The woman on a mission to end loneliness

Meet Gemma, the woman on a mission to end loneliness among women.

Gemma is founder of the Make Friends Club. Here she talks about feeling lonely, making friends and the power of the female tribe.

Make Friends Club Founder Gemma Scopes

What is the Make Friends Club and how did it all start? 

When I reached my late twenties, I found myself suffering from loneliness. My close friends were married with babies, my relationship had ended and I’d moved back in with my parents. This was not what I had planned for the 28-year-old version of myself. I felt extremely lonely.

I embarked on a personal mission to make new friends and I wasn’t afraid to tell people I felt lonely. Women who seemingly had it all were admitting that they felt lonely and would like to make new friends too.

I realised there was a loneliness epidemic and knew I had to do something about it. From there the Make Friends Club was born.

Today we are a club of women from all over the world. There is also a podcast, a blog, and I also do public speaking and coach women.

Do you think women are good at making friends?

Every woman is unique, and expects different things from their friendships.

I think women are good at making friends, but not so good at letting go when those friendships aren’t working anymore. This can create bad experiences which can then impact future friendships. Being friends with the wrong people leaves you with less time and energy to make new friends.

Society has surrounded women with a toxic culture that encourages comparison, perfectionism and competitiveness and this gives female friendships a bad name.

We go through a lot of changes in our lives and it’s important to allow these to change friendships and release any guilt.

How to make friends

How big a problem do you think loneliness is in today’s society? 

Loneliness is HUGE and it’s a taboo that needs to be spoken about.

Through my work, I’m trying to make people aware that everyone can feel lonely and that’s OK.

Sometimes it’s a wave of emotion, sometimes it lasts a whole day and sometimes it’s a chapter in your life. But the more you accept that it’s OK to feel that way, the quicker the emotions will pass.

There is always something to learn and grow from.

And what about feelings of inadequacy?  

Guilt is becoming a big problem because it’s so easy to see what everyone is up to nowadays. The most common factor of loneliness is social media.

Social media is a way of bringing people together instantly, but it’s also a way of building unhappiness and guilt.

There is always something to feel guilty for, if you let it. Focus on making yourself happy and the guilt will pass.

Work on yourself

Any tips for women feeling lonely?

Work on yourself

Work on your own self-worth first. Take yourself on dates. Really get to know the real you. What are your likes, dislikes and dreams? It’s essential to make yourself happy first.

Take an active role

You don’t just have to be friends with the people that you happen to cross paths with. Actively decide what type of friends you want. Go places where you can meet like-minded women, reach out to women you think you’d get on with and never be afraid to ask someone for coffee.

Make a commitment

Make time for your friendships. We live in a very fast-paced world where everything has become temporary because there’s always a ‘quick fix’. We are losing a real sense of community and friendship.

To make a friendship last we need to make time with friends a priority. We need to give back equal attention as we’d expect back.

Have trust

We should never underestimate the power of female friendship. Amazing things happen when women come together and empower each other.

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