those little good things, when noticed and appreciated, strung together like buoys on a line and gradually, almost imperceptibly, helped to lift me up, up, up into a fuller, more engaged life.

 

Every single day, no matter how happy or sad we feel, opportunities present themselves, inviting us to step into joy.

 

Of course, we don’t always notice them. Often, they pass us by, unseen, unseized.

 

But they’re always there, available. Waiting.

 

In Welcoming the Good, we’ll notice and cherish these wonderful little moments that are all around.

 

Together, we’ll search out and savor what’s good, and what matters.

 

If this piques your interest, I heartily invite you to join us.

 

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what our places value (and what it means about us)

BrooklynBridge

Over my holiday visit to Brooklyn, I realized with new clarity just how much New Yorkers value efficiency.

 

It feels as if distance from NYC living is giving me new insight into what that humming machine of a city is really about.

 

New Yorkers, I can tell you, value a quickly-moving queue.

 

At Christmas Eve dinner with a friend’s family, my dear Brooklynites praised the speed with which the Court Street Italian pastry shop filled orders this holiday season, quickly ticking through an out-the-door line of customers buying Christmas cookies.

 

There’s great appreciation, too, for the New York traffic merge. Mary doesn’t mind letting me know that Seattleites are terrible mergers in comparison. As she says, “You can’t stop when you’re merging! You have to keep moving!”

 

On the tail end of our trip, the line at JFK Airport’s Delta terminal moved so swiftly that I hardly had a chance to rest my bag. Airport workers processed travelers through constant movement, like we were toys on a life-sized assembly line.

 

When I’m in New York, I encounter lots of people who really value efficiency, because New York is a city of things happening quickly, of stuff getting done and checked off the list.

 

It’s a city that excels at moving millions of people around a tiny island every single day, and doing it quickly, because these people have places to be.

 

New York attracts people who value what it, as an amorphous being, values.

 

Like any place, its inhabitants’ beliefs shape it, and it shapes them.

 

When I realized all of this over vacation, I got curious about what it is that Seattle values.

 

Because I so longed to move here, I wondered whether these values would align more closely with my own. Here’s what I found:

 

  • Intellect: Seattle reads a lot of books. The Seattle Public Library System has the highest percentage of cardholders per capita in the United States. Being brainy is considered pretty darn cool here.

 

  • Nature: Since moving to Seattle, I’ve met a lot of people who work in Earth sciences, volunteer their time to promote environmental justice, and/or take composting very, very seriously. People here tend to spend a lot of time in nature, to be reverent of it, and to know a lot about it.

 

  • Time for Recreation: According to my own biased observations, it seems that people here tend to leave work closer to 5 than New Yorkers, and to take weekends really, truly off. Workers take their vacation time here. They get out and about when they’re not at work. It seems like this city values leisure and quality of life pretty highly.

 

After making this little list, it’s even more clear to me why I moved here.

 

I value learning, I’m mildly obsessed with libraries, and I’m a great proponent of time off.

 

When I lived in Brooklyn, I desperately yearned for more time in nature. I adore rain in a way that few others do. To me, the subtle, haunting beauty of the Northwest is like magic. And much to Mary’s chagrin, efficiency isn’t always the highest value on my list.

 

As I get ready for Who Am I Now, I’m starting to ask more probing questions of myself on a regular basis:

 

Where do I feel at home?

What is it about the things I love that draws me to them?

What does this location I’ve chosen have to teach me about myself?

 

In learning about what Seattle values, I’m learning about what it is that I value at this point in my life. What I yearn for. And also where I might be headed.

. . .


Who Am I Now? begins in five days. Hop over here to join us.

 

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you’re invited: who am i now?

who am i now? blog post photo

I wake up, and it’s dark outside. It’s quiet except for maybe a car starting or a crow squawking.

I no longer wake up to the muffled yells of our apartment neighbors, scrambling to get ready for work and school.

I wonder what they’re doing right now. Whether they still yell the same amount, or less.

Sometimes I miss the hubbub.

 

Here, the air is wetter.

 

My hair has grown out quite a bit, and it curls in the damp air. I haven’t figured out what to do with it yet, mostly because every couple weeks, it calls for something else.

Different products, a different process. A new curl where there wasn’t one yesterday.

 

It’s dark, dreary, and damp. My favorite sort of weather.

 

Every time I take a walk, I pause to look at the mountains, and the foggy clouds seeping down to embrace them. No matter how many times I stop walking, pause to look and listen, that view never fails to startle me into reverence for this place and this moment.

A year ago, I had no idea that I’d be here now. I wouldn’t have believed it if you’d told me.

This isn’t a place I need to “cope with.” I’m not managing my interactions to prevent overstimulation, the way I was in New York.

There are no weekend train schedules to dread. Instead, I can hop in the car to drive to the store, literally moments away.

I can buy a twelve-pack of toilet paper and store it under the bathroom sink. (It’s the little things.)

 

This is all new and different and, even after several months, sometimes surprising.

 

People ask, “When did you move to Seattle?”

I find myself waffling when I respond, “March.”

Because I feel like I don’t know how to fully be in this place, not yet.

Even though this is a good, good place for my soul to be.

Who am I here?

What do I want?

What do I need?

What do I yearn for?

Who am I, a week, a month, a year after the last time I checked?

 

Who am I now?

 

I’m going to be exploring this question, and the multitude of others it contains, from January 5th to 18th.

You’re invited to join me.

We’ll be going deep, getting curious, letting go and returning to ourselves. All through daily emails containing prompts for inquiry and action, plus a private Facebook group to support each other and evolve in community.

Who am I now?

Who are you?

Let’s find out together.

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