It’s very important for someone to learn how to make friends in a small town if they’ve just recently moved there. If this is true for you, this article will be of great help.
Making friends in a small town can be daunting in its own right. The experience can be very different compared to making friends in a big city. The sceneries are different, the atmosphere is different, and so should your approach be.
Although very different, the experience of making friends in a small town is also very beautiful and satisfying. You’ll soon learn how friendly the people in small towns are and usually, how close-knitted their communities are. That said, here are things you can do to make friends in a small town.
Find the place most people frequent
In any small town, there’s always a place or two most of the locals frequent. It can either be a bar, a diner, by the lake, or a park. Whatever that place is, make sure you get to know it and visit that place every once in a while.
These places are a great way to step your foot into the comings and goings of the locals. It will give you a chance to see and meet the friendly faces of the small town.
Join the gym
Aside from it being a place you can go to become healthier and be fit, the gym is also a great place to meet a lot of the local people. You’ll be hitting two birds with one stone, and these are two birds you definitely want to hit on the head.
That said, find the local gym and sign up for a membership. Work out to become healthier, to feel good, and to look good. All the while, be sure to socialize when you have the chance. Talk to the people at your gym. Get to know them.
Find like-minded individuals
If you have hobbies and interests, there’s a very high chance you’re going to find a club, group, or a class for it the area. Joining these groups is a very good and fun way to make friends in a small town, or anywhere, for that matter.
You can either ask around, head to the local community center, or simply look the information up online. Find a club or group that fits your interest. You’ll be able to find like-minded individuals easily and it will make your experience in your new town much more enjoyable. You’ll be doing something familiar and you’ll get the chance to meet new people.
Patronize the local businesses
It always helps to patronize the local businesses if you want to make friends in a small town. It shows that you can about the people in the area and that you’re willing to contribute to the people’s economic standing.
So, if you see a local coffee shop a few blocks away from a popular chain you already recognize, opt to go to the local shop. Introduce yourself and patronize the business. Not only will you be able to make friends, but you’ll also have an appealing reputation.
Get to know your coworkers
Whether or not you recently moved because of work, that’s still a place you’ll need to go to earn a living. That said, your place of work is a very good place to start getting to know new people in a new town. Those are the people you’ll end up spending a lot of time with, after all.
Whenever there’s an opportunity to hang out with your workmates, be sure you take that opportunity. Not only that, but you should also socialize at work whenever you get the chance. When you pass by a co-worker on the hall, at the break room, or on your way in or out of the office, a smile and a nod or a greeting can go a long way.
Get to know your neighbors
Aside from your co-workers, you’ll also end up spending a lot of time seeing your neighbors. Be sure to be friendly to them as well. In fact, as soon as you get settled after you move in, be sure to make it a point to get to know those who are living around you.
Not only will this help you make friends, but it is also strategic, especially if you’re new to the area. It’s wise to get on your neighbors’ good side. You can turn to them for whatever purpose, whether it be for information about the new town you’re in, or simply for social purposes. Never underappreciate the importance of being friendly to your neighbors.
Take a walk from time to time
Since your goal is to make friends in a small town, then be sure that you have to opportunity to see as many people as you can. The best way to do this is to simply walk around from time to time. Explore your new town by taking a hike.
You don’t need to do this every day, of course. It can simply be a weekly routine. Do this every weekend, when you have nothing else planned. It’s a good way to meet the locals and it’s also very therapeutic. It’s good for your physical and mental health too!
Know when the events are and attend them
There’s bound to be social and other extracurricular events that are going to happen near you. Events like these are common in any city or town, whether big or small. Be sure you find out when the upcoming events are and take the time to attend any of them.
Most people’s spirits and willingness to socialize increase whenever they’re at an event. Take advantage of this. It’s also a good opportunity to catch multiple locals at once if you’re someone who’s very new to the area.
Know the history of the area
It can also help you socialize better if you’re aware of the history of the town you’re in. Just a few nuggets of information will do. You can then use those whenever you’re conversing with a local. If you have more questions, you can ask more questions as well.
Not only will this be good for you as it’ll help you socialize better, the locals you’ll be speaking to will also appreciate the fact that you took the time to learn more about their small town.
Visit the town’s hotspots
Aside from bars and parks, you’ll also need to know what the town’s hotspots are, if there are any. In most cases, there will always be places the locals consider hotspots. These are the places a lot of locals go to and places they usually recommend to tourists.
While you’ll be better off socializing elsewhere, knowing an area’s hotspots will give you an opportunity to learn a little bit about their culture, history, and tourism. You can still meet a local or two in these places, of course, so be sure to also keep this in mind.
Use social media apps
Social media apps can be incredibly useful these days. If you’re looking to make friends in a small town, especially if you’re new there, you’ll have an easier time of it if you make use of social media.
You can use these apps to look for events in your area, local hotspots, groups you can join, people to hang out with, and pretty much everything we’ve discussed here thus far. It’s a powerful tool for socializing if you know how to use it well, so use it well.
Host your own parties
Once you get to know enough people in the town, it can benefit you well to start hosting your own party. Invite the people you know and encourage them to invite others as well.
This can be a very daunting task. Hosting a party isn’t easy, after all, but it can be immensely fun if you’re set on your goals to make friends. That said, you only need to do this sparingly. In fact, you only have to do this once early on. This will simply help you get to know more people. The fun that comes with it is only an added bonus, albeit an incredibly fun one.
Don’t compare the small town to a big city
When talking to a local from a small town, always remember to never compare the small town they’re living in to the big city if you came from, if that is indeed where you came from before you came to the small town. Just avoid this comparison altogether. Not everyone will be offended by this, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
In fact, when talking to a local, point out the positive things of living in a small town. Tell them the things you actually like about it. Focus on the positive and they’ll be drawn to your positivity.
Know your boundaries
When talking to someone, be sure to remember to know your boundaries. It can be exciting to think about finally making friends in a small town, that you forget socializing here is still similar to socializing no matter where you are. You can start to feel very excited that you forget about the boundaries.
Be sure to set this right and never cross it. When meeting someone, do your best to get to know them, but never be too personal nor too revealing. How you act early on can stick to people’s minds for a long time. Don’t let them remember how you asked them questions that are too personal or how you revealed things about you that are too intimate. You won’t be able to make friends in a small town properly and efficiently if you’re unable to set boundaries.
Try to look for others who are new to the town
It can also be helpful to you to find individuals who are also new to the area. You’ll have more in common with these individuals and it will make your goals to make friends in a small town much more enjoyable and more doable.
Although, the process of finding someone like this can be just as difficult, if not more, than it is to simply make friends in a small town. That said, try to look for them, but don’t spend all of your time and effort on it. If you find one, good. If you don’t, then that’s okay too. Move on and start talking to the locals instead.
Don’t rush things
You might get discouraged after you’ve attempted to make friends in a small town for days, weeks, or even months, but you haven’t been successful enough yet. You’ve met with a handful of people, you’ve interacted with them, but none of them seems to really connect with you.
That’s okay. There’s no need to rush things. In some cases, you can befriend a person in a matter of hours. Sometimes, it can take months. There’s no need to rush a process like this. If you’ve just moved to a small town, it can and may take a while. You just need to be patient. Don’t stop until you’ve made a friend or two.
You shouldn’t blame yourself as well, especially if you’ve been trying. Sometimes, it’s purely circumstantial. Maybe you just haven’t met a person you can really connect with. Just don’t give up, and you’ll get there eventually.
Improve your social skills
If you’re looking to make friends in a small town, you can follow everything you’ve read here. On top of that, the best thing you can also keep in mind and do moving forward is to improve your social skills.
It won’t matter if you know where to go and who to talk to if you don’t figure out the how’s and the what’s. Be sure to improve your social skills as well. This will ultimately be the thing that can help you make friends, whether you’re in a small town, or anywhere else.
That said, be sure to read up on the other articles you can find on this site. If there’s an area of socializing you’re still struggling with, you might be able to find a resource for that here. Good luck and have fun making friends!