How To Make Friends Over 55

As you head into your retirement years, you’re undertaking an exciting new lifestyle. However, without seeing your coworkers every day, you may not have as many opportunities to socialize and get to know new people. Over the age of 55, many people may find it difficult to make friends. This does not have to be the case. Although it may take a bit more effort than it used to, making friends over 55 can be a fun way to discover new hobbies and interests, while meeting people that you may have never come across before. No matter what age you are, making new friends should be fun and stressless. With this advice, you can begin making friends with ease, and have fun while doing it.

Making Friends Over 55 Matters

While some people may enjoy being alone, being lonely for too long can actually be bad for your health. Humans are naturally drawn to want to be social with one another. 

Even if someone likes to be alone, they will eventually need socialization in order to stay happy and healthy. Social isolation can cause negative health effects, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, and other complications. As you get older, your mental and physical health requires more deliberate effort to maintain. While going to the doctor and ensuring you are taking care of your body is important, your mental and emotional health are just as important. 

Why it is So Hard to Make Friends as an Adult

While making friends should be a fun process, some people may find it difficult for several reasons. You may feel as though you should already have enough friends by this age or that you shouldn’t have to try hard to make friends, causing a sense of shame. While making new friends as a child or a young adult is seen as normal, there can sometimes be a social stigma associated with not having many friends as an adult. However, if you can move beyond these feelings, you will find that making friends at any age can be easy when you know where to look.

As a child or a young adult, going to school or starting a new job, you find a whole new environment for meeting new people. However, as someone over 55, you may not find yourself in new social situations as often. This may deter people from ever trying to make new friends as they do not think there is any opportunity for them. There are many places that people can make friends that you may not have considered. Having an open mind and being open to having a conversation with anyone allows a person to be able to make friends virtually anywhere. 

Letting Go of Stigma

With age comes the potential stigma of getting older. In some societies, people dread getting older, making it difficult to feel confident as an older adult. This stigma may end up discouraging people from finding new friends and making their life more enjoyable. This does not have to be you. Now that you have additional life experience, you have a lot of interesting stories and advice to share with new friends. 

In order to successfully make new friends, you have to let go of the stigma. Many individuals may feel as though it is impossible to make friends over 55 and that they will be looked down upon for doing so. It is crucial to let go of this stigma in order to fully appreciate and enjoy your time making new friends. There are more people over the age of 55 who are looking for new friends than you might think, and it is only a matter of time before you find them. 

Retirement Brings Extra Challenges to Making Friends

Retiring can make finding new friends even harder than it used to be. Not belonging to a workplace may limit the areas in which you can make friends. Additionally, you may not be involved in as many activities outside of work as you used to be, inhibiting your ability to meet new people. With age, people may isolate more often. As your existing friends retire, they may relocate, and you may even have friends or your spouse pass away. While these situations are possible in your over 55 years, you can also look at this time as a beginning, a chance to get to know people you might not have spoken to previously, and a time to build a new community of friends. 

How To Make Friends Over 55 For a Better Retirement

Knowing that having friends as an adult matters to your health and happiness, you can work to overcome the challenges of making friends over 55. By changing up your usual routine, or going to an event in your community, you can make yourself available to many new friendships.

Take a Class

Taking a class can open up the opportunity for you to meet people who have similar interests to you, and learning more about something you love can take your mind off of any nervousness. For example, you could work on learning a new language or improving your painting technique.

While many adults may put their health at the wayside as they age, this does not have to be the case for you. Maintaining your health should be fun and enjoyable. Taking up workout or cooking classes are some fun ways to better yourself while meeting new people. There are many different types of physical activity that may not be your stereotypical types of physical activity. Exercising and bettering your mental and physical health does not have to be a chore. Joining a workout group or a walking club can make exercising that much easier and you have a group of people to make friends with while you do it. 

Try a New Hobby

Finding a new hobby will not only be great for your own mental health, but for your ability to make friends as well. Your new hobby can enrich your life and provide a way to meet new people who enjoy the same things that you do. From playing the guitar to 3D printing jewelry, your new hobby can be just about anything. 

If you can’t decide what hobby to try, joining a book club might be the right choice for you. Reading will give you new ideas to talk about, and discussing the readings with others will help you get used to talking to new people. It can be a way to learn something new while making connections.

Even if you choose a hobby to learn at home on your own, there are many social meetup groups for people who enjoy the same hobbies. Whether you take a class to strengthen your skills, or join a meetup to discuss your hobbies and interests, these are great ways to make friends. Some of the best places to make friends at any age is to join groups of people who have similar interests. This way, you have something to talk about and do not have to start a conversation out of the blue. 

Go to Events in Your Community

It may sound obvious, but community events let you get to know others in your community. Events can be anything from a concert, to a festival, to a volunteering opportunity. Volunteering in particular has the benefit of giving you a sense of purpose in retirement, and is a fulfilling way to be able to meet new people and make new friends. Anything from animal shelters to food banks can always use extra help. Doing work to better your community is a great way to find friends and as you keep volunteering together, you will get to know each other better.

Reach Out to People in Non-Social Contexts

When you think about how to make friends over 55, you may only think about the typical places you make friends, like a party or a book club meeting. However, it is possible to make new friends virtually anywhere. For example, if you are sitting in the waiting room waiting for a hair appointment, strike up a conversation with someone who looks friendly. While this may seem strange at first, there are many people who will be willing to talk to you if you take the initiative. 

Don’t limit yourself to friends who are over 55

Do not judge a book by its cover, and give everyone the chance they deserve. People you might not expect may turn out to be better friends than you could have ever imagined. It is important to not limit yourself. Just because you are over 55 does not mean you can only have friends who are over 55. Friendships can happen between people with many years of age difference. Being willing to listen to someone else’s story will ensure that you are able to have as many successful friendships as possible. 

An easy way to meet many types of people is to move to a place where you will encounter different types of people. Living in an age-diverse community can open the door for new friendships.  

Tips for How to Make Friends Over 55

While joining different groups and going to places where like-minded people will be are all great ways to make new friends, it is important to remember a few tips when it comes to making friends. 

Build Self Confidence

Striking up a conversation with a stranger requires a certain level of confidence. It can be helpful to practice beforehand if you have trouble starting conversations. Thinking of topics to discuss in advance can also be helpful for individuals who may not be able to think of topics on the spot. 

Ask Questions

Some people may find it difficult to talk about themselves or strike up a conversation with a stranger. Try asking someone nearby a question that pertains to the situation you are in. This can provide a segway into a potential conversation. This is a way that someone at any age can make a new friend, especially if the other person is willing to have a conversation. 

Don’t Force Yourself to Stay Friends with Everyone

One of the hardest parts of trying to make new friends is feeling as though you have to keep every friendship you make. While it is always great to make new friends, it is important to surround yourself with people who you truly enjoy being around. This means that if you do not click with someone you have met, it is okay to choose to not stay friends with them. As you learn how to make friends over 55, you will figure out which friends are a good fit for you. 

Don’t Have Too High of Expectations

One of the most important pieces of advice when making new friends at any age is to limit your expectations. It is important to remember that not everyone you meet is going to become your best friend. Maintaining this mindset will ensure that you do not end up disappointed. Setting yourself up for success and maintaining a positive attitude, while not having any expectations is the best way to go. No matter what age, finding and maintaining friendships can be difficult and not everyone will want to carry on friendships. As long as you remain positive, the friends you are meant to have will come along. 

Upside can help you make friends over 55 in your new premium apartment

Now that you understand how to make friends over 55, Upside can help you find the perfect apartment community for meeting interesting people. Our premium apartments are located in age-diverse communities to maximize your opportunities to make friends. Even better, once you become an Upside member, your Upside Manager can connect you to events and activities in your area where you can meet people and enjoy life to the fullest. Contact us today to find out more about our premium living experience. 

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