How do you keep your social relationships strong (or find new ones)?

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Re: How do you keep your social relationships strong (or find new ones)?

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As an introvert, this is a challenge for me.  Here's what I do.  I teach one-hour classes twice a week at our Senior Circle, and attend another once a week.  I enjoy the conversation and engagement of participants in both, and brief conversations from time to time with staff.  Having been involved for about 9 years, I have developed a few relationships with people I trust and can consult with at needed.

 

I also walk every morning, and over time have met and conversed with a number of people, some of whom I see often, and some whom I see occasionally.  Even a few minutes visit can make one's day!  I make a concerted effort to greet and converse with whomever I meet on the road.

 

Once a week I have dinner with my doctor and friend.  A real extrovert, she keeps me alert, and I trust her implicitly, not only with medical concerns but with life in general.  We balance each other, explore ideas together, and occasionally meet with our spouses which creates a whole other scenario.  

 

My sister and I email occasionally, and I keep in touch with other family via Facebook and occasional emails.  These are important relationships, but not steady engagements.

 

One other group is key for me.  This is a group of women that first came together online some 20-25 years ago.  We have shared just about everything.  Some I have met face to face, others not.  But we are a fundamental support group for each other and have been through just about everything.  It is a challenging group of relationships, but we are committed to taking each other seriously and being supportive of one another.  

 

Fortunately I have my spouse and my 3 year old rescue doggy, both of whom make a huge difference in my life. 

 

But almost everyone I know is a senior.  I wonder how I will manage if/when we become unable to support each other.  It is not an experience I welcome, and hope I have the wherewithal to keep connecting.  

 

Oh, yes, responding to AARP requests like these is also a mechanism of connection, and I hope what I offer helps someone else.  

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How do you keep your social relationships strong (or find new ones)?

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Message 12 of 12

What do you do to cultivate new friends or keep existing relationships vibrant and strong? What activities have you found to be helpful in fending off loneliness?

 

No question about it, having a robust social network can increase happiness as you age, particularly once kids and grandkids are grown and flown and retirees say goodbye to work friends. But what’s the secret to growing and maintaining a social circle? Experts recommend a wide range of ideas and initiatives: hobbies, volunteering, art classes, musical and other groups. (More...)

 

We'd like to know how you have found social connection through life transitions, such as a move to a new community or retirement from a job. Tell us your story, and we’ll feature some of your answers on AARP.org. 

AARPTeri
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