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Hitting “connect” online is so much easier than connecting in real life. That’s why you probably get 10 likes on every Instagram photo, but only have 1 or 2 friends who will actually make plans with you. You’re not alone.

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Learning how to find friends in this culture of fake and digital connections is tricky! But you need friends- the kind who meet up in person and are willing to do real-life, real-time stuff.

We’ve got some tips for you to help you find real friends:

How to Find Real Friends

Tip #1: Know Why Real Friendship Matters

how to find friends 1.jpgIt’s not that connecting with people online isn’t friendship- it’s just not the same as living life together in person! The benefits of in-person friendships include:

  • Better physical and emotional health
  • Reduced mortality risk
  • Practice socializing
  • Less social isolation
  • Deeper connections
  • Longer-lasting relationships
  • Greater self-confidence

Tip #2: Recognize What a Real Friendship Is

how to find friends 4.jpgBeing a real friend to someone requires more than just clicking keys and tagging photos. Real friendships are about growing together. They involve getting to know each other, sharing goals, cheering each other on, and being there through hard times too.

You’ll know if a friendship is real if:

  • You actually spend time together
  • You find your life is richer shared
  • You like yourself better when you’re with them
  • You don’t think about your phone or social media when you’re hanging out
  • You can share reality-checks with each other
  • You know you can call them if something is wrong

Tip #3: Get Out in the Real World

how to find friends 3.jpgSometimes real life friends are found using social media, but usually, you have to get out among people to make in-person friends. If you have trouble finding the time to get out, try setting limits on your screen time!

Here’s how to find friends in real life:

  • Take a class at a community center
  • Join a small group at Gold’s gym
  • Try new activities that are social, like HIIT
  • Chat with people you encounter everywhere
  • Ask coworkers you enjoy to hang out
  • Take the time to listen to people at parties
  • Reach out to old acquaintances
  • Be friendly with your neighbors

Tip #4: Put Effort Into Connecting Regularly

how to find friends 2.jpgShowing up at a class once probably won’t result in a real friendship. Making friends takes effort. You need to interact regularly. Use these ideas to make sure your friendships grow instead of just growing stagnant:

  • Put your phone away when you’re talking with someone
  • Schedule your next get together at the end of a friend-date
  • Sign up for an ongoing class together
  • Choose an activity or a gym close to you for ease of connecting
  • Stay connected and share honestly, even when things are hard
  • Remember to say thanks and show appreciation for getting together

We know finding real-life friends can be stressful. Be yourself and care genuinely. Other people are looking for real friends, too!

Gold’s Gym SoCal is an association of separate clubs—click here for info.

Try this to relax (and maybe meet a friend in the process!).
Join a yoga class at Gold’s Gym and complete this FREE Yoga Transformation.

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