What to Do When You Need New Friends

I remember last summer winding down and realizing that my inner circle had dwindled to half the size if had been around New Year's. The causes varied from not keeping in touch, not wanting to keep in touch, and a change in priorities and interests. All of those once-upon-a-time friends seemed content in their lives without me. And, although I didn't necessarily want those relationships back, I remember having an uneasy feeling in my chest that while everyone else's life was falling into place and becoming what it was always meant to be, I was still awkwardly out of place. 

After talking to two friends on separate occasions, I learned that they were in the exact same place in their lives. Each of them mentioned at least one other friend of theirs who felt the same way. What I'm getting at is that there are lots of people open to building new relationships. Below are some do's and don'ts for what we can all do to find our tribe.

DON'T blame your friends. DO be self-reflective.

It's easy to hold your friends responsible. But really, you're the one who changed and the reason the friendship is ending. Take it as an opportunity to ask yourself the real questions and answer honestly. Why is this relationship no longer fulfilling? Am I looking to reinvent myself? If yes, how so? Am I looking to grow professionally or personally?

DON'T be idle. DO be resourceful.

Now that you've made room in your life for new relationships, please don't make the mistake of thinking that you'll attract the right people by being the best you possible. You have to be open to connecting with other people. Join a meetup or some other recreational club, reconnect with old colleagues or acquaintances that you never really gave a chance, get more active on social media, or look into local events. These are all ways to identify like-minded people and build out your network.

DON'T expect immediate results. DO keep in touch.

If you live in a major metropolitan area, it's easy to get impatient when you have to go to more than one or two meet ups or events. If you live in a smaller city, it's easy to feel like you've exhausted all of your option early on. Just like any other endeavor, you have to stay committed. As you meet people, make sure you exchange business cards or social media contact information. From there, give it time to evolve organically - you don't want to fill your life with anymore forced, undesirable relationship.