Today’s post is dedicated to all the moms out there who feel a little isolated. Sure, it might not be an every-day thing – and sure, you probably have friends who love you tons – even so, you perhaps have moments when the kids are asleep and it’s just you at home, wishing you could be out in the world somewhere, meeting people and hanging out with friends just like you used to when you were a little more free. The real kicker is that it’s hard to know what to do when you feel isolated!
If you hatch a plan to get out of the house, I’ll give you some back pocket pointers to help make it easy to make new friends.
Step 1: Recognize the limiting belief
You know how people say it’s harder to make friends as an adult? I’ve often thought that yes, that’s the case – for all the reasons that you and I are well familiar with. But then I met my husband. He’s one of those people that can go away for a weekend and come back with at least one new best friend. Or he’ll come home from a bar, or band practice, or anywhere with people present, and often say he shared a meaningful conversation with someone.
His example makes me re-think the idea that adults don’t make friends easily. In fact, I’m starting to think that the phrase is a limiting belief, if repeated often enough and ingested completely. I’m ready to re-frame this limiting belief and if you find yourself in the same boat, I hope you will join me!
Steps 2-4 (which you’re about to read) come from conversations with and observations of the social butterflies in my life, my husband included. When I use these strategies myself, I often find myself with a new friend. They work!
Step 2: Believe you are worth knowing
The key to making a meaningful connection with someone is believing that you are worth knowing. And you so are! The trick here is to choose your self-talk before meeting someone (and even in-the-moment, if needed).
Instead of, “What if they don’t like me?” Try: “I’m worth knowing, and the people I meet are worth knowing.”
Instead of, “I’m not good at meeting people.” Try: “I have beautiful relationships in my life.”
If you need an extra boost of self confidence, check out this post about all the ways you shine.
Step 3: Only tango if it’s fun
It takes two to tango. If the conversation isn’t flowing, you have every right to politely close it up and move on!
It also can help if you remember that most people spend their time focused on their own inner dialogue and worry about how they sound to you. You will be way ahead of the game just by showing up, eager to really listen to people’s stories and ready to share a few real and true things about yourself.
Step 4: Have a back-pocket question strategy
Ok – let’s say you’ve done all the prep work. You’ve reframed your inner dialogue. You know you’re worth knowing and you’re really eager to learn about other people! There’s just one piece left: what to say?
I have a few questions I pull out in a pinch, and they follow this trend:
- Start with something super light, and each progressive question digs a little deeper
- Stay open-ended, which will give you a chance to learn something that will spark more conversation
- Get to know the mom – don’t focus on her kids the whole time
Here are a couple of question sets. Borrow them or make up your own!
- What’s one of your favorite things about living in (your city) and why?
- What is the best wisdom you’ve heard that helps you with parenting kids at this age?
- What has been bringing you joy these days?
- Where do you like to take your family for fun?
- If you had a magic wand that could make anything happen for you or your family, what would it be?
- What do you love about your life right now?
There are countless more questions you could ask. The article, “200 questions to get to know someone,” by conversationstarterworld.com could probably give you a few more ideas.
Go for it
Remember that you are a great mom, and a good friend, and absolutely worth knowing. There are so many other moms out there, wishing for friendship. Now that you know what to do when you feel isolated, you can become that warm person who makes the first steps. So get out there and do a social activity that you enjoy. With these strategies, you will be so easy to get to know!
***I’m curious, what are your favorite conversation starters? Do you have strategies for building new friendships? Please share in the comments – may our lovin’ energy inspire and lift each other up. Go mama!