Every July 1st when the Medical New Year rolls around, many medical families move to different places in the country for training or the start of a new job. Once you do this a few times, you become tired of making friends, only to leave and have to make new friends again.
For once, you’d like to KEEP the hard-earned friends you actually make, right!?
Moving is hard because we’re social creatures and we thrive when we’re with other people. It has nothing to do with being extrovert or introvert, and everything to do with being a human being. We need to receive that human touch, bring over meals, watch each others’ kids, or have a place to stay when accidentally locked out of the house or have a car broken down.
By the way, what I’m describing is called C O M M U N I T Y.
Despite all the challenges that making friends entails, don’t give up! There are great people wherever you live. You have friends in your new place that’s waiting for you. You have to find them…
Challenges To Finding Community
A common question I get is this:
“Where do I find awesome friends in real life who gets me and I get them?!?”
Let me tell you, it’s hard. There are several barriers:
- People may already have their own support network built
- Different schedules between working parents and stay-at-home parents make it hard to meet up
- You live across town
- Your kids are of different ages
While all of this is challenging, there are ways to overcome it.
5 Ways To Make Friends Wherever You Live
1. Join People Who Are In The Same Situation As You
If you’re in the same boat, you all get it and you can connect about your every day wins and struggles. Joining medical spouse groups is a no brainer if you’re in a medical marriage. But also look into your interests: If you’re a writer, seek out other writers. If you’re into marathon running, seek out other runners. If you’re trying to reach financial freedom, seek out people with the same mindset about debt and wealth building.
2. Be Vulnerable And Ask For Help
If somebody offers to help, generally the correct thing is it accept it. For example, it was hard for new mothers to accept meals from strangers. But if we want to make it normal to be able to ask for help, we need to make it normal to accept help.
3. Offer to Help
Offer up and be specific about it. Saying, “Let me know you if you need anything” isn’t going to get as many takes as, “If you ever need me to pick up anything at the groceries, let me know. Your house is on the way from the store.”
4. Smile And Cast A Positive And Open Vibe
Nobody likes to be judged. It’s a bad feeling. Naturally, people will avoid you if they sense you are critical or going to judge them. Instead, you will attract people by your thoughtfulness and kindness.
5. Open Up
It takes courage to tell others how you are REALLY feeling, but don’t be afraid to. It’s through this honestly that you connect deeply with others who probably feel the same way.
Resources To Help
And if there isn’t one near you, start one!
Also look into your faith group, spousal groups, MOPS, conferences, and small groups that meet regularly such as for book club or support groups.
Moving and being away from family during the medical journey is one of the biggest challenges you will ever face. In each of the places you live, you need to have people around you who you get what you’re going through and whom you can share your struggles and achievements with.
So, if you see another person like you alone, that’s your new friend. Find the courage to reach out to people and say “hi.”
Help them, invest in them, and let them invest in you.
I’m a hugger. I’m hugging and supporting you, friend ❤️
To your strong medical family,
Where did you find your closest group of friends during the medical journey?