Dar, Amy, Me, and Luanne

Ahhh…friends. Making new ones can be challenging. When you move to a new community, it doesn’t matter how old you are, you’re right back in junior high or college or you’re the new kid in elementary school not knowing a soul. You look around at church, at the store, at Starbucks and people are deep in conversation. You can chat with the checker, but she’s not your friend. How do you get over the good friend hump?

Teddy Bear looking for a friend

Maybe you haven’t moved. Maybe things have shifted in your life. You’ve changed jobs. Your best friend has moved. The divorce happened. Or, you’ve never had many friends. You’d like to have friends, but growing relationships has never come easy for you.

Let’s chat about some fun strategies to change your current situation. The cool thing about your growing new friendships is that it blesses the people you’re getting to know as well. You never know, they’re probably a little shaky in the friend department themselves! Another cool thing is that it’s something you can DO, you don’t have to wait for it to happen to you.

Oh, and also, my friend Julie who moved across the country along with her grown children and their families (like us) told me developing new, good friends takes time. For most, it’s at least a year (could be sooner) to develop friends at the keeper level.

#1 Be a Joiner

You might’ve heard this one before but here are a few things to join you might not have thought of:

  • Seek out a Crafting Group. It’s more fun to knit with others, right?
  • Join a new gym. If you qualify for Silver Sneakers, those memberships just might be free!
  • Sign up for a book club or a Bible study group. (So thankful for my new friends Tanya, Lynn, Laurie, Jan, Lucy, Amy and others at the Vista Women’s Bible Study!) Reading and experiencing a book is much better together.
  • Find a local cause you care about and volunteer. You’ll be working alongside others who share your heart for this need.
Friends exercising together.
Exercise Buddies!

#2 Be a Giver

This one rocks if you’re in a new neighborhood where new people are moving in all the time. We’re in that unique situation in our development. Everyone is new down at our end of Lake Pointe! In fact, one of my new friends Kara is the epitome of this tip. She gives little cute gifts, we trade magazines and you can’t walk by her house without her giving you a shoutout. I love hearing that, “Hey Ms. Kathy, how are you doing?”

  • Bake a loaf of bread or your favorite berry pie and bring it on over to your neighbor’s house. You could include a card with the recipe. Wonderful for new and old neighbors.
  • Bring a basket of yummy local fruit or veggies. Or a start from your garden.
  • Share a book you’re done with or a few magazines your neighbor might enjoy.
  • Fill a basket with K-Cups or tea bags and a couple of scones or biscottis and enjoy a coffee visit with your neighbor.

#3 Be an Inviter

Inviting is inclusive and a huge compliment to the invitee. I remember when a new teacher friend Amy invited me to a church Christmas bazaar. We had a great time shopping and visiting as we went. That bazaar was the start of a great friendship and teaching partnership. So glad she invited me!

Two salad making friends. Come on over and let's cook together!
Let’s cook together…
  • Have an informal/potluck dinner for neighbors who might hit it off with each other. (There are some fun recipes over here that could work for a yummy get-together)!
  • Start a weekly coffee get-together for fellow grandmas, single moms, stay at home moms or the people you’d like to get to know better. My new friend Jill and I will be doing this very soon!
  • Ask someone to your church or women’s Bible study or a fun event and have a seat saved for them 🙂
  • Walk or go to the gym together.
  • Invite her to go shopping with you. My friend Lynn has been great showing me the sites in and around Temple. It’s a fun and easy way to get to know someone in a comfortable setting.

Don’t Forget that ‘One’ Friend

And, don’t forget there is a friend who is always there for you. Moms and sisters and BFF’s (and I had/have the best) come through for many of us, but I’m talking about Jesus. It might feel funny because of your understanding of him. It might be a stretch to think that he could be a regular type friend. Someone you want to hang out with, tell your secrets and problems to. Someone you can trust, because he loves you more than anyone ever and only wants the best for you. However, I’m convinced, he’s the best friend you could ever have!

3 Strategies to make keeper friends

The ‘Keeper’ Friends Strategies

Wow! We really did chat about lots of fun strategies to change your current situation in the friend category. From looking for activities to join, and looking for ways to volunteer and give, to turning it around and being the one who invites others to things. I guarantee after a while you will find yourself surrounded by people you care about and who care about you.

We’ve been on Quiet Hollow for a little over a year now (and yes, Julie it did take about that long) but I’m getting to know some great women in our Gramma Group (in fact we’re going out to breakfast next week!). My Bible Study friends are getting more and more special to me as we continue with our seasonal studies and have some fun on the side. And, I’m looking forward to getting to know a brand new neighbor Mika I just met while driving down the street this afternoon. She and her husband are moving in this Saturday! (I need to bake some bread 🙂

**I know you have friend stories to tell too. Please share if you’d like. Don’t forget that one friend, and also know that we’re all friends here on Quiet Hollow!

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