Making friends in a new place can be awkward and stressful. It might seem like a Herculean task for an adult, but it is possible.
Use your social media network and old friends in other parts of the country. They might know someone who lives in your new town and could introduce you.
Go Where the Locals Hang Out
If you’re an introvert, making friends in a new city may seem like a Herculean task. You can start building a social circle by connecting with locals in the areas you’re interested in.
The grocery store, movie theaters (look for weekday or morning showtimes), diners (try the ones with seats around a counter, so you can easily strike up a conversation) and public transportation systems are all great places to meet people.
If you have family in the area, try catching up with them or inviting them over to hang out. Relatives are a natural source of friendship as you know them well, and they might already have some good friends in town! If you have friends in the area, ask them if they know anyone in your new city. If they do, reach out to them and invite them over for a game night, ice cream social or watch party. This is a great way to get an idea of your new town’s culture and make friends quickly.
Get Involved in Community Events
The best way to get a feel for your new town is through community events and activities. Look for things like art and music festivals, local food and drink tastings and a wide variety of networking opportunities. Many communities have groups for specific interests, such as a book club or yoga class. Joining one of these is a perfect way to connect with like-minded people and make a friend.
If you are a resident of a community association or apartment complex, you may already be familiar with community events and parties hosted by your building or neighborhood. These are a great way to meet neighbors and make friends, especially for residents who may otherwise never have the opportunity to interact with each other.
A common interest, such as a love for a particular religion or your culture, can also be a great way to meet people. Joining a local club, temple or mosque is a good way to make a group of friends that share your passions.
Join a Group
Some people are lucky and stumble into groups they naturally click with. They may take a cooking class together, or join an improv troupe. Or they might see a group of co-workers hanging out in the cafeteria and ask to join them.
Other times, a person will hang out with a group but feel like a second-tier member. It can be frustrating, but sometimes that feeling is temporary. If you’re trying to make friends with a group of people who have known each other a long time, they might unconsciously treat you differently than others.
You could try arranging social outings yourself to give the group an opportunity to get to know you better. It sends the message that you want to be a part of it. This could be especially effective if you’re part of a group that is more active than others in their social lives. If the group is a sports league or volunteer organization, for example, it might be fine to suggest an outing that everyone can enjoy.
Online environments such as social media, games, and forums offer an opportunity for people to connect and even meet up in person. Just make sure you’re being safe and if you ever receive a message that makes you feel uncomfortable, close the chat or talk to someone about it immediately.
One of the most popular ways to meet new friends online is through a friendship app such as Nextdoor, Bumble BFF, or Yubo. These apps allow you to swipe through potential peeps in your area, chat within the app and even use their catfish-proof live video streams to hang out.
Another way to meet new friends online is by joining a forum based on your interests. Forums exist for almost everything (from funny animals to moving to a new place to Game of Thrones) and you can start forming bonds with the people who comment on your posts or respond to your questions.