This Year, Make At Least One New Friend

Finding a friend may be the most important thing you do.

Posted Feb 18, 2019

A compelling argument can be made, that the single greatest risk to our personal health and wellbeing, is loneliness, isolation and the lack of nurturant bonds between people. This is also the greatest risk to the health and wellbeing of our communities. The research on this is extensive.

The good news is, this is matter we can do something about. Even better, there is a robust correlation between positive relationships, and having a deep sense of satisfaction with life.

Starting this week, set for yourself a challenge: Make at least one close, new friend.

Good Friends, ©2019 John Albert Doyle, Jr. 
Good Friends
Source: Good Friends, ©2019 John Albert Doyle, Jr. 

As you start, remember you will not connect with everybody you talk too.  Not everyone will understand what you are doing.  You might even have many false starts and disappointments.

Reach out anyway.

Start easy. Make a list of the people you already know, with whom you might want to spend more time. What are the practical things that get in your way of connecting? What gets in their way? What can you do to cut through and connect anyway? Maybe they don’t have time because of the age of their children. Go hang out with your friend at his or her kid’s soccer game. If you are open and creative, you will be astonished at the opportunities you discover.  

Or ask yourself what activities energize you or make you feel the most at home in the world?  It could be playing basketball, going out dancing or reading to children after school. Join groups that focus on those activities.

Allow yourself to stay open to possibilities beyond your usual patterns. Some of the most powerful friendships you will forge might be wholly unexpected, with people outside your typical circles. They might be of a different age group, religion or race. Their education or politics might be wholly different than your own.  These things are just artificial markers anyway – important – but they are not what maps the curvature of our souls or measures the throbs of our hearts.

And while you are going around, reaching out and looking for ways to connect, have fun. Give yourself permission to play. Your life can be rich and meaningful, full of fellowship, love and laughter. Start today.

©2019 John Albert Doyle, Jr.