Being brave leads to better social connections
As I have got older, I have got braver. Well, not in the adventurous type of way, but in how I connect with others. I am now in my early 60’s, not so concerned about what others think, making my own choices rather than doing what I think others think I should do and I am very conscious that time when I am fit and well is becoming more limited, so I need to turn a lot of my planning into reality.
These feelings started in my early 50s when my kids were leaving home, I was becoming an empty nester and I had more time to myself. One of the most brave things I did was to set up togetherfriends at the age of 52 with absolutely no experience of social media, marketing, blogging, writing newsletters etc. All I had was a vision, I learned the rest along the way. And I am now delighted that I can offer friendship to women throughout the UK.
Another adventure I had alone, where I made fantastic friends was to sign up to a singing/ swimming/ hiking holiday with Meridian Travel and Yachting. I went alone, knowing no one, but it turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. A week of joy with fantastic people around me who I am still in touch with.
I was recently inspired by Siobhan Daniels, a 60+ retiree who is travelling around the UK in her campervan, writing a blog as she goes. Follow her adventures on Twitter. She is being brave, adventurous and meeting lots of wonderful people along the way!
In day to day living you have to be brave too. If you are feeling lonely and in need of new friends, you quickly lose confidence and belief that you can go out there and make new friends. But you can! You just have to take the first step and then things will gradually fall into place.
So if this feels like you, how do you get over your fear and get out there to make new friends?
- First of all, make a plan! What are or were your hobbies? Do you like to paint, sing or get out in the countryside?
- Research – Once you have your plan, list your interests in order of priorities. Do you need to earn money? Do you want to volunteer or travel? Then research what is out there for you. What groups are in your town? What holidays or volunteering opportunities are available to you?
- Take things step by step – pick just one of two of your priorities to begin with and sign up to a group/ contact the volunteering organisation.
- Once in a group you have to be brave – it is hard, even for the most confident person to walk into a new class and feel relaxed. Sit next to a person and chat one to one, ask questions, smile and be friendly. And don’t expect friendship to develop overnight. Building friendships takes time, don’t be too needy and when the time feels right, invite that person out for a coffee. Hopefully the friendship will take off from there!
And if you haven't the time or inclination to join a group but would rather meet other women one to one for friendship, we would love you to join togetherfriends!