How to Level Up Your Social Life
Is your social life everything you want it to be?
According to Merriam-Webster’s definition: social life is the part of a person’s time spent doing enjoyable things with others.
Do you find yourself wishing your friends were more active, creative, or “fill in the blank”. Do you want to try something new but don’t have anyone in your life to share it with? Are you lonely?
Sometimes we simply wake up one day and our friends have moved on, and we are left standing in an empty room.
I know many people who end up looking around and wondering why they have the friends they do. They see that they have nothing in common anymore, no longer want the same things, and have grown far apart in lifestyle, interests, and goals.
So what is an adult looking for new friends to do? How do we fix a broken social life? You’ll soon learn why and how, I up-leveled my own social life.
Why is a healthy social life important?
Having a healthy social life is important to us because we humans are, by nature, social creatures. In our distant past, we relied on our relationships and social life for survival; it’s hardwired into us.
When our social life is not thriving we can feel like something is missing or off, or we feel unfulfilled. Maintaining a healthy social life is a very important element to overall wellness.
I had outgrown a large group of my social circle and moved away from my childhood friends. I know at one point I looked around and felt pretty lonely, I was at a loss, I had no idea how to go about meeting likeminded individuals and developing friendships as an adult. I knew I was tired of the party lifestyle for the most part but wasn’t really sure what else to do. That's when I decided to figure it out.
Our social lives consist of two parts.
1. Enjoyable things or activities and
2. Other people
If we want to improve our social lives then we need to look at both pieces, what are we doing and whom are we doing it with?
Sometimes we have the right people and not the right activities or we have the right activities but with the wrong people. Maybe we have no people at all.
Even those of us with a full and happy social life can make improvements and create an even better one. Who doesn’t want that?
Let’s look at the first piece - Things or Activities
I like to think about stuff I like to do, things that are fun shared with a friend or group of friends. Now don’t get me wrong, I am actually kind of introverted and require quite a bit of alone time to recharge my batteries and many of these activities I also like to do in solitude. But for our purposes here these are things I also like to share with someone. This is also not an exhaustive list; it’s just what came to mind as I’m writing this.
Here are some things I like to do socially:
- Spiritual practice
- Dinner Parties
- Art museums
- Cocktail parties
- Trying new or old favorite restaurants
- Paddle boarding
- Music and dancing
- Talking, discussions, book clubs, etc.
- Art and Crafts
A good way to level-up an already awesome social life is to use it to up level another element of your life at the same time.
So maybe you want to get more physical fitness. You can ask a friend to go for a walk or hike. Ask a friend to join a gym or fitness class with you. Maybe you want to eat healthier so you host a healthy dinner party. Two birds with one stone.
Now look at the second piece - The Who
Whom are you spending time with? Are these people who lift you up?
Think about the five people you spend the most time with and the fact that they are influencing you…
Are you doing your life any favors here? Do these people meet or exceed your qualities and abilities? If you are spending your time with people who fall far below you in every element of their lives, you are not likely reaping any benefit from these friendships.
I’m not saying that you should drop friends who are not in the same or better place than you, I’m just wondering what about these friends brings you joy. It may sound selfish or harsh when I ask, “what benefit does the friendship bring you?” but seriously, why would you spend your precious time with people who don’t bring you joy or add value to your life?
You might want to jot down the names of people you love to spend time with, don’t forget to list people who you would like to spend more time with. Then make note of those whom you would like to spend less time with.
Now it’s time to - Connect the Two
Easy peasy, right? Except maybe, you have activities listed and no people in your life who would want to share in them. We now have so many resources for meeting new people who share similar interests. Here are a few tools I used to build my new tribe.
Meetup.com is an excellent resource for meeting new people with shared interests. If you can’t find something here (doubtful), consider starting your own group.
Facebook events and friends. You can ask your friends on Facebook if anyone wants to try or do the thing you want. You can ask your Facebook friends if they could recommend someone or a group or club. This is where I started.
I saw an acquaintance friend post some hiking pictures when my hiking buddy had just moved across the country. I simply direct messaged him and asked if I could join his hiking group. He said sure it’s on Meetup.com and that’s how I found that too.
Google search for and then join clubs, associations or groups that are geared toward your interest.
I was interested in healthy and organic food and at the time my friends were not. I Googled and found a local organic farm where I could volunteer. I signed up and met many people that shared this interest with me.
Of course, use your brain here and don’t do anything unsafe. Always meet new people in public and in groups. Never give out your personal address or invite new people to your home. Always let someone in your life know where you are going and whom you are meeting.
I’ve had really good experiences meeting likeminded people through these channels, but definitely use your head.
Before I knew it, my social life was thriving. I had built a whole new tribe and couldn’t have been happier. I literally had more than I could handle and had to balance it back out in favor of less to do.
Here are a couple other things you may want to consider when looking at your social life.
*Do you want more formal activities or casual activities? If you love to get dressed up, make sure to plan a fancier night out occasionally. If you are all about the casual things, be sure that’s what’s on your calendar.
*You can’t control other people. They get to do what they want and you get to do what you want. People may want to spend time with you and are willing to do things they don’t love, this is different…if you force someone to do things that you want to do, no one is going to have fun, including you.
*Periodically take a look at how you are spending your time. Sometimes we spend a lot of time on low value activities when that time could be better spent elsewhere. Same thing with the people in our lives. Pay attention to when it's time to meet new people or to stop putting so much effort into current relationships.
*Finally, just do it. You can do hard things. Meeting new people is scary for everyone. Feel the fear, the butterflies, and the nerves and then do it anyway.
I hope this helps you to up level your own social life. These tools and applications may change but the importance for maintaining good friends will never go out of style.