Making new friends as an adult can sometimes be challenging. Especially when a chronic illness like epilepsy is thrown into the mix.
It’s not so easy to make friends or even keep friendships strong when you can’t always leave the house or have to cancel plans.
So how do you make new friends, meet other like-minded people and socialize if you are unable to get out as much?
Making friends while living with epilepsy may seem daunting, but it’s entirely possible.
Below, I’ll share some practical tips on building meaningful connections, regardless of your epilepsy diagnosis.
Open an Honest Communication:
- Be open about your epilepsy with potential friends. Share your experiences and answer their questions.
- Remember, friendship is a two-way street, so ask questions and learn more about them and their experiences as well.
- Honest conversations can promote understanding and perspective between both individuals.
Join Support Groups:
- Seek out local or online epilepsy support groups.
- Connect with people who face similar challenges. This can lead to valuable friendships and a strong support system.
- Aim to offer support, encouragement, and wisdom gained. Friends help friends!
Choose Understanding Friends:
- Develop friendships with empathetic and compassionate people, and reciprocate with the same traits.
- Understanding friends will be there for you during hard times and offer emotional support. It’s important that we show up for our friends too.
- Friends who are respectful of your boundaries will avoid activities that may trigger seizures. It’s important that at the same time, we are respectful as to not be rude or hurtful when expressing our boundaries (if the friend is unaware of our boundaries) or has boundaries of their own.
Educate Your Inner Circle
- Be sure your closest friends are aware of your condition and how to help during a seizure. This can eliminate any fears or anxieties a friend might have.
- Invite friends to participate in local or online events. Doing so helps friends to meet others who ‘get’ them.
- Education allows your friends to help you safely when needed.
Shared Interests and Hobbies
- Engage in activities or groups related to your interests and passions.
- Engage in relatable activities outside of epilepsy.
- Common hobbies offer a solid foundation for building connections with like-minded individuals.
Living with epilepsy can pose unique social challenges, but it should never limit your ability to make friends. By practicing these tips, you can create meaningful connections that overshadow epilepsy. Remember, genuine friends will accept and support each other through every aspect of life, including epilepsy.