5 Liberating Friendship Tips for Older Women
Want more friends? Here I share five liberating friendship tips, so you find it easier to make true friends as an older woman.
If you don’t have the friends you’d like, you are not alone. Lots of people in their forties, fifties, and beyond who have few friends. I explain why in my blog 15 Common Reasons Adults Have No Friends.
Here I share the most common transformational ‘ah ha’ insights people tell me during my friendship events and courses. They underpin the steps I share in my blog How to Make Friends in Your Midlife Years and Beyond.
1. People with lots of healthy friendships are initiators
Most people who attend my friendship courses and events usually wait to be asked out by others. Conversely, people with lots of friends tend to be those who take the initiative and invite people to meet up or organise group gatherings–no matter how busy they are. They prioritise friendship.
At the core of being able to do this, is believing there are many reasons people may say no–few of which are because someone doesn’t like you. For instance, people may simply not have the time to invest in building another friendship. They could be too busy with existing commitments to family, friends, or work. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
I regularly meet people who could make wonderful friends. But I barely have the time to maintain the relationships with family and close friends I already have. Especially with health challenges limiting my capacity over the last couple of years. This means I’m one of those people who often says no. Not because I don’t like someone by because I simply don’t have time.
Friendship tip #01: Become an initiator
Making friends becomes easier when you become comfortable being vulnerable and people saying no to you. The more people you ask out, the more friends you will make. Of course, people could say no. But if you select the right people, some will say yes too. Particularly if the person concerned typically also holds back from initiating friendships for fear of rejection.
What would it take for you to put on your brave pants and ask more people out?
2. The people you attract as friends reflect how you show up
We always attract people who are like us. People who see the world from a similar perspective, shared values, interests, or experiences. The type of person you are also influences who you attract as a friend.
For example, positive, proactive, confident people attract friends with similar qualities and stay away from people who drain them. Likewise, negative, bitchy, insecure people attract people with similar beliefs and behaviours. Similarly, introverts can find extraverts too loud or too much. While extroverts sometimes find introverts hard work.
When you attract the right people, that is feedback, you’re likely to be projecting the friendship qualities you want in friends. You’re also likely to be talking about what you want more of in your future e.g. hobbies or interests that resonate with them.
Conversely, if you don’t like your friends, remember they reflect who you are or have been in the past. In such situations, it’s worth considering what part you have played in attracting and welcoming them into your life, e.g. what you talked about when you first met and your interactions since.
Friendship tip #02: Be the type of friend you want to attract
When you are clear about the type of people you want as friends, and step into being this version of yourself too, will attract more of your ideal friends.
Lost sight of the person you know you are inside or transitioning to a new stage of life? Check out My Meaningful Life Programme so you can find your mojo and purpose, and attract like-minded friends.
How do you show up as the type of friend you’d love to meet?
3. Most friendships don’t last forever
Friendships come and go with most of the people you meet, only being in your life temporarily.
Lifetime friends are the exceptions. We couldn’t possibly be friends with everyone we met, even if we wanted to. It’s natural to have different types of friends for different stages of life and to get our diverse range of needs met. It’s natural for friendships to come and go, or to be less or more intimate at different times. Loss of contact with a friend doesn’t mean the friendship has failed, it’s just a normal occurrence on the journey of life.
Friendship tip #03: Keep making new friends throughout life
As friends come and go, it’s important to continue to make new friends. Particularly as we age and friends sadly die in greater frequency. If you don’t do this you could find yourself with no friends.
Once you accept most friendships are temporary, you will feel better about letting some friendships go and continuing to make new friends.
Check out my blog How to Make Friends in Your Midlife Years and Beyond.
How do you show up as the type of friend you’d love to meet?
4. Conflict is natural
Even with our closest friends, we’re unlikely to agree on everything during of lifetime. We all grow, change, and have very different life experiences.
It’s also human for us all to make mistakes too sometimes. Plus, emotional triggers from the past can cause unintentional upsets on either side of a friendship. While I hate to think I will unintentionally upset or hurt anyone. But the truth is, we all do. I know I have and probably will do it again.
If you’re lucky, your friends will tell you so you can have a chat and move on, often with a stronger friendship. But, some people have a zero-tolerance policy and cut people out of their lives, without any discussion. Doing this could mean you’re unnecessarily throwing away a good friendship.
Given how common misunderstandings are, I feel cutting people off without a conversation, is disrespectful, narrow-minded and short-sighted. Like most people, I don’t like conflict or having difficult conversations. But I like to give people the benefit of the doubt too. So my preference is always to explore how we could resolve any issues. Unless they have significantly crossed the line.
Friendship tip #04: Learn how to avoid and cope with conflict
Learning how to avoid and cope with conflict is one of the most valuable skills to learn and apply in all walks of life. This involves several practical skills so you can prevent challenges from arising, have difficult conversations, and let go of emotional upset, stress, and anxiety.
How could you become better at avoiding and managing conflict?
5. You make better friendships when you’re selective
When we are young our friendships are determined by circumstance, often influenced by our parents or carers, e.g. where we live and what school we go to. We fell into friendships with little conscious thought. If we’re lucky, some of these friendships will continue and evolve throughout our life.
Unfortunately, many adults follow the same route as adults and then wonder why they don’t have many friends. But good friendships take time and effort e.g. spending time together, showing you care, and being there when friends need support. As you change jobs, and partners, or move somewhere new, this takes more effort.
Friendship tip #05: Invest in the friendships you want
Getting clear on the type of friends you want, and then setting aside time to regularly keep in touch with them, will yield more life-enriching friends and memorable experiences.
How could you be better at nurturing good friends?
People with lots of friends are initiators. The more people you ask out and follow up with, the more friends you’ll have. If someone says no, it’s often about their personal circumstances rather than a rejection of you. Move on to the next person.
The people you attract as friends reflect you. Therefore, take time to become the type of friend you want to attract.
Most friendships don’t last forever, which is why it’s important to make new friends and nurture relationships all through life.
Conflict is natural. So learn how to avoid and cope with conflict.
You make better friendships with conscious thought. Be selective about your choice of friends and invest time and effort in these.
Hopefully, these friendship tips have given you some insights into how to how to make and nourish good friendships. You may also find it helpful to check out my blog How to Make Friends in Your Midlife Years and Beyond.
For further tips delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for my Nourishing Friends Blog <HERE>.
Ready to invest in learning how to make more friends? Check out my Nourishing Friends Course. This practical course shows you how to make new friends and consciously nurture nourishing relationships that will bring you joy for years to come. Find out more <HERE>.
Remember, you deserve to be surrounded by fabulous friends who love you as much as you do them. What you do next matters.
With love and gratitude,
Life Coach, Business Mentor, and Author for Midlife Women
Empowering you to enjoy a life of purpose, adventure, and fun in your midlife years and beyond.
P.S. Have you checked out my books <HERE> yet?
Often described as one of the most authentic and inspiring souls you can meet, Alisoun is on a mission to make it easier for women in their midlife years and retirement to live their truth, do something that matters, and make the most of life.
Alisoun’s keynote talks, training, mentoring, and best-selling books Heartatude: The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success and Give-to-Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities and Social Causes have favourably changed the good fortune of thousands of people worldwide. Personally, Alisoun loves spending time with friends, exploring the world, and living by the beach in Scotland.
Alisoun has written the following free resources:</strong>
- 101+ Ways to Create a Joyful Life of Meaning, Vitality, & Impact (download this HERE).
- Ebook: 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business (download this here)
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