Are friendships the medicine you’re missing? We talk so much about food, exercise, and meditation, but strong friendships are just as vital to our health and happiness.
After spending an incredible weekend with 7 girlfriends, I realized just how much friendships fill, inspire, and nourish us. Tune in for my 10 ways to find new friends who encourage you to become your highest self, and how to nourish the friendships you have (even long distance!)
Founder Healthy by Marlowe
Maria Marlowe has made it her mission to inspire people across the globe to eat healthier and live stress free. She opened her Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching practice in New York City in 2013 and has since coached hundreds of people, from moms to business executives to celebrities, to improve their health by improving their eating habits. Maria’s work and recipes have been featured in Vogue, InStyle, The New York Times, Dr. Oz, NBC, CBS, and more. She is the author of the #1 New Release on Amazon, The Real Food Grocery Guide, and host of The Happier & Healthier podcast. She currently lives between Dubai and NY.
Maria Marlowe: [00:00:30] Welcome back to the Happier and Healthier Podcast. Today’s episode was inspired after spending an amazing week on with a bunch of close girlfriends to celebrate my friend’s bachelorette party. Now this was probably the most unconventional bachelorette. There were none of the typical bachelorette activities. So no clubbing, no drinking. There were no strippers, none of that stuff. There were Pina straws and Pina confetti. But that’s about as Bachelorette typical bachelorette as it got. We ended up renting out a big house and just spending three days together. We had a yoga instructor. One of the girls was a yoga instructor. So she taught we had a dance teacher come in and teach us how to talk. We cooked dinner. We ordered in food. We just did like a ton of chill activities at the house. And it was amazing. I left that weekend feeling so nourished, so inspired and just so full and thankful for these girlfriends that it inspired me to do this episode. I always hear and see memes about it being really hard as an adult to make friends. And I can especially appreciate this now that I’ve moved to a new city where I don’t know as many people. So I wanted to share with you some tips that have helped me make friends and more importantly, how to nourish those relationships so that they remain good friends.
Maria Marlowe: [00:02:09] Even if you guys move halfway across the world or get busy with jobs and families and whatever it is. How do you really maintain those relationships over the long run? First, let’s talk about where to find friends and not just any friends, but good friends who are going to help raise you up and help you become the best version of yourself, not to kind of keep you stagnant. So the first place or the first way to meet new people would be to do things that you love. And the weirder the better. So if you really are into belly dancing, go take a belly dancing class. If you’re into or want to learn about computer programming, go take a course on computer programming. Any sort of course or class for something that interests you would be an excellent place to find a friend who is also interested in similar things as you. Now, if you can find a course that goes over a period of time, such as a weekend or one night a week for a certain number of weeks, that’s generally a great way to meet people who are interested in similar things because you’re also going to be seeing them on a regular basis. So it’s easier to form that friendship. For example, I’m in L.A. right now and I invited one of my friends from New York to come stay with me.
Maria Marlowe: [00:03:44] And I met her a few years ago, actually, probably five years ago at a food photography styling course. There was about three days.And while we were there, we started talking. We went to go grab lunch together on the brakes. We decided to shoot some photos together. You know, working together, her as a photographer, me as the stylist and a friendship started. And it has lasted all all of these years. So definitely taking classes and things that you’re interested in is an excellent way to meet new cool people. If you’re into sports, you could also consider joining Adult Sports League. If you have one locally. So, for example, in New York, I’ve had a bunch of friends who joined the ZOG Sports League. So you could be on the basketball team or soccer team? Football team. They have it all. And that’s just a great way to meet new people. If you like, going to the gym or to fitness classes. Force yourself to make eye contact with someone else in the class and strike up a conversation. And I know it can be a little awkward, but just be cool and just be authentic. Compliment their cute outfit or their cool yoga mat, or maybe they have amazing form and you never know where that could go. Sometimes a conversation will go nowhere. Sometimes it might lead to getting a juice after class and becoming a friend. And to inspire you to actually do this. Remember that Karina and Katrina. The two founders of Tone It Up, which is one of the biggest fitness companies in the world. They met at the gym. One of them was reading a book on the biker, one of the machines, and the other one went over, struck up a conversation and the rest is history. They became BFFs and then c.e.o.’s co-CEOs together of one of the most successful fitness companies.
Maria Marlowe: [00:05:30] Another tool that we have readily available at our fingertips for meeting friends is social media. Instagram, especially as my preferred platform. But of course you could use any platform that you’re comfortable with to find people who have similar interests as you. I’ve met plenty of my friends through Instagram. It’s just such a great way to get to know someone a little bit more, get to know what they’re about. And if you find someone that you think is cool and that you think you’d get along with, follow them, like their stuff. Comment on their page and eventually you can slide into their DMs asking for a coffee or juice to get to know each other because you have similar interests. I’ve met friends who not only have become good friends on a personal level, but we’ve also done business stuff together as well. So don’t overlook social media as a way to meet new friends. Another way to meet people is by asking the friends that you already have. For example, if you’re interested in doing a yoga teacher training and you find out that your friend has a friend is yoga teacher, then why not ask for an intro or ask them to set up a lunch or a dinner that you guys can all hang out together? Also, attending any sort of group event is typically going to be a great way to meet new people.
Maria Marlowe: [00:06:57] For example, if your friend’s throwing a dinner party or invites a group of you to some wellness event or exhibition, whatever it is, make sure you go make it a point to leave that event with at least one new contact for someone that you really would consider being in your life in some way, whether it’s in a friendship or could be helpful for business, whatever it is. Make it a point to find at least one person to have a great conversation with and walk away with their digits. Now you might have to talk to multiple people to find that one person that you really feel like could add value to your life and you could add value to theirs. This is something that I’ve been doing for a while now and it’s really helped me expand my network, especially in a new city. Now, another little mental mind game that I like to play with myself at networking events to get rid of the awkwardness is instead of focusing on me, I focus on how I can help the other people there. Whenever I strike up a conversation with someone, I’m asking them questions and being authentically curious about them and what they’re up to and then just thinking about how I could help them. Is there an introduction or connection that I could make? Is there a book I could recommend? Is there a tip or piece of advice I could give them? By focusing on how I can help someone instead of focusing on Oh my God, am I being really awkward or I don’t know what to say.
Maria Marlowe: [00:08:34] It just allows me to enjoy the conversation a little bit more and be a little bit more relaxed and in the moment. And finally, another great way to make new friends is using an app like Bumble BFF. Now, I personally don’t have experience using this, but one of my friends in Dubai does. And her whole little friends circle started because she became friends with a girl on Bumble BFF, and now they are legitimately BFFs. We meet our boyfriends and husbands on apps, so why not our friends? All right. So those are some tips for finding new friends. But now let’s talk about how do you actually nourish those relationships? And this is really the important part, because if we don’t nourish those relationships, we’re not going to get the benefits of having the friendship. We’re not going to get that fulfilment. One of my favorite ways to really nourish my friendships is to invite them over for a meal. And you don’t have to be a good cook if you’re terrified that you’re going to mess up their food and the food’s not going to taste good, then order in. It’s not a problem, but I guarantee you that your friends will really appreciate a home cooked meal or they’ll be happy with with takeout.
Maria Marlowe: [00:09:54] The point is to just spend some time together. There’s something about being in someone’s. Home and eating at their kitchen table or dining table. That just gives a very different vibe than eating out in a restaurant. It feels more personal and I just feel like you let your guard down a little bit more and it’s a bit more authentic having it a meal at home versus out at a restaurant. When I was in college, I used to love to have people over every Friday night for dinner, so I’d have a group of friends. Was probably like six or eight of us that would come. Some of us would cook. Others would just eat. And we just have a really fun chill Friday night. Now that I’m living in a new city, I do want to make it a point to have a dinner party at least once a month, if not twice, maybe even more, maybe even weekly, just to get to know people a little bit better and enjoy a good meal together. If you do it on some sort of regular basis, whether it’s weekly or monthly, it also gives you guys something to really look forward to. Another great way to nourish friendships is to invite them to events with you. Maybe it’s a book launch or a wellness event, an art exhibition. If you see something cool going on in your neighborhood, why not go yourself and extend that invitation to your friends? Or maybe someone that you think would enjoy it that you want to get to know a little bit better.
Maria Marlowe: [00:11:22] Even if they can’t go to the event, they’ll appreciate the invitation. It keeps you top of mind. And who knows, maybe then when they get invited to some event or something’s coming coming up, they’ll invite you as well. Another really important way to nourish your relationships is to make sure you call your friends. Don’t text them. I mean, of course you can text them, but don’t just revert to a completely text relationship. It’s just not the same. Or at least there’s some people who really don’t like picking up the phone. Send them a voice note. There’s something about hearing someone’s voice that really just connects you to them a lot more strongly than reading a text message or an email from them. Now, this is especially true on an important day or important event. So on birthdays or someone’s book launch or some sort of promotion at work, whatever event, that is a cause for celebration. Make sure you actually call that person to congratulate them or wish them well versus only saying it on Facebook or saying it via text. The call only takes a couple of minutes and we’ll really make a much more lasting impact on that person and your friendship. Something else that I do regularly that I find really nourishes relationships is to introduce my friends to other friends. Don’t keep your friends to yourself. I know, especially amongst women. Sometimes there’s this tendency to want to have ownership of our friendships and to keep our friends to ourselves.
Maria Marlowe: [00:12:58] But we really shouldn’t do that because if we know two cool people separately, why are we gonna keep them apart? And if we’re friends with both of them, chances are they’re gonna really enjoy being or knowing each other as well. So don’t keep your friendships to yourself and offer to make introductions whether someone asks for the introduction. Or maybe you just think that these two people will enjoy meeting. Introduce them. And finally, make sure that you make time for your friends. And finally, make time for your friendships. Make time to actually see them in person. And especially if you move somewhere far away. Set time in your calendar to check in with them, to call them, to face time them, because you don’t want your friendships to wither away by constantly checking in and checking in on a regular basis. You’re going to really help to keep that friendship alive, even if you’re a million miles away. You don’t always have to check in on the phone. You could also comment on their posts on social media. You could send them a funny video, ask their opinion on something. Ask for their advice on something. Just get them involved and keep them involved in your life, even if you’re far away or even if you really don’t have a lot of time to meet in person. I’ve definitely found myself at different periods in my life saying things like, oh, I don’t have time to go out.
Maria Marlowe: [00:14:30] I don’t have time to hang out or go to branch or go to dinner. It’s just a waste of time. I just want to work or I want to work out. If you don’t want to hang out with your friends, you probably have the wrong friends. Friends should inspire you. They should motivate you, recharge you. Those are the kinds of people that you want to hang around and those are the people that you are going to make time for. So those are some of the things that I worked for me and my friends. In terms of making new friends and nourishing those friendships, if you enjoyed this episode, I’d love to share with you my free a three day sugar detox meal plan. All you have to do is write a review for the happier and healthier podcast on i-Tunes. Take a screenshot and send it to [email protected] and Marlowe is m a r l o w e and we’ll will email you back a free 3 day sugar detox meal plan and be sure to head over to mariamarlowe.com for practical and science, fact, nutrition and wellness tips as well as mouthwatering healthy recipes and meal plans that you and your whole family will love while you’re there. Be sure to take my quiz to find out if your symptoms and ailments are trying to warn you that it’s time to upgrade your diet. Wishing you tons of health and happiness. And I’ll catch you next week.