Remember when you were a kid and it was easy to make friends? You always had someone to play with at recess and your friends lived down the street, so you could visit them anytime. Unfortunately, building friendships doesn’t happen as easily when you’re an adult. This is especially true if you’ve just moved to a new city and don’t know a soul. So if you’re the new person in town, how do you get to know people?
Making friends can be especially hard if you’re shy or introverted, but it’s still possible. Check out these 10 tips to help you open up to new possibilities and friendships.
1. Join a sports team or take a class.
Continue a favorite hobby or try a new one. You’ll be in the same room with others who share your interests, and that’s typically a common factor in friendships. You want someone who likes the same things you do. Since classes meet often, you’ll see the same people over and over again, making it a great opportunity to make small talk. Once you find someone you’d like to get to know better, you can possibly arrange a time to see each other outside of class.
2. Meet the neighbors.
Unless you moved to the middle of nowhere, you likely have neighbors that you can reach out to and introduce yourself. You can even invite everyone over for lunch or a BBQ. It’ll be a good way to start off on the right foot with your new neighbors.
3. Take pictures.
Source: Just Think Twice
If you’re at a party or event with others, be the one taking all the pictures. This makes a great icebreaker because people love photos – after all, that’s why Instagram is so wildly popular. If you take a flattering photo of someone, you can immediately ask if you can email them the photo or friend them on Facebook. It’s a simple request, but a great way to start a friendship.
4. Try developing friendships with co-workers.
If you moved to a new city, it’s likely because of a job offer. If you’re new to your job, use your co-workers to help you get acquainted with your new life in a new city. You see them eight hours a day with them, so spend some time getting to know them. Ask them to lunch on a regular basis. Ask them about what they like to do with their families in the city. You’ll not only get to know more about your co-workers’ families, but you’ll be in the know about events and activities to try out.
5. Explore the city alone.
Source: Just Not That Way
This can be daunting, but it’s a great way to enjoy the sights and sounds. Sit by yourself and watch people approach you. You’ll be easier to approach when alone, and people will feel more comfortable starting conversations with you. If you feel silly just sitting there, bring a book or a meal so it looks like you’re doing something. If you’re feeling adventurous, walk up to random people and maybe ask them about a place to eat or how to get directions somewhere. You might be able to strike up a conversation and develop a friendship.
6. Always say yes.
If someone invites you somewhere, say yes – even if it’s to a place or event you wouldn’t normally go. Don’t make up excuses not to go. If you say no to everything, you won’t be invited to anything again. Getting out the house and out with others is a great way to socialize and broaden your horizons. Who knows, you might actually have a great time!
7. Visit the dog park.
People love their dogs, so having a dog is a great way to spark conversations from others. If you have a dog, a visit to the dog park is a great way to meet other dog lovers. Plus, your dog will get some much-needed exercise.
8. Try Craigslist.
There are some crazy people on Craigslist, but don’t let that deter you from trying something new. Craigslist offers many opportunities for you to meet with others, and one of those categories is strictly platonic. You can meet men or women who are looking for nothing more than friendships. These people are just like you. They want someone to talk to, but may have a hard time meeting people. If you end up meeting in person and are concerned about your safety, meet in public and have your cell phone handy in case you end up meeting with a psycho.
9. Go to local events.
Source: Press Herald
Check out free and low-cost events in your area. Look for concerts, sporting events and cultural events. See what’s going on at the local park or community center. If you live in a large city, you’ll find stuff going on constantly. There are plenty of opportunities to meet new people, so get out of your house and start socializing.
10. There’s an app for that.
If you’re looking to places to go and meet people in your area, there are several that will help. CitySocializer is a great place to sign up and discover places in your city. You’ll likely meet people along the way. With Supper Club, you can eat and meet people. You can create groups and meet up with others for delicious fun. Nearify allows you to find events near you. Attend concerts, theater events and festivals while meeting new people. Another app you can try is Meetup, which helps you find people in your area who share your interests.
It’ll take some time and effort to find a lasting friendship, but it is possible after uprooting the life you know and moving to a new place. Make yourself open to new opportunities and who knows – you might just find your new BFF!