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    How to Make (and Keep) Friends When You’re Chronically Ill

    One of my clients is chronically ill and doesn’t feel a connection with his old friends anymore. He wants to meet people who understand what he’s going through and who want to live a healthier lifestyle as well.

    At first, he thought that joining a support group for his illness might be the way to go. However, I have found that disease-specific support groups tend to be filled with people who are in a “victim mindset.” Surrounding yourself with this mindset often leads to you being stuck in a negative emotional space, and it definitely does not support your goal to live a healthier lifestyle.

    The kind of people you really want to meet when you want to make friends, are the ones who have a similar mindset as you. They are the ones who are also looking towards a healthy lifestyle, diet and mindset. They are the ones who are also trying to change into a better version of themselves.

    Here were my suggestions for finding friends like these…

    3 Steps for Making Friends When You Are Chronically Ill

    1. Meetup.com is a place where you can start a group, or join a group based on a common interest, and plan meetups, or get-togethers in your community. It’s full of people who are actively seeking community and friends. They are passionate people and have strong interests. You can go to meetup.com and browse the site for groups in your area.

    You can search for specific topics that you are interested in, like health, nutrition, meditation, book clubs, wine, etc. You should look for groups that embody the same mindset and interests as you and groups that host events that sound fun to you.

    Join some of them and make the effort to go out to one of these meetups! I’ve made good friends, business connections and been asked out on dates from going to meetup group events.

    2. Share and communicate about what’s going on with your health.  This does three things.

    First, it helps people understand why you may behave or live a certain way, which helps them to be a more understanding friend.

    Second, it builds trust and accelerates the process of becoming friends.

    Third, you will be amazed by how many people are also dealing with a similar health challenge. You are not alone, and there is no reason to be ashamed of what’s going on with you.

    3. Go easy on yourself. It’s hard to make friends, even for people who aren’t sick. Plan for just 2-3 social activities a month at first. Go for more only if you have the time and the energy. Be open to new people and new opportunities, as long as it feels good. Take it one event at a time and rest lots between events. Don’t have expectations, just go for the experience. One day your efforts will pay off and you’ll meet some amazing people. It only takes one day to meet your new best friend. And when you meet them, the friendship will come easily.

    Do you have any tips for making friends and meeting people with similar interests? What has worked for you?

    I hope this was helpful!

    Keep taking back your health,
    Robin

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