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Published on May 20, 2015

Social Connectedness

Anyone who has ever needed a friend to lean on knows what invaluable resources friends can be in your life. Social connections are an essential part of overall wellness and longevity and make you feel happy. However, many people who label themselves “shy” have a hard time making friends. These tips will help you get out there!

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask. If you meet someone who you think would be fun to spend time with, reach out. The plain fact is that if you want new friends, you have to reach out. If you want friends and company, put yourself out there.

  2. Don’t let rejection set you back. If he or she doesn’t take you up on your offer, don’t be offended. Don’t take it personally if you get turned down. There are lots of reasons someone doesn’t want a new friend, and most of them have nothing to do with you.

  3. Remember everyone’s favorite subjects: Their kids, themselves and their vacations. If you’re having trouble striking up conversation, choose any of these topics. They’re not controversial and you might find some common ground.

Some things in life make it easier to make friends For example, having children the same age is an instant entry into the parenthood group. Working on a political campaign will link you to like-minded folks and potential friends. Look for those people with whom you have something in common and get “friending".

If the thought of meeting new people or putting yourself out there terrifies you, perhaps you would benefit from a mental health screening. Bryan Medical Center Mental Health Services offers a free and anonymous screening.

dave miers

About Dr. Dave Miers

Dr. Dave Miers is the counseling and program development manager for mental health services at Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, Neb. He also co-chairs the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition.

Dr. Miers has published research focusing on family survivors of teen suicide and co-authored a chapter in an international handbook for clinical suicide research on the role of professionals in helping families after a child’s suicide. Dr. Miers assisted in the development of the Lincoln Lancaster Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors team in Lincoln, Neb.


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