Moving to a new town is a great big adventure. New places do not come pre-installed with new friends – any military brat can tell you that (and one just did). The older you get, the more of a challenge it is to make new friends or so it would seem. Here are a few ways to make new friends; we’re skipping clichés and going right for the real goods.
1. Grab a cause. Forgo the soup kitchen unless that is your cause. Go to the cause that you adore the most and volunteer for the organization doing it in your town. If there isn’t one then you might be ambitious enough to start one.
2. Get a job. Hopefully you already thought of this before you moved, but maybe not. Perhaps you work for yourself or you are a stay-home parent. Regardless, getting a part-time job that you enjoy is a great way to have fun with new people – which is fundamental to making friends.
3. Please don’t be shy. If you are a wallflower, or even just mildly introverted like my alter ego, then making new friends will be even more of a challenge. Be warm, smile, shake hands and have a few “go-to” topics to start a conversation. If the weather is one of them then you’re fired.
4. Get invited. Ok, no party crashing, alright? If you want to get invited to new social gatherings or events, make mention of the fact that you are new to town and looking to meet new people. If they don’t take the hint, you might go for the more direct approach, “Do you know where I might meet some cool people?” Most people with think that you must think they are cool, and they will take the cue. If not, move on. You don’t want them to think you’re creepy.
5. Go on dates. They don’t even have to be romantic dates. Meet someone new, ask them out for coffee – you can preface it with, “hey, I’m looking to get the lay of the land – mind if we grab a coffee so I can pick your brain?” People aren’t going to think you’re weird just for that – unless your eyes are googly. I can’t help you there.
6. Stop trying so hard. Seriously, if you’re still reading this post looking desperately for the answer to getting a new friend, quit it. Go find something enjoyable to do with your time and you will meet people. Friends will happen as long as you get out of the house and have fun.
7. Don’t be so picky. You can’t rely on your first impression 100% of the time. If someone seems pretty nice but you don’t know how much you have in common – give it a try anyway. The worst that could happen is no worse than a hangover.