Monday, 18 October 2021

FOR more than two centuries Oddfellows has provided opportunities for people to get together locally and spark new friendships.

Knowing all too well how daunting those first steps to expand your social circle can be, here are five tips for finding friendship in later life:

1. Ditch ideas of friendship quotas. Don’t think that people have all the friends they need already. Friendships don’t work on a one in, one out basis. Circles of friends change all the time. There’s always space for someone you really connect with.

2. Take the initiative. It may have been easier, almost effortless, to meet people when you were younger as life stages of school, parenting, marriage and work push you to socialise more regularly. Even then, however, the process of connecting with like-minded people is an active one. In later life, the opportunities to mix often become fewer, so it will require more effort from you to make it happen.

3. Understand what motivates you. Ask yourself what hobby or pastime would you like to resurrect, is there anything on your radar that you’d like to try? Search for a local class or group activity and go for a trial. People may suggest that you should try this or that but by making it personal, the reward and chances of crossing paths with a soul mate are far greater.

4. Share your plans. Tell people that you’re looking for things to do, for example, a craft or walking club or even a local group to head to for a friendly chat and ask them if they’ve any ideas. You’ll be surprised at how eager people will be to help. They may even know of something that’s going on that you were unaware of or, better still, will invite you along to an event.

5. Adopt a win-win mindset. You find a local group to try. You go along. It’s not for you. You don’t go again. What have you lost apart from a little time? Don’t feel disheartened. Pat yourself on the back for getting out and taking positive action and just give something else a go. Trust us, that person who laughs at exactly the same thing as you do is out there.

Reading District Oddfellows hosts regular events and activities in the Henley, Woodley and Reading areas.

To receive a copy of our events diary or to find out more, call Debbie Jex on 0118 957 3354, email or visit www.oddfellows.

Established in 1810, Oddfellows is one of the largest and oldest friendly societies in the UK with more than 310,000 members across 132 branches nationwide.

We’re a non-profit mutual run by our members for our members and we do our best to improve the quality of people’s lives through friendship, care and charity.

It costs £30 a year to become part of our friendly society.

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