STRIFE HACKS: Friendships

I'm a mother in my 20's. In high school and college, I didn't have trouble making friends. Once I had my child, most friends left my life because our priorities became a little different. I fell into a deep depression for many reasons, but one reason was definitely because I felt like since I did not have friends... it was because I was a terrible person. Since then, I've learned a lot of self-love, but I still can't seem to find new friends. It gives me anxiety still that I feel like people won't like me because of how I look or because I'm a mom with different priorities.

How do I make new friends?

Thank you so much for this question. It's something that many of us can relate to but it's hard to recognize it in others because we tend to feel alienated without our people. Boss Babes was founded in part to get us together because it can be so difficult to make friends as an adult.

Of course, my first piece of advice is, if you haven't already, come to Boss Babes events! I've found the bimonthly meet ups the best for meeting new people as we're (thankfully) forced to get out of our cliques with some fun icebreakers and stimulating conversation prompts. There's also a time for open announcements at every meetup so listen for something you might be interested in or want to know more about and you can find some like minded people.  Boss Babes has also been hosting other workshops and events regularly.

It's been many years since I was a young mother (the internet was barely a thing then!) so I've called on Boss Babe Mom Extraordinaire Kayla to provide some links for mothers' groups. (((see bottom))) While motherhood doesn't define everything about us other mothers could be great resources for friends that understand where your priorities lie but get that you need your own life and relationships.

Some event calendars for WV:  Huntington, Charleston, Morgantown, WV in general.  If you live in a different area, I'm sure a quick google search for local event calendars could give you some ideas for things to do. Museums usually have ongoing classes. Yoga studios have both classes for all sizes and athletic desires and fairly regular weekend workshops. We are lucky to live in such a beautiful area of the country and able to find groups for hiking, biking, and outdoor activities. I would suggest looking up what kinds of groups are already in place for activities that you enjoy and making a date with yourself. I once went to a National Scrabble Association meeting in Charleston. While I didn't make any lasting friendships there it led to a great day and a story that I still tell on the regular.

Whether attending classes or meet ups or participating in different online groups, put yourself out there.  A lot of places to meet new people are attended by groups of people that are already friends. It can be tough but go up to and introduce yourself to people. It seems strange at first, it's something that we're not used to doing, but gets a little easier every time. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to find "your people" that will add to your life. Most of the close friends I have now I met through other friends or acquaintances. Also, be patient with yourself and others. While I am a true believer in not giving your energy to people that don't serve your life in some way, if I'd gone with my first impression of everyone I know I wouldn't have some of my closest friends right now. 

Remember that it's okay to be uncomfortable sometimes and it's also okay to say no. It's okay to feel lonely and it's also okay to let yourself be liked by others. It's possible to be confident and love yourself and still wonder why others aren't giving you the love you deserve.  The people that belong in your life won't make you wonder what's wrong with you but will help you to see everything that's right. If you put the work in to meet new people, you'll know who belongs with you when you find them. Good luck and hope to see you at an event soon!

 

Thanks for typing in and keep breathing,

E

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Kayla here! I've got two toddlers 2 and 4. Mom groups on Facebook seem to be REALLY helpful for a variety of reasons! You can find friends, and get advice. One local one I am in is MOM2MOM. I'd also suggest enrolling your child in a music class like Music Together or Kindermusic if you are able to. It's a great way to meet other parents with kids the same age. Also, get out of your comfort zone. If you see someone who looks like they have similar interests (i see you moms walking around target) - say hi to them. it isn't as weird as it seems and they're probably in the same boat!

Art by Sara Andreasson