Tired of your social circles shrinking from wholly natural causes? Feeling more than just a tad lonely? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
In Singapore, the number of seniors living alone is estimated to reach 83,000 by 2030.
At risk of social isolation and depression, fellow silvers may often find themselves without a direct line of support.
And while making friends is admittedly, never easy, it’s never too late to reach out and make friends — you being here is proof of that.
Here, we introduce three tips to help you make friends when you’re at the silver prime of your life.
1. Embrace your feelings
Don’t be afraid to admit that you’ll like to reinvigorate your social life.
It’s easy to fall into patterns of social isolation and tell yourself that you’re okay being on your own, and that you’re enjoying your own company.
While it’s perfectly normal to want to live an independent life, it’s also very normal to want company.
As naturally social creatures, we crave laughter, love and companionship — all of which can be brought about by a friend.
Keep in mind that the loneliness you feel isn’t a character flaw or something that you should be ashamed of.
It’s instinctual for someone to want more connections, so take the first step to mending that friend-sized gap in your life by switching up your mindset.
Be open to the idea that maybe, just maybe, you’ll like a few new pals to hang out with.
2. Make use of online connections
Today, our ease of access to the internet and other forms of digital connectivity has made it easier than ever before to find like-minded people online.
Identify your key interests and hobbies — be it reading books, playing sports or volunteering, and reach out to the websites of local meet-up groups.
Alternatively, you can simply join an online forum or Facebook group.
While exploring your options, don’t feel limited to meeting people your own age.
Be open to meeting fresh faces from a variety of different ages!
By connecting through shared interests and ideally breaking the ice through an online platform, you’re forging a bond that may eventually turn into a cherished friendship.
3. Reach out to friends you’ve lost touch with
The last secret we have on our list is to reach out to your old social circles — old friends from school, old jobs and perhaps even old neighbours!
Dig out those old contact books and take a leap of faith. Even better, try reaching out to the friends you weren’t as close with.
You may be surprised to find yourself connecting better with someone you thought will never click with you.
Even if you feel a little awkward at the very beginning, don’t let it hold you back.
While there is a chance that some might not reply, it’s more than likely that some of your old friends will get back to you.
People almost always want to stay connected to each other, and you’ll never know where a new contact might take you.
Your social circles may dwindle, and yes, it may be an inevitable part of growing older.
Yet, this does not mean that your life now has to follow the same pattern — constricting and becoming smaller, lonelier as time continues.
You can — and should — seek out new companions. Go put yourself out there, and grasp firmly on this opportunity to flesh out a brand new chapter in your life.