All Friends Network offers a wide range of resources and opportunities to make friends for members of all ages. A lot of the tools that we provide and the real life events that we plan are geared around young adults to help them learn how to make friends with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities. Group activities, such as pizza parties, local sporting events, trips to museums, zoos, and aquariums, can all provide a situation that allows individuals to practice social skills and learn how to make friends. The reason why a lot of our real life events and opportunities are designed for adults is because making friends as an adult is much more challenging than it is for kids. Put a couple of children in a room together who have at least one thing in common and before you know it they will be chatting away like old friends. Adults can find it harder to make friends, which is why we developed this online networking community and resource program.
How AFN Helps Build Friendships
In addition to All Friends Network and the resources, events, and activities available to our members, the Live-LINK app is also free for use, providing the means to build social skills and chat with other members who also have developmental disabilities. Psychologists recognize that making friends as a young adult or grown adult can be very challenging. In order to make a new friendship, one must be willing to be vulnerable and make plans to interact on a regular basis, sharing personal experiences, backgrounds, information, and other aspects of their daily life that can be difficult. This is especially true if you have ever been the target of bullying or have experienced rejection of any kind in a relationship throughout your life. It is harder to unlearn bad habits and overcome past experiences than it is for a young child to learn how to start talking with someone new to create a friendship.
Some of the best advice for learning how to make friends as adults is to be proactive and intentional about meeting new people and establishing the groundwork for a relationship. Planned activities should be on a scheduled and regular basis to allow a friendship to grow and proceed naturally without limitations that can come from busy schedules and other responsibilities. Rather than being negative, consider the idea that the people you meet are just as interested in getting to know you as you are about getting to know them. Learn the basic social skills of interaction, such as asking questions and listening to answers rather than going on and on about your interests and experiences. Don’t get down on yourself if your first attempts do not work out, but instead keep putting yourself out there and try again. A friendship depends on the willingness and compatibility of two people. If it doesn’t work out, remember that it’s not all your fault, but a combination of different factors.
Social Skills and Real Life
Reading tips about how to make friends with cerebral palsy, autism, and other developmental disabilities is one thing, but putting them into action is another. One of the ways that All Friends Network helps our members is to provide multiple opportunities to make friends and meet new people throughout the year. Whether you are new to the area or have just decided that you want to increase your circle of friends, we can help you to achieve your goals. We have a large and growing group of members from all age groups, backgrounds, and interests. Making connections with other people can help you in more ways than you might realize. Confidence, support, and encouragement are just some of the positive side-effects of learning how to make friends.
Contact AFN to learn more about our real life events and opportunities for members with developmental disabilities. You can contact us via the website on our contact page or call us directly by dialing 941-587-7172. We can answer any questions you might have about our online networking community and real life opportunities to make friends. Call today and get started on a proactive, positive path toward making friends and building relationships to last a lifetime.