How to make friends in a new city: Ways to make friends after moving to a new place
How to make friends in a new city? Meeting like-minded people in a new town is a horrifying ordeal for most people who are forced to go interstate or overseas for work. Making new friends as an adult after college is not easy because as ironic as it sounds, maturity and life experience get the better of you. This post should be just the inspiration you need to loosen up, find new friends and lap up one of the most innocent relationships life has to offer – friendship.
1) Keep in touch with your best friend unfailingly
Don't forget your best friend even if you both are a thousand miles apart. Your childhood bestie is the person whose voice will instantly make you feel better.
Regular conversations on phone, Skype, WhatsApp and email with your best friend will help you feel less lonely even when the cold walls of your city apartment try to rip the happiness out of your life.
2) Don't try to find the perfect friend: Avoid having expectations that are too high
You can't afford to be picky when you want to make friends in a new city. Setting high benchmarks for the kind of people you want to hang out with isn't really a remedy for your loneliness.
Don't be too choosy and don't start judging people as soon as you meet them. Give a new friendship some time to bloom and mature. Cutting out people immediately just because they don't fit the image of the perfect friend is not the way to go.
3) Reconnect with old school and college friends who live in the same city
Go through your Facebook to look for old friends from school and college who live in the same city. From reminiscing about sweet memories to gossiping about common friends, chatting with someone who you have known since many years will give you a sense of warmth.
The best part of getting in touch with classmates is that you will instantly have a lot to talk about. There will be none of those awkward silences and moments when neither of you have anything to say.
4) Do things alone: Spend time outside by yourself
Use all your free time to step out of your place. There are a lot of things you can do on weekends even if you are all by yourself. From checking out the local attractions to relaxing with a book at the park, push yourself out of the house.
Friendship happens at the least expected moments. All you need to do is put yourself out there. You will never make new friends if you stay holed up in your apartment in the new city.
5) If you want to hang out with someone, say it
'Let's hang out together sometime' are words that are said a zillion times but most of the times they are a dead end. If you say this to someone you just met at a party, it really means nothing unless you be more specific and say 'Let's hang out next weekend at that quaint little cafe around the corner'
Being specific and direct will help you actually make plans with someone rather than wait for that perfect moment to come by itself. Take charge of your social life, don't leave it to fate.
6) Catch up with cousins and relatives who are just about the same age as you
Mingling over family dinners with cousins and relatives many not be your idea of finding friends in a new city, but it doesn't have to be so. The trick is to catch up with relatives who are the same age as you.
For example, connect with a distant cousin on Facebook. Get his number and call him. Tell him that you have just moved to the city. Subtly say that you don't have any friends. Your cousin may invite you to hang out with his friends on a Friday night. That could be just the break you need because by the end of the night you will have introduced yourself to a dozen new people.
7) Meet people online on websites like Meetup.com
Websites like meetup.com are a nice way to either join an existing group or start a new one yourself. Most groups are based on interests and professions so it will be easy to connect with like-minded people in your city.
Similar networking websites are great if you want to meet people whose interests lie in something that you are passionate about.
8) Join groups on social media
From Facebook groups to discussion boards on LinkedIn, social media is a nice place to make new contacts. Post comments and be involved in the online groups that you like. You will slowly build up genuine connections who may be just the like-minded friends you were looking for in a new city.
The internet has earned itself a bad name. It is assumed that everyone behind an online profile is a freak or a stalker just waiting to ruin your life. But this isn't always so. Look up on people across social networks and do the necessary background checks before you connect with people.
9) Introduce yourself when you bump into people in your apartment
Sometimes you don't need to look too far to find friends in a new city. For all you know, your future bestie may be just a few doors down the hallway in your apartment.
Introduce yourself to people in your apartment when you bump into them in elevators and hallways. If someone seems like a genuine and friendly person, connect with them on Facebook and Twitter so you can start building up on a new friendship.
10) Mingle with your colleagues outside the office
Mingling with your colleagues outside your workplace is the easiest way to have a throbbing social life in a new city. You may have to take the lead and organize after work drinks if your colleagues are a boring bunch.
Bonding with work colleagues comes with an inherent risk of letting your guard down and exposing your quirky side to the very people who may try to clamber over you for a promotion in the future.
11) Head over to your local religious community center if you are into religion
Whether it is a church, synagogue or a temple, local religious centers are bubbling hotspots when it comes to being social. These places are the perfect way to kick start your social life in a new city – but only if you are into religion.
If religion and community bonding are not your idea of meeting new people, this may not be the best idea for you.
12) Be open-minded and don't shy away from starting a conversation
Shying away from a conversation is the biggest mistake most people make. Whether it is when you overhear someone talking about your favorite book at a coffee shop or when you smile at that cute girl in the subway – be bold and have a conversation.
Stop feeling shy because if you are really looking for friendship, the warm expression on your face and your friendly smile will be all it takes to strike a conversation. After all, what is the worst that could go wrong? Even if someone ignores you it hardly matters because you are new to the city anyways.
13) Join local hobby groups
From book reading groups to photography clubs, search for hobby focused groups in your city. Ask around if you have moved to a small town. If you have moved to a big city, search for these groups online.
Most of these groups have Facebook pages or websites. A quick search on Google will get you in the right direction.
14) Bring all your scattered friends together: Host a warm house party
If you have a few scattered acquaintances in a new city, host a quaint little house party and get them all together. A few laughs over some nice wine followed by takeaways will be all it takes to get everyone bonding.
If everything works out, you will create your own little group. Over time, all of you can take turns to host warm get-togethers.
15) Loosen up, step out of your comfort zone and have fun
It is very easy to get caught up in the warm cocoon of hanging out with friends whom you have known since childhood. But when the time comes to move to another city because of a new job, the same sense of comfort restricts you from making new friends and doing things you don't generally do.
Accept it or not, the only thing in-between you and a thriving social life is no one but yourself. If you really want to have a nice time, step out of your comfort zone and be a sport. For example, don't say no if your colleagues ask you to join them to watch the Friday night game just because you aren't into sports. Go ahead, say YES and mingle with as many people as you can.
16) Don't let the pressure of making new friends get to you
Humans are social beings and it is natural if you feel pressurized to expand your social circle in a new city. This is completely normal and there is no reason why you shouldn't feel frustrated if you don't have anyone to hang out with.
Moving to another city is a long drawn process and it may take you at least a couple of months just to settle in. Don't pressure yourself to have a buzzing social life immediately. Be cool about it.
If you like volunteering then making friends in a new city will be easy. Look up for local charities and non-profits where you can give your services.
Apart from meeting new people, volunteering will help you get to know the real heart beat of the city you have moved to.
18) Don't be afraid to follow up on a meeting
Friendship isn't dating and you shouldn't shy away from following up with someone after meeting them for the first time. Stop worrying about whether you will seem too clingy if you take the initiative.
Following up can be something as simple as sending a text message to say 'So when do we meet up again?'
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