One of the most common challenges in divorce can be the loss of one’s
social network. Some friends and family are supportive, others have
the best intentions (yet are unhelpful), and many seem to simply
vanish from one’s life. The loss of friends and family during this
transition can add to the stress already being experienced. Many find
the necessity to reach out and make new friends yet find the task
daunting. Here are some helpful tips on how develop new friendships
during separation, divorce and beyond:
1. Act Like A Host
Be kind, helpful and gracious when you reach out.
Taking on this role can help ease feelings of nervousness when
interacting with “strangers”.
2. Be Friendly
Smile, and introduce yourself. Use open, welcoming
body language. Make eye contact and maintain a comfortable distance,
respecting personal space.
3. Make Them Feel Special from the Get Go
Think of your favorite person
in this world. Odds are, you treat them with more care than others.
Give strangers this same attention and you may discover that more
people than usual will be open to meeting you.
Listening is one of the most important forms of
communication and one of the best ways to get to know others.
5. Be Interested
Ask open ended questions to identify shared
interests. When responding to questions, avoid short yes/no questions
and offer explanations.
6. Be Real
The most meaningful friendships come from communicating
authentically. Don’t force something that isn’t connecting. Let it
7. Stop Talking about Your Ex
Mention, if you are inclined, that you
are going through a divorce, and leave it at that. Build a friendship
on common interests and connection. Don’t let your past infiltrate
8. Make Plans
Suggest getting together as you are say goodbye (based
on the common interests you discovered during your conversation). For
example “Great meeting you, Ryan. Would you like to check out that
art exhibit at the museum together next week?”
About the Authors
Andra Brosh, Ph.D. and Allison Pescosolido, M.A. are the leading divorce recovery experts in Los Angeles. Founders of Divorce Detox, a proven program guaranteed to speed recovery through the divorce transition, Andra and Allison are certified grief recovery experts, and both hold advanced degrees in the field of psychology. Friends for over 20 years, these dynamic women treat the trauma of divorce and see divorce as an opportunity for personal growth and a better life; they are changing the face of divorce in our society. Visit www.divorcedetox.com to learn more about their programs and cutting-edge work.