As we reach our 60s, many of us find that our social circumstances are changing. Our kids, once the center of our lives, are grown up and are pursuing their own dreams. Our careers are either winding down or changing dramatically. Many of us are dealing with a divorce or separation. As a result, many baby boomers find themselves having to make new friends again for the first time in years.
Today, I was watching a rerun of “Cheers,” which made me think about the power of local hangout points. Or, as the song says – a place “where everybody knows your name.”
Having a place that you go to on a regular basis has a few benefits. First, when you are comfortable with your surroundings, you will be more likely to reach out to others. Second, as silly as it might sound, familiarity helps to build friendships.
When you go to a coffee shop, local pub or community center on a regular basis, you start to recognize the other locals. You notice people’s habits and idiosyncrasies. You can also observe how the other people in your chosen hangout treat each other.
After seeing someone a few times, smiling and saying hello doesn’t seem awkward. Now, in reality, , but, it is definitely easier to start a conversation with someone that we are familiar with.
The other nice thing about finding a local hangout spot to call your own is that there is no pressure. You can wait as long as you want to reach out to other people.
So what’s stopping you? Is there a local park that you could visit every week at the same time? Does your town have a pub that you enjoy going to? Is there a coffee shop near your house that always seems to be buzzing with conversation?
Isn’t it time to go “where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came?”
Just for fun, here’s the original “Cheers” theme song. Please take a listen and then join the conversation at the end of this article.
Do you agree that finding a local hangout spot can be a great way to make friends at any age? Do you remember the show “Cheers”? What do you think are the keys to making friends as an adult? Please join the discussion.
Here’s a short video that I recorded on the topic of making friends as an adult.