How To Make New Friends & Connections

Moving is tough. Making new friends in a new place is tougher. If you’re in the process of building a new life, it’s okay to admit that you need a refresher on how to meet people. When you’re in a structured environment like school or an internship program, meeting people comes naturally. Unfortunately, those structured environments aren’t as easy to find in a new place, which is why we have the list of tips below! Keep reading to get a head start on finding roots in your new home.

Reach out to friends of friends

The best way to find people to hang out with? Ask the people you already know. You never know who has a cousin, old roommate or childhood friend in your new neighborhood.  Thanks to Facebook, you can get to know these people before you move and they can give you some insight on what you should be ready for.

Go to community events

Your new local newspaper, Facebook page and neighborhood newsletter won’t just have community updates, they’ll also have information on nearby events. Whether these are farmers’ markets, monthly community meetings or even a regular book club, go. You’ll be exposed to a lot of potential friends, and you might find a new hobby along the way.

Hang out with your coworkers

This can be tricky depending on where you work, but befriending your colleagues is a good first step when you’re looking for new connections. Ask your cubemate out to lunch or offer to take your assistant out for a cup of coffee. So long as you’re aware of professional boundaries, you can get to know the people you’ll spend the most time with on a more personal level.

Try Social Apps 

Sites and apps like Bumble and MeetUp offer features where you can online date, but for friends instead of significant others. You can choose a variety of activities to serve as the backdrop for when you meet your new best friend; what’s most important is that you put yourself out there.

Take a class

Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to pursue or a skill you’ve always wanted to master? Sign up for a class where you can learn in a structured environment. Arrive a little early so you can casually chat with your classmates ahead of time, and stay late to get to know the instructor as well.

Emotional intelligence & active listening skills

When you start a conversation with somebody you’d like to get to know, be sure to utilize your active listening skills to make sure they know that you’re invested in what they’re talking about. This includes eye contact, asking follow up questions, recapping their statements and more.  The person you’re speaking with will appreciate that you’re paying attention and will keep wanting to speak with you. By building rapport with active, conscious listening you open up the opportunity for a new friendship.

Ask!

For the first few people you meet, you may have to be the one to initiate any hang out sessions. That’s okay! Don’t hesitate to take initiative and ask people on” “friend dates.” Even if people say no, it’ll make you more comfortable with asking, and even more comfortable with stepping outside of your comfort zone.

Alex Wilson is a freelance writer interested in fashion, lifestyle, and all forms of pop culture. Her writing has been featured in various digital and print publications, including USA Today and Long Island Pulse. When not writing, Alex can be found testing new recipes, exploring new neighborhoods, and window shopping. She hopes to someday travel to all seven continents (yes, even Antarctica).

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