How to Make New Friends When You Move

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.

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Forgiveness

We’ve all had people in our lives that have hurt us, deceived us, used us or maligned us, and chances are there is someone who you’ve sworn you’d never forgive. Unfortunately, research demonstrates that holding grudges is dangerous for our health. The hostilities we let occupy us will only contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety, which wreaks havoc on the body. Forgiving others can help reduce the risk of heart attack, slow the spread of cancer and impede the development of diseases such as HIV. By refusing to forgive someone, we are really only hurting ourselves.

Regardless of how painful the injury, or whether the person apologized for their transgressions, the time has come for you to take control of your life and forgive them. Here are some ways that you can lay your grievances to rest and get on with a healthy, happy life:

Blast them. Write a note, or type an email spelling out how the situation made you feel and let loose on them. Caution: don’t send it! The chance to tell them what you really think (but would never dare to say to any living creature) will give you reprieve. And knowing you’re never going to send it will empower you to be completely honest. Sending it will only create further drama and cause you more hurt. When you’re done, burn it or trash it.

Learn your lessons. Learning why you got scorched at someone else’s hands will allow you to learn from the experience and grow as a result. You can then be thankful for the learning experience.

Employ empathy. We are all victims of victims. To help us let go of vindictive feelings and animosity, we can chose to be more compassionate in our view of the person that has hurt us. What have they been through in their life that makes them the way they are? What do their patterns of behavior mean for their future? Life looks pretty good from where you are sitting now, doesn’t it?

Feel your power. You are only a victim as long as you chose to be. Acknowledge that something bad happened to you and chose how to respond to it. Check your thoughts – and embrace forgiving thoughts. It’s the most empowering thing you can do.

Forgiveness is not about getting the other person to admit that they were wrong, rather it is a method for each of us to reclaim our health and wellbeing, and decide that we don’t need to live in the unthinkable past any longer.