Have you ever moved to a new school, job, or city where you didn’t know many people?
Did you feel lonely and a bit lost? Didn't know where to start in order to meet people?
Well, me too! But fear not, there are numerous ways to make new friends.
It’s not easy putting yourself out there and oftentimes you want to back out before you’ve even started.
When you decide to ignore that negative voice you'll be glad you did!
Widen the net
For whatever reason, chances are that at some point in life, you’ve had to widen your social circle and this is no mean feat.
Making new friends is a bit like dating. You have to be prepared to invest time and effort into seeking out new friendships. Some might be short-lived, and others you might want to pursue a bit more.
When I moved to a new city for a job, I didn't want to run the risk of only having friends as colleagues.
Branching out is healthy and good for the mind and soul!
Friends for this and friends for that
Not every friend you meet will be in your life for years and years to come. Quite often I've found that I have friends for different seasons in life.
Forever friends: the ones you deeply care about and call upon to share personal things in your life. You trust them explicitly and have a deep bond.
Funtime friends: the ones you go to for a good time, you enjoy their company and vice versa. They make you feel good and being their friend is easy.
For-a-while friends: the ones that come and go, sometimes due to a transient lifestyle or shifting values. You enjoyed the friendship for that moment in time but you drifted apart.
Old friends are more important than new friends.
Putting yourself out there
Take up a new hobby
Friendships are often built on connection. I loved playing netball at school so I decided to join a local netball team. Great for getting those endorphins pumping and I met a fun bunch of people at the same time!
Other examples of hobbies include:
Hiking or running club
Choir or music club
Dog walk meetups
Check out Meetup for a whole host of networking events in your area.
Join a class or group
Friendships are often formed by sharing your passions together. I've always loved to read and when an opportunity came up to co-host the Girl Gone International Book Club, I jumped at the chance!
Other examples of classes include:
Learning a language
Friendships are shaped by understanding each other's values. There's nothing better than filling someone else's bucket at the same time as filling your own!
I've volunteered with local food banks, tutored refugee students, and attended kindness walks for the homeless — all run by local charities.
Other examples of volunteering include:
Helping the sick or elderly
An extensive list of volunteering examples can be found here. Also, check out this great Byte on how to make a volunteering plan.
Be prepared to move out of your comfort zone.
I've met friends much older and younger than me in completely different fields who are such valuable additions to my life now.
Say yes to new adventures.
One of the first people I met in a new city said "just say yes to everything" and following this advice has led me down some beautiful paths since.
Make an effort to reach out.
This is often the hardest part, but what’s the worst that can happen? If they decide not to reply to your message, then they obviously aren't worth your time anyway.
Be natural, friendly, and most importantly, yourself! You may not "click" with some people and that's ok. We aren't programmed to connect with every single person we meet.
You've connected with a new friend and exchanged phone numbers, but haven't heard from them yet. What's the best message to send them?
Meeting new friends isn't a walk in the park. It requires time, energy, and commitment but it's certainly worth it.
Remember these pointers to help with meeting new friends in the future: