#013: Learn How to Find Friends Right Where You Live, Work & Play [podcast]


Once there was a man who walked down to the corner store every morning to get his newspaper. He found the people on the walk to be grumpy and rude. The kids at the bus stop never said “hi.” The lady, who walked her dog at the same time, never even looked his way. The clerk at the corner store never asked how he was doing. One day this man’s wife got tired of him complaining about everyone else and told him to wave and say “hi!” to each and every person he met on his walk.

By the second week, the man was taking 4 times as long on his walks. The kids would give him a high-five and joke with him, the dog-walker asked how the doctor appointment went, and the clerk wanted to debate the latest NFL scores with him.

What changed?

You have the green like to make friends

Photo by Melanie Cook

Did the people get nicer? No, the man decided to reach out first.

Did he go find new friends? No, he simply interacted with those already around him.

Did he walk a new route? No, same place.

This story illustrates the value of intentional interaction right where we are today, not some false daydream for some future day.


Today, you have the opportunity to create friendships with those you live near, work with, and play around.

Here are some concrete ways find friends where you live, work & play:

1. Make a list of people you know today that MIGHT be a friend. Use this one page exercise to see what potential friends you already know. The key is to list as many names as come to mind. Do it in pencil so you can erase. 

2. Now add to that list the people you would like to be friends with. These might be people you barely even know.

3. What do you enjoy or value? Use the “What I Care About Page” to define what you care about.  This will help shape what kind of friends you are likely to enjoy.

4. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to be friends with this person?” and “What is motivating me to want to be their friend?” If your motives line up with what you wrote about values, enjoyment and favorite activities–great! If not, beware of the extra work you will have to expend to sustain a friendship long-term.

5. Location, location and location. Where you GO and where you LIVE play a huge part in finding friends. Seeing people on a regular basis is very important. Gatherings like knitting clubs, church, regular golf outings, MOPS or walking in your neighborhood are important to maintaining friendships. Notice where you go already. Look there. Work friends can be tricky to balance with work life.

4. Your calendar. Block out two times a month when you will reach out to others. By making it the same day of the week at the same time it is easier to keep.  One example might be: Sunday 1-4 and Friday night.

5. Go to them. If you said that gardening is one of you core passions, or eating organic food is a value, then joining a community garden is a great place of find friends. Alumni gatherings are a great place to connect with people of similar interests. If you are a person of faith, church is a great spot.

6. Go eat or drink something together. Coffee shops are THE hangout spot. Lunches are better because eating together can be more relaxing and you can ask better questions at a table. Even better is to have them over to your house for a meal.

7. Reward yourself and/or accountability. Ask someone to hold you accountable to going to coffee with a new friend. Another approach, give yourself a reward after you have invited that person to coffee and lunch. We do this with the big projects around our house. It helps!

8. Download our 30 Day Friendship Challenge as a daily reminder. We put this together as an encouragement to you!

9. Sign up for a our 6 week course where we will be your cheerleader and a coach.

10. At the end of the day, it is about you DECIDING to reach out to ONE person.  Asking them to get together for coffee, lunch, dinner, golf, or anything. We over complicate it. Schedule a time, contact them, give, listen and watch what happens.


This weekend we invited a family we are getting to know, and really enjoy over. Before they came, my friendship fears flared up. I started thinking: “they won’t like me because I am shallow, boring and self-interested.” I had a bout of the deadly virus called, “They already have their great friends and they aren’t interested in knowing us”. By the end of their time here, I was reminded that being yourself and loving others is a win-win. Don’t worry about the status of the friendship, simply love others.

You have the green light to invite ONE person out for coffee. If you want our encouragement or accountability, simply leave either the word “Cheer” or “Check” in the comments below, and we will reply in a few days to cheer you on, or remind you to “go for it!”


  1. Barbara Smith says:

    Great ideas. Thank you for the steps in reaching out to people. Stepping out and taking the first step in a friendship is always hard. Thank you for the encouragement.

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