Do you spend your holidays or weekends on your couch watching movies alone? Do you crave for company on days when you feel low? Do you go out shopping alone and wish there was someone to help you pick the right colour? Do you think your social life isn’t what you always wanted it to be? You may say you prefer solitude, but are you sure that it is loneliness and not solitude that you are living with? A social circle is important for every person’s physical and mental well-being. Of course, everyone likes to spend some time in peace and quiet and enjoy in one’s own space after a hard day’s work. But shuttering out the world, only to spend time alone is a wrong practice. Some of the most common reasons for people to have a not-so-great social life are:
* Moving into a new city: This happens to people who have transferable jobs. Every time you are in a new city, you need to make new connections all over again.
* Serious Relationships: This happens with people who get so involved with their lovers that they sideline their friends and family. By the time they come of the honeymoon period, they realise that they have created a large chasm between their friends and themselves.
* Not making new friends: Friends from school and college move on with their lives. So people who think that they do not need more friends other than those they met in school or college are left with a non-existent social circle at some point in their life.
* Lifestyle Changes: This happens with people who quit habits such as smoking or drinking. They find it difficult to continue in the company of friends who have such habits. For such people, it becomes very important to find non-smokers and teetotallers for company.
* Solitude lovers: This group of people may have loved solitude earlier in their life and may have shunned company then. However, with the passage of time, they come to realise the importance of friendships and are now craving for friends.
Whatever the reason, it is not difficult to revive your social circle or even form a new one. The only things that you need to keep in mind are that you will have to be sincere in your efforts and that you will understand that the procedure takes some time. So keep calm and have patience!
* Attend social gatherings
Your body may be screaming rest and your mind may be craving for some peace and quiet, but at times you need to give yourself that extra push if you really want to make new friends and build a strong social circle. Never shun invitations. Accept them gracefully and try and make it to the event. You may really be more delighted to watch a game of football at home, but if you want a good set of friends for yourself, it’s time you get out of your comfort zone and start mingling with people. Parties, get together functions and other events are the best places to meet new people and make new friends. On the contrary, if you keep shunning invitations and do not attend parties you have been invited to, people may stop inviting you altogether and even think of you as a snob. So the next time someone invites you over for a special event, thank him or her with a smile and be there at the right time.
* Revive Existing Bonds
People often tend to take their friends and family for granted. If you have ignored your friends for long because you have been too busy with work and personal life, it’s time you call them up and revive the friendship that you had. Remember, you will need to take the first step to encourage the other person to take his. Call up old acquaintances and friends and arrange for a get-together. Making friends is not a difficult task but maintaining these friendships requires effort and time. Not staying in touch with your friends brings in a gap that widens over time and, if not checked on time, your friendships might even wither away due to negligence and lack of communication.
* Use social networking sites
Social networking sites are the ‘in’ thing today. These websites are the most popular places for making friends these days. You can connect with your colleagues, friends and their friends; share your pictures and important happenings within the circle. Social networking sites are the best and easiest way to make new friends and revive old friendships. If you already have a social networking account but do not use it, it’s time you change your habits a little bit. Comment, like and share and you have a whole new world before you. There are also several groups based on hobbies, likes and dislikes. You can find groups that are located in your city and share your interests and hang out with them. This gives you an opportunity to meet new people, make them your friends and hang out with them and enjoy the things that you share in common.
* Pay more attention to your social life
Taking all the effort and pain to build a social network goes in vain if you do not pay it enough attention and do not make efforts to maintain it. You may be very busy with your work and personal life, but make sure that you take out enough time to join your friends for a movie or a dinner, once in a while. If you are too tied up, give them a call for a casual chat. Friendships are valuable and they should be given enough of your time and attention. Balance your world carefully. Manage your time in such a manner that you have enough time for work and your friends.
Keep these few things in mind and you will never spend another day of your life in loneliness. Say goodbye to your couch and step out for a day of fun with your friends and loved ones.
Visual Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ophilos