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June 24, 2024 4 mins

Make new friends by finding people who fill specific needs

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Before Breakfast, a production of iHeartRadio. Good Morning,
This is Laura. Welcome to the Before Breakfast podcast. Today's
tip is to look for context friends. When people say
they want more friends, what they often mean is that

(00:26):
they want someone to do X, Y or Z with.
So figure out what X, Y or zas for you
and you will have a far more productive search. Today's
tip comes courtesy of Anna Goldfarb, who is the author
of the new book Modern Friendship. I recently interviewed her

(00:50):
for my Best of Both Worlds podcasts. I asked her
for advice for people who are feeling lonely and felt
that they needed more friends. Goldfarb told me that this
was the wrong way to frame the question. When people
are feeling lonely, what they often mean is that they
want someone who can do X, that is fill some

(01:13):
specific need. Maybe you want someone you can go see
movies with, or you want someone to run or walk with.
Maybe you want someone who likes to go to brunch
on Saturdays, or if you've got little kids and you
want someone who's always down for an afternoon playground trip,
or who will text silly memes with you at night

(01:33):
while you're sitting with your toddler trying to get the
kid to go to bed, Well, you need to look
for that. All of these suggest different approaches for looking.
For instance, if you are looking for a friend who
likes leisurely Saturday brunches, even if you personally have kids
but your spouse and relatives love taking them all day Saturday,

(01:56):
it might be hard to find other folks with little
kids in that situation, so you might be best off
getting close with a colleague who doesn't have such responsibilities
but seems to like trying new restaurants. Or maybe it's
a person you meet at the dog park who mentions
her love of Bloody Mary's see if she would like

(02:17):
to join you some weekend to have one. If you
want a friend who will run with you, then you
are best off joining some group runs, maybe some sponsored
by your local running store or a nearby gym, and
seeing who you might be compatible with. If you are
looking for other parents who would be up for afternoon

(02:38):
playground trips, then you can see who seems cool at
the library ten am story hour, because that person probably
is also available during the day. I think this is
a wise approach because it turns the problem of finding
friends into a more practical exercise. People who do X

(03:00):
or Y tend to show themselves or congregate in certain places,
so when you figure out what X or Y is
for you, you can go look in those places. Now. Obviously,
what a lot of us truly want is someone who
will love us unconditionally and will help us feel seen
on a soul affirming level. But most of us only

(03:23):
get a handful of those people in our lifetimes. The
good news is that if you find a few running
buddies you really hit it off with, over the course
of a few years of weekly runs, someone can become
that sole affirming friend. But if you start off hunting
for the soul affirming friend, the search process might feel

(03:45):
a little more fraught and probably not all that fruitful.
Best to look for context specific friends and then let
things proceed from there. In the meantime, this is Laura.
Thanks for listening, and here's to making the most of

(04:05):
our time. Thanks for listening to Before Breakfast. If you've
got questions, ideas, or feedback, you can reach me at
Laura at Laura vandercam dot com. Before Breakfast is a

(04:28):
production of iHeartMedia. For more podcasts from iHeartMedia, Please visit
the iHeartRadio app, Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to
your favorite shows.

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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