So, you need to make new friends, but you’re not in grade school anymore. But you don’t need to be on the playground to know how to meet new people.
When I moved to another country, I was confronted with the issue of how to meet new people. I spent my time Googling, “how to meet new people” and going into deep research to find out where I should be spending my days and nights. It paid off… within a month, I had found a group of people I really liked, and we’re still close today.
I now understand why there are some people who still only hang out with people from high school. Having to meet new people can feel like a daunting task. However, you just need to take a breather and not overthink it.
How to meet new people wherever you are
When we’re single, we always wonder how we can meet our soul mate. But we usually don’t give as much thought about how to meet new people to be friends with. You may never have to, but if you’re like me, you might find yourself in a situation someday… and it’ll be time for you to go friend shopping. [Read: How to get someone to like you immediately]
#1 What are you looking for? What kind of friends are you looking for? Ones who will go on crazy weekend adventures? Ones who enjoy watching Netflix and eating microwave popcorn?
You know you who are, so you want to look for people who are of a similar mindset as you. If you don’t like surfing, don’t go hang out at a surfer joint. Don’t try to be something you’re not.
#2 Do what you like. If you do what you like, you’ll end up figuring out how to meet new people who also enjoy those activities. Makes sense, right? Plus, if you’ve moved to a new city, you have the opportunity to show up as a blank slate. No one knows you, so, do whatever the hell you want that makes you feel good. [Read: 12 little tips to avoid a first impressions catastrophe]
#3 Get out of your routine. I know you usually come home from work, nap, then go to the gym, and head home. But maybe your routine is another reason why you’re not meeting people. I mean, sure, you fist bump with a couple guys at the gym, but all they talk about is lifting and you have other interests.
#4 Force yourself out of your comfort zone. Meeting new people is terrifying. I mean, it’s not, but the thought of it is. They don’t know that you’re trying to make friends, but you know that you are. So for some reason, there’s more pressure put on you. But, if you want to know how to meet new people, you need to get out of your comfort zone.
#5 You’ll have to try out a couple different strategies. The first strategy may not work out as you planned. I tried meeting people by going on group tours, but it didn’t work out for me.
However, then I switched and did a language exchange which is where I met my friends. So, you’ll go through a couple failed attempts, but you just need to find the right way for you.
#6 You will get rejected. Yeah, it’s going to happen. You’re going to meet people, talk to them, share some laughs, and that’ll be it. You may even ask them for their Facebook or phone number, but they won’t be willing to give it to you. Yeah, it’s a hit to the ego, but, that’s just part of the game. [Read: How to be funny and make people love your company]
#7 Expect awkward coffee dates. You may have met someone when you were completely wasted, and of course, you two had a blast. But, then you decide to meet up for a coffee, and it’s a complete fail. That’s completely normal… it’s happened to me far too many times. However, that person can be your designated drunk friend. Nothing wrong with that.
#8 Go to happy hour. If you’re not going to happy hour, you’re missing out. I personally can’t stand happy hour, but, it’s a good place to get to know your colleagues and meet other people who work in your area. Plus, there are cheap drinks, so that’s always a bonus.
#9 Use your dog. They use you, so might as well get your money’s worth from them too. Having a dog is one of the easiest ways to meet new people. Who doesn’t like dogs? Plus, it gives you a reason to stand at a dog park and not look weird. So, start walking that pooch of yours, and you may get a couple friends out of it. [Read: How to make real friends outside of your social networks]
#10 Let people set you up. Maybe your mom or neighbor know someone who works in your building or who also likes rock climbing. Just let them set you up. I mean, are you really in the position to reject this offer? Plus, it could work out really great. And if it doesn’t, well, it’s not like you’ll have to see them again.
#11 Become a regular. You need to become a regular somewhere. Whether it’s a bar, book club, or yoga studio – just become someone that’s always there. You’ll become friends with the people who work there and the other regulars. It’s one of the easiest ways to make new friends. Just make sure you’re a regular of something you actually like.
#12 Do things alone. If you know someone, don’t always ask them along to do things. Going alone is a great way to meet new people. First, people interact with others who are alone. And second, it forces you outside of your comfort zone.
#13 Open yourself up. It’s okay to be nervous and shy in the beginning. But eventually, you’ll need to open yourself up and become social. I’m not saying to have to wear your heart on your sleeve and be an open book, but you have to allow yourself to be a little vulnerable so that people feel comfortable around you.
#14 Use apps. Lucky for you, we now have an app for that. There are a couple of apps out there that can help you meet people who are also looking for friends. City Socializer, Meet My Dog, Meetup, and Nearify are some great apps you can use to meet new people in your area.
#15 Get active on social media. I have a couple friends who I met through Twitter. Yeah, I know, I thought it was weird at first too. But actually, social media is a great way to meet new people. If you’re always messaging through Twitter or Instagram, then why not just meet up and seal the deal?
#16 Work on your new friendships. Making friends in school was easy because you didn’t have to work on it. They were there every day, and so were you. But now, it’s different. Having a coffee date once a month isn’t going to do it. You need to work on your new friendship or else you’ll lose it.