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How To Make Friends After a Breakup

December 4, 2012

Today’s guest post is written by Paul Sanders, author of the eBook Get The Friends You Want. Paul teachers people how to overcome social hesitation and make friends. In his eBook, Paul shares advanced strategies on how to meet new people, talk to them in a way that makes them want to be your friend, make plans that people will LOVE to join you in, all without doing too much “work.” Download it here: Get The Friends You Want – Risk Free Trial

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Find out how you can be the next writer for Simply Solo here!

How To Make Friends After a Breakup

breakupIf you’ve been through a breakup, you probably know how lonely it can feel after “he” or “she” is no longer part of your life.

That void that your partner leaves behind starts to scare you and make you feel a little depressed.

The best way to avoid feeling that boring, depressing void is to meet more friends, more often.

But, as it so often happens, when you are in a relationship, you tend to spend less and less time with your friends. You barely have time for your close friends… and NO time for casual friends.

So, after you break up, you ask yourself, “Where are my friends?” By that time, you realize two things… one: you need to “catch up with your friends,” and two: you are late!

So it’s time to make some new friends, right?

But, how do we usually feel after a breakup? A little down on confidence, vulnerable, and lonely… is that a good emotional state for making new friends? NOOOOOO.

 

LONELINESS IS A TRICKY BASTARD

By some weird biological mechanism, loneliness “tricks” your mind into believing that:

  • Going to meet people is dangerous
  • You’re going to get rejected if you go to socialize

If you don’t believe me, go ask John Cacioppo, who spent something like 20 years studying every aspect of loneliness. And while you’re at it, make sure you get an autographed version of his great 330-page book, named “Loneliness.”

 

THREE SOLID TIPS TO MAKE FRIENDS AFTER A BREAKUP

#1 Avoid “The Loneliness Trap”

The loneliness trap is a concept I named after what happens to us when we get lonely. Your mind “tricks” you into believing that you need to get away from people. Which makes you even lonelier, which makes you fear people even more… and it can go on like that for years.

I’ve seen people start to really think that there is something wrong with them, when in fact, they’re just trapped in the walls of loneliness.

What you need to do is to understand that loneliness is just a set of feelings and worries. Don’t take it seriously.

Most importantly, you need to start to socialize even if it has been a long time. You’re going to be surprised how it’s much safer than you thought.

#2 Learn To Keep A Conversation Going

If you can keep a conversation going with a new person that you meet, chances are, you’re going to connect with that person. The more you know how to do this, the more friends you’ll have, and the happier you’ll be.

One technique you can start using right now is to remember the stories you hear and use them in conversations with people when you’re talking about a related subject. You can use any story, EVEN IF IT’S NOT SOMETHING FROM YOUR LIFE.

Use stories from other people’s lives, stuff you see on TV, on YouTube, in movies, books, documentaries, even stuff that happens in the street.

This is NORMAL to do with your old friends, but we almost always forget to use it with people we meet for the first time. That can cause the almighty problem of “running out of things to say.”

I wrote an article to share another technique on How To Keep A Conversation Going.

#3 Meet Friends That Know Each Other – Build A Social Circle

There is a way to make friends and continue meeting them that prevents loneliness, if you happen to break up with your partner. You can do this while also attracting hotter members of the opposite sex to you.

It’s a habit of making friends, introducing them to each other, and going out with them as a group.

Most people don’t do this. And don’t know how. So they miss out on it – big time.

You need to make sure that you gather the friends you have, in order to form a group that meets regularly. And when you get into a relationship, you can keep meeting with your group of friends, WITH your partner.

That way, you get a life full of social and emotional support, no matter what happens in your relationship.

What tips do you have for building strong friendships that will outlast any romantic relationship?

 

Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Lorraine permalink
    December 4, 2012 8:51 am

    My tip is to KEEP your friends close while you’re in a relationship. Women who decide to drop their girlfriends once they get a boyfriend have always bewildered me. It’s just so pathetic. I could never not have my girlfriends be a big part of my life, being in a relationship or not. If my husband stopped hanging out with his friends to only be with me, I would be turned off.

    • December 5, 2012 5:28 am

      Yea, you’re right Lorraine.

      This reflex of seeing friends, less often, when in a relationship happens more with introverts, here is why.

      Introverts don’t feel that they need as much social connections, as an extrovert would. So, once they get in a relationship. It’s too easy for them to let go of friends. They feel that they’re getting enough social *heat* from their partner.

      It used to happen to me, I’m naturally an introvert. That’s why I had to learn social skills, and making friends, pro-actively.

      Thanks

      • December 7, 2012 3:59 pm

        I’d like to know how you learned those social skills? I’m smack in the middle of this and making friends is so extremely difficult.. I don’t seem to have the capacity to connect or trust anyone right now.

        • getthefriendsyouwant permalink
          December 8, 2012 7:55 am

          Hello,

          I had to learn them one by one, as I tried to make new friends in different contexts, and periods of the last seven to eight years.

          I also watched what other successful people did. How they act, what they say, how they use their body language, to connect with people.

          It seemed kind of “fake” and superficial to me at first, then I started to understand how these things are just part of life. There is actually some ways we need to act to allow others to open up to us and feel comfortable around us.

          It’s a very beautiful thing to do, once you know how.

          Now, I have sympathy for your situation. When relationships break up, you start to doubt everyone… believe me, you don’t have to.

          Now, to restore “faith” in people within yourself, you can do certain things.
          For example, you can surround yourself with people you always trusted, like some of your relatives, or old friends. Talk to them, connect up, even on the phone, it’s okay.

          The key here is to not get trapped into thinking that “people are untrustworthy”… that’s just a generalization that the mind does…

          If you want to take it to the next level, take some time to think of AS MANY SITUATIONS AS POSSIBLE that proved that people ARE trustworthy… do it in your mind, or even better, do it on paper.

          If you want to discuss this more, please drop me an email, through the website: http://www.socialcirclepower.com

  2. December 4, 2012 9:23 am

    Great advice and I love what Lorraine added in her comment, too. Balance is key. Putting in the time and effort to keep up old friendships regardless of your relationship status is always smart!

  3. December 4, 2012 2:02 pm

    Some great advice here, and +1s to Lorraine and Tori. For me, this all ties into the idea that it’s like anything else in your life. Balance is important in friendships, relationships, at work, and in one’s creative endeavors. Treating any of those differently or isolating them from the rest of your life isn’t wise.

    • December 5, 2012 5:32 am

      Joe, I agree.

      But it’s easier said than done. When an introvert is in a relationship that takes a lot of their time, and they don’t have all the skills to KEEP the friends, it becomes very probable that they’ll neglect some of their friends.

      This happens, over and over. But there are solutions of course.

      Thanks for your comment
      Paul

  4. December 5, 2012 5:58 pm

    Omg, this is exactly the post I needed to see at the moment. Just broke up and feel extra lost right now :/

    • getthefriendsyouwant permalink
      December 8, 2012 8:36 am

      Glad it helped Caity. If you have other questions, please post them below.

      -Paul

  5. December 5, 2012 5:59 pm

    Reblogged this on Caitysaidso and commented:
    The exact post I needed to see at the moment x

  6. December 12, 2012 1:26 pm

    This post really resonates with me. Just got dumped via phone call after 2 years in a relationship (1 year long distance). I am devastated and feel so lonely, in part because I never made the effort to put myself out there and find friends in my city (I moved here fall 2011 after grad school but always thought it would be temporary because I’d move out west to be with boyfriend). I made this relationship the center of my existence, which is fine to a degree, but I neglected to build myself a strong support system like I had in grad school (when we were in school, we were close but we also had our own friends).

    Frankly, I think that was part of the problem–he was feeling suffocated, like I was overly dependent on him, and he was worried it would be like that if I moved out there. I never thought I’d be an overly dependent girlfriend, but long distance really messed with my head.

    • Commentor permalink
      October 4, 2013 9:02 am

      Over dependence is the biggest killer of a relationship. It wrecked mine plainly because I became a boring, needy and unsociable person… The unattractive person she always feared. She used to press me to give her space, have a social circle outside of her, but I didn’t take the hint. My insecurity is what led me to shower her with attention, thinking this was me being a nice guy. I was no challenge. Trust me, minds and hearts work in ways that are sometimes polar opposites. Make sure whatever relationship you get into, u don’t lose your identity and your focus, because this is one of the biggest turn offs. I regret my mistakes, I used to think sacrificing everything for someone showed true love. It doesn’t, it shows no backbone and no challenge for the other partner. Being told all these things upon being dumped two days after being engaged (and her hooking up with someone new and challenging) made me realise how low my confidence and self esteem was, and it had killed any connection we had; she was using her head instead of her heart. Yes, she wasn’t a good person to me, and a lot of the name rightly lay on her, but I realised and learnt from this experience that one must never make somebody the complete object of their attention to the detriment of one’s being. It makes u feeble and so dependent on them that it suffocates and kills romance. It’s hard after knowing this to grow in a good way; it’s very easy to go to the other extreme and be a disconnected “player”, but if ones focus is on making yourself a better person and having a better life with a good social group (and loving yourself first!), then love will return one day in a more healthy way. Love is not obsession or infatuation, and it should never regress you. That’s when you know you should take action.

  7. rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm permalink
    December 28, 2012 4:50 pm

    It’s lovely blog to read,thank you so much for sharing.Happy New Year!

  8. May 1, 2013 9:40 am

    thanks for the help… i am goin thru this phase myself, and i know exactly how it feels.

  9. anna permalink
    September 26, 2013 2:02 am

    recently my bf of 7 years broke up with me, and now i don’t have any friends! My own friends got a life and we have different interests. the other friends i had are friends in common with my ex! so i don’t wanna hang with them because they remind me of him.. so i’m screwed right now. i don’t feel confident yet to establish new friendships. i’m a bit worried. i wanna go out but i’ve got no one to hang out with yet!!

    • meg permalink
      November 2, 2013 7:12 am

      Anna, you don’t live in western NY, do you? Cause I’m in a similar boat.

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  1. How To Make Friends After a Breakup « lifeloveafterdivorce

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