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As we continue climbing further into adulthood, many of us begin to notice that maintaining a social life becomes increasingly more difficult.
Unless we want our only friends to be our coworkers, we can no longer assume we will make friends in passing like we did in high school and college when our lives and schedules were constantly changing. Instead, we have to be intentional about where and with whom we spend our time.
If your social life could use some improvement, the following three tips will help you to add variety and depth to your boring or limited social spheres.
1. Friends in many places
The people with the most enviable social lives are not necessarily those with the most friends, but those with the most different types of friends.
Instead of regularly visiting the same one location and expecting to meet all of your friends there (think MacLaren’s Pub from How I Met Your Mother), exploring new and different places and attending different types of social events will give you opportunities to meet many different types of people. This will improve your social life exponentially.
Rather than having to rely on one group of friends for all of your socializing, having multiple groups of friends will ensure you are never at a loss for things to do or people to do them with.
Think of it like this: Pick a spot on a map and draw a tiny circle around it. That tiny circle is the one place you go to be social. While the majority of people are floating around the rest of the map, the only people you’re ever going to meet are the ones who happen to make their way into your little bubble.
But if you draw a bigger circle, suddenly there are more places to go and more people to meet. You can even draw a circle around another spot on the map a bit further away from your original circle.
The more “circles” you draw, the more you will improve your social life by increasing the number of opportunities you have to develop friendships.
2. Be a Giver, Not a Taker
A successful social life is a two-way street. If you’re always relying on other people to invite you to social events, or the same one or two people are always hosting everyone else, you are being a “taker” friend.
Not only will initiating outings and hosting social events make you more of a “giver” friend, it will also make you a more important part of your social circle.
If the one or two people who always plan the social outings were to suddenly move away, the rest of you would probably stop hanging out. The “glue” that held you together will have disappeared.
This is why it’s important for you to become part of that “glue.” Finding things to do with your friends or offering to host them in your home will make you a more valuable part of your friend group and improve the quality of your social life as a result.
3. Make Yourself Available
If you’re always too busy to go places or spend time with people, the day that your schedule finally opens up you may turn around to find that all your friends have disappeared.
This is why making yourself available is such a critical part of improving your social life.
While it can be difficult and at times there may be circumstances that are out of your control, learning time management skills can help you work more efficiently so you can free up more time to be spent socializing.
The following are some good resources for tips on time management:
- 11 Time Management Tips That Work
- How Good is Your Time Management? Quiz
- How Productive Are You? Quiz
- Time Management Tools
In addition to managing your time effectively, you must also make sure you are accepting the invitations people extend to you. You might be surprised by how often you find yourself turning down opportunities if you begin to pay attention.
As a teacher, I developed the habit of eating lunch alone in my classroom so I could get more work done while I ate. I was often asked if I wanted to join the other teachers in the teacher’s lounge for lunch, but I always declined because I “needed to work.” I didn’t think that my 20-minute lunch break would be enough time to matter, but unfortunately I missed out on a lot of potential friendships as a result of my decision.
Little things like this may not seem like they qualify as legitimate opportunities to socialize, but they do. Taking advantage of these moments may lead to more and better friendships than you expect and your social life will greatly benefit.
The quality of your social life can have a big impact on the quality of your life overall. Taking steps to learn how to improve your social life can boost both your mental and emotional well-being.
What aspect of your social life do you need to improve? Share your goals in the comments!