People often think making friends is just talking to people. Really, meeting new people is 20% talking and 80% listening.
What is involved?
Find common ground with new people by asking appropriate questions regarding someone’s life and interest., For example, asking questions like “what are your favorite hobbies?” or “what books have you read recently?”. You may want to work on executive functioning, working memory, and auditory processing skills with a Speech Language Pathologist to help learn to wait to speak, retain information during a conversation, and be able to respond with thoughtful comments when engaging with new and current friends.
How do I develop a relationship?
It’s not enough to meet people once to develop a relationship. Friendships require work from both people. This looks like checking in through text, calling, social media, or dropping by. You can identify friendships you want to build, maintain, and develop. Set reminders on a calendar or smartphone to prompt you to remember to reach out to friends.
How can I meet others?
For everyone’s interests, there are groups available where people can meet that share common interests. Intramural sports leagues, art classes, music groups, and more are offered throughout communities. Navigating social media and your community to find special interest groups might be something you need help with.
What skills do I need?
The skills needed to build friendships involve a mixture of executive functioning, working memory, attention, and auditory processing skills. A speech therapy program is helpful to build cognitive skills and transfer them to daily life.