When was the last time you set off to a party hoping you would come away with a new friend? We might hope for a new boyfriend, maybe, but when it comes to the girlfriend department we are usually “all set.” After all, we probably think we already have everything we could need out of a friend, our sister-from-another-mister who completes our sentences, knows just what to say when tragedy strikes, and props us up when our confidence wanes. So, why would we cast off the comforts of camaraderie to strike out into the strange and unknown for new friendships? Here are ten reasons to venture outside your clique.
01. Sharing is caring.
Gone are the days of keeping your friend's secret so that your other friends can’t find them—those were high school shenanigans. Making new friends is a wonderful gift to your current clique, and there is nothing scary or threatening about sharing your new fabulous friend.
02. You need a buddy for your obscure hobby.
You want to try spin class and your friend is a couch potato? Widening your circle of friends can remedy that problem in (an elevated) heartbeat. Instead of solitary strolls to the gym, making a new friend that shares your widening interests will give you both encouragement and support in your goals or projects.
03. They’re all getting married.
Let’s face it, our 20s and 30s are filled with weddings and new babies. Except that might not include you. Instead of groaning and thinking “another one bites the dust” when you see yet another engagement announcement, celebrate your longtime friends' life transitions and find a couple new single gal pals.
04. It makes travel easier.
Whether for work or school, that romantic world-traveler fantasy gets old really quick if you are lonely. Being open to new friendship wherever you go expands your social circle in every city. There will always be a couch to crash on, even without Airbnb. When your layover gets cancelled in a random city at 1 a.m., your new girlfriend has one word for you: sleepover!
05. It’s drift protection.
We grow up and as much as we hate to admit it, sometimes we drift apart. Perhaps your BFF takes a demanding dream job or you get into that elite academic program. To avoid Eeyore-like loneliness due to the added distance, seek friends that go beyond Facebook.
06. Friendship isn’t all about you.
Sure it’s more comfortable to trade secrets and plan parties with your go-to gal, but there’s a world of people who could really benefit from someone extending the hand of friendship. Pull off the blinders and ask about someone else’s life for a change. You might discover they really need you.
07. Because your clique settled down sooner than you did.
They are not married and, by the looks of it, won’t be any time soon; they've just become homebodies. You still love them for all the inspiring reasons you did before, but you might need a couple new fabulous girlfriends to shake a tail feather with.
It is challenging to work a room full of strangers, much less approach one or two newcomers at a party. But as the saying goes, “It’s all about who you know.” Forget the “weak ties” theory; that's so 70s. When it comes to finding a job, a new study shows that close friends boost your chance of employment to 33 percent (up from 6 percent). In a challenging job market, that’s music to our ears.
09. Because we are not in Mean Girls anymore.
Cliques are for high school and grandma’s Red Hat Society. It is time to pull up our big girl pants and start talking to everyone around us.
10. People are interesting and lovable.
All GIFs supplied by Gify.
Photo by Clara Nebelling