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How to make new friends in a new city

October 17th, 2012 - 10:29 AM

Moving to a new city can be difficult. I know from firsthand experience, as I just recently moved from the city I've lived my entire life to a place I've only visited a few times. Since I'm going through the process now of learning how to make new friends in a new city, I'd thought I thought I'd share some tips I've learned along the way. Here's to hoping one of these 15 tips will help you make new friends and develop your social life in your new city!

  1. Be alone in public. So I know this sounds like a really awkward thing to do, but go with me on this. Imagine striking up a conversation with someone over a book you're reading as you sip your chocolate chip Frappuccino at the local café. Before you know it, you're going to see the movie about the book the next weekend with your new friend. All because you took the risk, went out alone in public, and struck up a conversation with a stranger. (Just be sure to meet your new friend at the theater instead of inviting them to your home until you get to know them—safety is important!)
  2. Join a class. What do you love to do? Photography? Dance? Hunting? Consider joining a class to perfect your skills all while meeting other people who have the same interests as you!
  3. Club it. If you love the feeling of being a part of something, join a club! Whether it's political, sports-related, charity-related, or something else, you'll meet people with the same passions you have.
  4. Go team! I'm playing on my work's co-ed softball league! It's a great way for me to meet new people at work and get to know my co-workers outside of the office.
  5. Become a local. Frequent the same restaurants, coffee shops, or boutiques. Over time, the owners and employees will recognize you and you can build friendships with them. You'll feel more like a local if you get to know people who have been in the area for a long time.
  6. Network. Are you moving to an area where you could connect with other alumni? What about an area that has a speed-networking event? You might find that networking will produce new friendships. Let others know the professional side of you, but also the personal side, too. You may find some commonality through networking.
  7. Be friendly. Whether it's holding the door open for an older man or saying thank you to the lady at the counter, friendliness goes a long way. The more you smile, the more people will be attracted to get to know you.
  8. Friendship Date. Just like you would date to get to know someone romantically, go out on dates with potential friends to see if a possible friendship is there. If you meet someone who has friend-potential, ask them out! Don't be cheesy; simply see if they want to get together for a movie or dinner and exchange contact info. It's okay if it feels like a date, asking questions about one another and such. It could be the start of a great friendship!
  9. Be flexible. Say you just met a potential new friend who asks you to go camping, but you've already scheduled a date with yourself at home watching TV re-runs of your favorite show. Drop your plans. A flexible friend is a fun friend. The next weekend, see if that new friend (plus the other friends you made while camping) want to come over to your place to watch TV re-runs. Never turn down an invitation, even if it's something you normally wouldn't do.
  10. Use your connections. I did this yesterday! My mom's best friend's sister lives in my new city. I connected with her and she and her husband invited us to their church. We felt welcomed at the church just by knowing someone who goes there. If you've got connections (no matter how distant they are) use them!
  11. Not just co-workers. You're not just a [enter in job title here], you're a real person! And so is your co-worker sitting in the next cubicle over! See if they want to hang out with you over the weekend by playing disc golf or spending the morning shopping. Chances are they might not have anything to do. If they can't make it, keep trying to schedule something or move on to another co-worker.
  12. Attend events. What better way to meet new people than by attending events! Is there a Halloween social event you can go to? How about a charity event? You'll be able to make new friends easily at events because it's kind of like college, a lot of people gathering at one place for one thing—to have fun!
  13. Volunteer. Do you have a heart for the homeless? What about for the youth of America? Use the extra time you have and volunteer. You can make a difference and make new friends—what a perfect combination!
  14. Go online. There are some great websites out there specifically designed for people just like you who move to a new city and want to make new friends. One popular website is Meetup.com, where you can explore different groups already established in your area, or make a new group of your own!
  15. Be patient. Friendships don't happen overnight. It takes time to get to know someone and develop a good level of trust. Be patient and you'll reap the rewards of finding new friends. Until then, keep being you and putting yourself out there.

Well, I hope these 15 tips have been helpful for you to get started making new friends in your new city! If you have any more tips, let me know them by commenting below!

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