Have you ever thought about studying in another country, moving abroad, or traveling alone around the world, but you think you’d feel lonely and wouldn’t know how and where to find new friends? Or do you simply want to make new friends right where you live, but don't know where to start? I know that feeling perfectly because I've been through that exact situation.
As adults, it seems that making and maintaining friendships is next to impossible.
When we’re children, our friendships are built around the school environment, we have a bunch of free time to meet new friends and socialize, and of course, we don't have bills to pay, which makes any routine much easier and enjoyable!
In adulthood, with monthly bills knocking on your door, your boss asking you about that deadline and you having to put a good part of your emotional energy into just trying to hang on and keep your cool, it's much more complicated to create connections. Besides, as adults, we all have very different routines from each other, so it’s not always easy to fit a social activity in the middle of a week full of other boring tasks. And, if we’re being fully honest, many times we’re the ones not prioritizing the leisure and social moments that would allow us to create new connections.
It's crazy to think about how many different people we encounter every day.
Maybe you’re reading this post on the subway on the way to your new job, or in a cafe you found in your new neighborhood, and around you are all these new people who could become your friends, if only given the opportunity.
How come so many times we feel like we have no chances to make new friends or like we don’t know where to start even though we have so many people around us? A lot of the times, it might be because we’re held back by thoughts like “what do I even say?”, “I have no idea who they are”, “are they even anything like me?”
Making friends in a new place is always challenging, even more so when you're looking to find people who share your values and interests. But don't worry! There are ways to make it easier, and I've brought three tips to help you find your tribe and make friends in a whole new place!
1. Open yourself up to “the new”
Before pointing fingers and blaming others for your failure to make friends, see if you don't have a (potentially big) part in it.
Socializing in a new place involves being open to differences, trying new things, being willing to take time for it weekly, and adding this social moment to your routine. To make new friends, it's important that you allow yourself to step out of your box, your bubble, your comfort zone, and start seeing this social mission as something that requires openness and that is not only important but can also be - a lot - of fun.It all depends on how you look at it.
2. You need to see the world!
I'm not telling you to go talk to strangers yet. I want to encourage you to go on outings that you enjoy, activities that you like, that respect your lifestyle… But also find new hobbies and interests.This way you will have great chances of meeting people that you would possibly have as a friend. People who like the same things you like, or at least one of the things you like. For example:
- If you like to read, visit the coolest bookstores and libraries in town. Go to literary cafes, look for book clubs…
- If it’s important for you that your new friends respect diversity, go to LGBTQIA+-friendly bars and cafes, and look for Drag Queen shows, karaoke, and events aimed at this audience!
- Do you like rock? Jazz? pop? Go to places where your musical style is celebrated! There are several rock bars, pubs with live music, samba circles, and dance classes out there! And music is and incredible people connector, without any doubt.
3. Use apps to your advantage.
Jaumo is a great way to connect with people close to you and make friends! By using the app, you can enter one of the audio group chat rooms, and chat when you feel comfortable or when a topic that interests you arises, thus avoiding awkward moments of silence. Plus, if you are too shy about meeting offline right away, the app will help you a lot with easing into new relationships.
The secret to making new friends in a new place is to prioritize your social life.On a daily basis, several things will pop up in your routine, which can make you lose focus on your goal of making new friends, but it is important to think of this as a priority, respect your leisure moments, and actively look to take part in social situations.It may take a while, but you will surely find your people and make new good friends!