Learning how to make friends after moving is an important thing to do. Moving is not only a very stressful moment, but it is also a life-altering situation for a multitude of individuals. The fact of the matter is, having a support group amidst all of this in the form of a group of friends is a very healthy thing to do.
Having said that, making friends after moving can be just as challenging as the move itself. If you’re moving to a place very distant from your previous one, chances are, you’ll be starting from scratch. Don’t worry, though, as with these following tips, you’ll be able to make new friends after moving in no time.
Immediately Meet Your Neighbors
One of the best things you can do to make friends after moving is to pay attention to your neighbors. After all, you’ll be seeing the people who live close to you very frequently. It will serve you very well to get to know them while you’re still getting comfortable with your new neighborhood.
As soon as you get settled in, take a walk around your apartment complex or your neighborhood and go up to your neighbors to let them know you just moved in. You don’t need to immediately befriend everyone yet. A simple greeting and an introduction will be more than enough. In certain cases, some neighbors will knock on your door to personally greet you. Be welcoming, if that happens to you.
Interact With Your Colleagues
If you’re moving to a new city for work, school, or any kind of project, make sure you take the time to get to know your colleagues. Aside from your neighbors, your workmates or classmates are going to be the ones you will spend the most time with.
With that in mind, it won’t hurt to get to know and befriend your colleagues. You already have some things in common, which will make conversations and interactions much easier. Whenever an opportunity comes up, like time or any breaks in between, speak with your colleagues. Get to know them. Know what their interests are. If there are ways to spend time with them outside the workplace or the classroom, grab that opportunity.
Join a Club or Group
In almost every major city on the planet, you are going to find a club for specific activities. If there’s an activity you enjoy doing, or a hobby you usually do in your spare time, there’s a very high chance you’re going to find a club or group for it in the city you just moved in. If you happen to find it, join it!
Joining a club for an activity you enjoy is one of the easiest ways to make friends after moving to a new location. If you somehow can’t find a club for an activity you’re familiar with, join one for something you haven’t done yet, but are interested in.
Use Apps or Participate in Online Communities Dedicated to Your Neighborhood
Thanks to the advent of social media and the internet world, there are now a handful of apps that are dedicated to bringing communities together and for specific neighborhoods that you can install and sign up on.
One of the most popular applications for this is Nextdoor. However, there are also Facebook groups that function very similarly. Either way, join the app or Facebook group of your choice to get to know those who are living around you. You can also get information on upcoming events and get-togethers this way.
Be a Regular At a Local Bar
One of the places you can always count the locals to gather at is a local bar. Social groups and individuals will always find their way there and it is a very good place for you to meet people in your new area. You’d be surprised just how many friendships begin at bars. All it takes is time and courage to actually go up to them. If you’re lucky, regulars may even come up to you.
If there are multiple bars in your area, find one you’re most comfortable with. You won’t enjoy meeting new people if you’re not comfortable with the place you’re in.
Hike or Bike Around
If you have the time during the weekends or on holidays, take the time to take a stroll around your neighborhood. You can also bike around if that’s your preference. Take in the view, familiarize yourself with the place, and you’re bound to meet a friendly face or two.
It’s better that you turn this into a routine. Dedicate a few hours of your day, or even your week, to simply walk around the neighborhood. The more you do it, the more opportunities you’ll have of meeting the locals.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask Others to Introduce You to Other People
Once you’ve managed to make a few friends, whether they’re neighbors or colleagues, don’t be shy to ask them to introduce you to other people. Just let them know that you’re feeling like a stranger in your new city and getting to know a few people will be good for you. If the friend you’ve told this to belongs in a social circle and you’ve already gotten quite close with them, more often than not, they’ll introduce you to their group of friends.
Never feel desperate or lonely to ask of this. Everyone knows how beneficial it is, not only socially, but also mentally and professionally, to have a few friends. Don’t hesitate to ask and you just might gain a few more friends in just a short amount of time.
Talk to Other Expats
If you can somehow find other people who have also just recently moved into the place you’ve also transferred to, then all the better! Meeting and interacting with people who are going through the exact same thing as you are is good for you. It also happens to be an easy way of building friendships.
You can turn to social media or public forums for this. You might also stumble upon them as you’re simply walking about or visiting your local bar. Once you’ve met someone, you can then share experiences and talk about your new city. If they can relate with you, they’ll be more comfortable with you, and you with them.
Host a Party
Whenever you’re ready, be sure to plan and host your very own party. Invite your co-workers, neighbors, and new friends to your new place. It is also better if you encourage them to bring other people. That way, you’re spending time with your friends and you have the chance of meeting and making new ones as well.
Of course, make sure the number of people you invite fits well with the size of your place. You want everyone to be comfortable. It will also be your responsibility to make sure everyone can acclimate with one another. This task sounds daunting, but if your goal is to make new friends after moving to a new city, this is one very effective way of doing so.
Frequent the Local Attraction Spots
Aside from the local bars, other decent places where you can meet locals and expatriates are local attraction spots. You might think these places are only frequented by tourists, but locals, and especially those who have also recently moved in, constantly visit these places as well.
If you manage to meet a local in one of these areas, it will also let them know how interested you are in learning more about your new city. The location itself can also be a topic of discussion, which makes conversing more natural.
Participate in Local Events
Whenever there’s an upcoming local event in your area, as long as you’re communicating with your neighbors, or constantly walking about, visiting nearby bars, or frequenting online boards, you will know about it. With that in mind, if there is one, participate in it!
Local events are a very good way of meeting new people. It’s also a very good way for you to understand how things go for your neighborhood, how the people are, and how they have fun. If the event is cultural in nature, it’s also a good opportunity for you to learn about the city’s culture and history first hand.
Join the Gym
Working out is a very beneficial activity for your body and mind. It will do wonders for your health and confidence. If those aren’t enough reasons for you to work out, you should also know that the gym is a very good place to meet new people and make friends.
In a gym, people already share an interest in a particular activity. Conversations are always carried easier in an environment like this. Besides, if your body is healthy, your confidence is high, which will make socializing easier for you.
Know Who Not To Befriend
As good as it sounds to befriend every single person you meet, that will never be the reality of things. The fact of the matter is that you will meet people along the way who are bad for you or simply incompatible with your personality. Plain and simple.
Whenever this happens, it can be good to just not force it. Sometimes, it is just as good for your social life to know who not to befriend as it is to know who to befriend. Just focus on those you can actually be friends with, who are good to you, and compatible with you. If you try to force a bad friendship now, it may only end in chaos and heartbreak later on.
Be an Active Listener
Everybody loves a good listener. Whenever you’re engaged in conversation with somebody, make sure to give them your full, undivided attention. Not only listen to their words but pay attention to their body language as well. Sometimes, a person’s movements say more than their words.
Not listening to someone intently can cost you a good friendship. Know when to speak and know when to listen. Find the balance and you should be able to make friends after moving into your new city quite easily.
Greet Everyone You Meet
Whether you’re just walking around the neighborhood, at the office, or at a bar, whenever your eyes cross with someone else’s, it doesn’t hurt to pay them with a nod and a smile. It will make you appear friendly and approachable. Who knows, one of those people you will greet may end up becoming your friend then and there.
You don’t necessarily have to engage everyone you come across in conversation, a smile, a nod, and a greeting are sufficient enough. Every so often, there will be someone who will want to talk to you after you’ve greeted them. As someone who wants to make friends after moving into a new city, this is an opportunity you can take advantage of, and you will be able to make this happen by simply greeting people.
Gift giving is a very good way of getting people’s attention. A simple act of generosity and thoughtfulness will go a long way and it can easily turn a stranger into a friend. Something as simple as getting someone a coffee, baking them cookies, or treating them to dinner is more than enough to make friends after moving to a new city.
This isn’t to say you should “buy” friendship with money every single time, this just means you should show appreciation to those around you by treating them.
Take it Easy
Finally, the best thing you can do to make friends after moving is to move at your own pace. Don’t rush it if you’re not comfortable with things moving too fast. On the other hand, also don’t be afraid to befriend people immediately if that’s something you have in mind. The important thing here is that you’re taking it easy and moving things according to a pace you’re comfortable with.
You’re bound to make friends with someone after moving to a new location for as long as you make an effort and you show good intent. There’s no need to rush things or to feel pressured. Take it easy. Making friends should be a fun endeavor. Have fun with it.
Making friends after moving to a city that’s unfamiliar to you is a task that seems complicated. However, it really doesn’t have to be. Just go out there and treat everyone with kindness and you will make a couple of friends in no time. As long as you’re relaxed and you’re having fun, it can and will happen for you. Good luck!