Dale Carnegie’s very popular book called ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ has been amongst the top few on my favorites list for a long time. Well, somebody, who reads it would know exactly why that is.
Who wouldn’t want to win friends for life? It’s a goal on everybody’s list, always! And Mr. Dale did a great job solving this problem for the readers.
However, not every age group faces the same challenges when it comes to friendship, of course! Matters change from childhood to adulthood. Priorities change as adulthood takes the upper hand in our lives. So, many people wonder – how to make good friends in your 50s?
Once you are over 50 years of age, life is as good as a whole new blank slate again. Most likely, you have been through several varied experiences through the years, gained & lost a lot on the way, & found out so much that you hadn’t started out having known already.
And all this is true for friendships.
Friendships change with time & age. Some last long enough to sustain us, & some end up being rather short-lived. However, what’s interesting is that most of it are in our control, in our power. How? Well, here’s how!
How to make friends in your 50s
Through our adult lives, we make many friends in many ways. We have friends at work, friends related to our children, older friends, friends we share our morning walks at the park with, etc.
We share different bonds with everyone. But, with time, things happen & change the dynamics of our friendships. Maybe your closest friend moves out of town.
Maybe one of your friends becomes exceptionally busy with their personal lives year after year, or maybe a friend is engaged with their career or business. In such a case, we find ourselves feeling the need for friends at different lengths.
Having an active social life has many health benefits. Moreover, it feels very fulfilling to have people care about you as you grow older, to have people ask you questions that go beyond “how are you doing?”, & to be in the midst of people who add value to your life.
Here’s how you can go about making new friends in your 50s & beyond:
Before anything else, know yourself
Your perception of self is bound to change as you grow older. What you were desperately all about in your teenage years may not be something you think about at all anymore.
Not only your likes & dislikes but also your choices in the kind of people you like to associate with may have changed drastically over the years. You have to rethink who you have become after all this time & see where your idea of friendship stands now.
This is the first prerequisite to making friends in late adulthood.
Expand your resources
It is important to focus on healthy aging. It is essential to your life that your strength comes from yourself first & that you feel at peace with yourself. Not only after your 50s but, in fact, at any given age, self-sufficiency or self-dependency for your mental well-being should not be compromised.
Being fit & getting yourself to exercise enough is important. It’s a way to give you the determination & the energy you need to make space for a new priority in your life. In fact, for example, if you go to your local gym to accomplish the aforementioned, you may meet new people right there as well.
You will already have one shared interest by then & may be able to approach people more easily this way. This goes for group meetings, picnics, & other events as well. Focus on doing what you love, even if it is as basic as reading. You are more likely to bump into just the right people for you in spaces meant for you.
Invite people into your lives
You must indulge in pro-actively inviting people into the parts of your life where you might as well share your experience. For instance, if you plan to go to watch a movie once a month, you could invite the people you have a good time with & include them in your movie plan.
Or if you happen to know somebody who is particularly interested in food, you could invite them for dinner at a new restaurant sometime.
Reconnect with people you’ve lost touch with
Maybe there’s a childhood friend you abruptly drifted apart from or a colleague you lost contact with after you shifted to a new workplace.
Or maybe you’re reminded of the bond you used to share with one of your old roommates back in the day! Now is the time to take yourself back to them & shift your life in a half-explored direction.
Tips for Friendship after your 50s
While you walk right into the mindset of making new friends during your 50s, you might as well have a few things scribbled in the back of your mind (metaphorically)! Here is a list of tips that will help you on your journey further:
If you are able, then it’s a great way to indulge in your field of interest, meet people with similar interests, & make friends starting on a good note such as this. Let’s look at a few options for you when it comes to volunteering!
- Walk animals at local animal shelters.
- Be a part of a roadside cleanup event.
- Be a part of a local gardening project.
- Volunteer with a local church.
- Serve food at a community kitchen.
- Join a local community theater.
- Attend open mic nights in your locality.
- Take a yoga class or an art class.
- Join a local community choir.
Take a trip
It is always a great way to meet people – through traveling. Not only is it meant to connect with new people but also can be a means to reconnect with your old pals. It can help you reach out to the ones you’ve been missing out on.
It can also help you share space with somebody long-forgotten. If a busy life has stolen from you great opportunities for years, now is the time to snatch back your share of fun with your pals. Plan a trip, however big or small, but with the people that matter.
Go from virtual friendship to physical friendship
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & Snapchat are all very good mediums of communication & connections. However, real-time meetups carry a different weight without a doubt. Your 50s is a great time to finally catch up with the ones connected with you through your virtual world.
It is a great opportunity to get to know your social media circle in real life after a considerably long time of conversations over the internet.
In a nutshell…
Late adulthood can be exhausting & transformative on so many levels. It is very common to feel lonely or to feel the need to be cared for during & after your 50s more than ever before.
However difficult it might sound, it is achievable to form new & exciting connections in your 50s by keeping in mind a few simple steps toward healthy friendships. You could start with knowing yourself well enough & keep an eye on whatever seems worthwhile.
The right people meet you exactly where it feels right. It’s time to get out there & live a more enriched life with your old & new dear ones!