I’m so glad to be back with a follow-up collaboration with MORI! I’m Miriam and I am atherapist based in Montreal, Canada. I run a small private practice where I work with teens and adults who are struggling with their mood, stress, relationships, and life decisions and transitions. I’m also aRelationship Expert specialising in adult friendships and work with the media to share information and advice about relationships and well-being.
In case you missed it, I recently wrote an article on how our relationships change during parenthood and hosted a live Q & A on Instagram where I answered your relationship and wellness questions.
Q: How can I make new friends as a mum or parent?
A: Making friends can be tough at any age or stage. As a new parent, we’re faced with a number of obstacles that make it even more of a challenge, whether it’s sleep deprivation, difficulty leaving the comfort of home, or changes to our sense of self and confidence. As hard as it is, parenthood is also an ideal time to make new friends since there are undoubtedly other people who are in the same boat and looking for support.
In terms of where to meet new people, I often suggest the following:
- Use your social network: Reach out to friends, colleagues, and family members and see if they can introduce you to someone new.
- Pursue a hobby: Whether it’s a gym class, book club, choir, wine tasting class, or an activity specifically for moms and tots, pursuing a passion can help you connect with people who have similar interests with whom you might really hit it off.
- Sign up for local events: Community organizations and even retail spaces often host workshops and playgroups geared to parents, which can be a great way to meet others who are navigating parenthood themselves.
- Look online: If you haven’t heard, friendship apps are the new dating apps. More and more people are turning online to make friends and apps like Bumble BFF, Hey! VINA, and Peanut (specifically for mums!) as well as websites like Meetup and MeetMe can help you expand your social circle.
There’s no rulebook or blueprint for approaching someone new but here are a few strategies that can help:
- Point out a similarity: Shared interests or values are often the root of friendship.
- Ask someone for advice: Showing that you trust their opinion can set the stage for follow up conversations and a future friendship.
- Pay them a compliment: A thoughtful, genuine compliment can create the kind of positive associations that are so important early on in a friendship.
- Lend a helping hand: Exchanging support and (solicited) advice is a great way to show that you’re a reliable friend.
- Be upfront about your desire to make new friends: Scary but effective! Letting someone know you’re looking to meet new people can allow them to open up as well and even extend an invitation for a future get together.