I have been living in my ‘new home town’ for 1.5 years. Whoa. So much for only staying for a couple of months. Moving to a new place can be tough, it can take a little while to settle in.
A couple of months into living in my new location I stepped away from some of my closest friends that I moved here with. We were all so clicky it got a little too much & frankly they were on a journey I didn’t want to be apart of.
It made me realize that I needed to stretch my wings a little and expand my local friendship group.
To start with I made a rule that I wouldn’t be going down the path of joining ‘friendship’ sites or Tinder etc. Face to face interaction, the oldschool way.
Making friends as a kid is super easy. There’s school, sports, play dates and all sorts of activities where you cross paths with others. I’m not a parent but know lots of women bond over mothers groups and their children.
But as an adult, especially not having kids, we get wrapped up in work and everyday life. We have so many shifts in our modern lives that separate us from our friends. Friends, they come and go. Circumstances change and sometimes you drift apart or are physically too far away. It’s always nice to make new friends who live in your area.
Here’s some of my tips to resist the urge to stay home with your non human friends watching re runs of friends/sinefield (whatever floats your boat TV wise) and get out there to make new friends;
Make a list of the things you like to do
Your potential friend could just be out there doing the same things you enjoy.
Joining a club or group sport is a great way to meet new people.
For me I love activities where you don’t get sweaty. If someone is looking for a jogging friend, I’m not their kinda buddy. There’s no amount of sportsbras out there that will fix the bouncy boob situation.
So joining a Yoga course was a nice gentle step in the right direction. Even though we aren’t really chatting, there’s always before and after class banter. And last week, Kate invited me to her Tupperware cocktail party. Ha. I’m so going to go. Cocktails and Tupperwear – how can it go wrong? Secretly I think she is trying to set me up with her brother.
Become a yes person & commit to plans
Life is busy. We are all busy. But if you don’t set aside time for yourself and constantly say no or being invited somewhere or better yet constantly cancel after plans have been made (hint Lynney) then people will stop inviting you.
Sure you may not be into horse racing, but a day at the races having a picnic is a great way to enjoy being outdoors and getting dressed up. You just never know who you may meet.
A while back I got invited to a games night and even though I’m not a fan of playing cards, I met a whole new bunch of people that I really got along with. And now we are friends. See it’s as simple as that. I said yes and opened myself to the opportunity to meet others.
Attend public events
I’ve made a habit of looking to see what’s happening locally over the weekend where I live. I pop it into the calendar and gather friends so we can go check it out. I don’t live in a huge town so I’m lucky in that I’m starting to recognize people who attend the same events. Every now and again we say hi and chit chat about the event we saw each other at last. It’s kinda nice.
Have people over for dinner
Food connects people. I especially love to cook and often go crabbing so I can make chilli crab. There’s no way I’m paying $45 a kg when they are on my doorstop.
Seems now I have reputation for cooking and existing friends have told their other friends about my cooking and a whole group of new people come over for dinner for chili crab night. It’s like a thing now.
Don’t force it
Be genuine & real. Be passionate about your beliefs. Talk about them without being bossy or overbearing. No one likes someone who big notes themselves. If you meet someone new take the time to be interested in the other person and their opinion.
There’s always volunteer work available & it doesn’t have to be doing unpleasant things.
My home town held a fashion festival (it was a pretty big deal) and I reached out to offer my events and sponsorship management skills. I attended meetings, ran errands and connected with SO many people who liked the same things as me. I’ve kept in touch with some of the other volunteer and formed some great friendships. Maybe not the type of people I’d sit in my PJ’s with and watch movies, but I’d still call them industry friends.
I’ve mentioned to new friends that I’m looking to expand my friendship group and try new things. Since doing that the invitations have flowed in. Our greatest fear as humans is that of being rejected so it makes complete sense that we hear that voice! It can feel very vulnerable to put ourselves out there, fearful that we want friends and to make positive changes to our lives.
Friendships are vital to our health and our happiness. So make friends and be happy.
Whether it’s because you’ve undergone a life transition that made you grow apart from old friends, a re relocation, a job change, a divorce, a marriage or whether you’ve just recognized that many of your friendships have gradually faded (or worse, become toxic), you’re never alone if you’re looking to make new friendships.
So go ahead. Give it a go. You may even meet your new best friend