Widen Your Circle: 11 Tips for Making New Friends
So, you've moved to a new city, you've graduated college, you're starting college, or you've been forced into a government relocation program. At any rate, you're no longer surrounded by the support system you once called home. Don't fret little one, I've got a list of ideas to remedy that lonely edge you're sporting:
11. Tell them you have horses.
Even if you don't. (This lie will only work if your hometown is very far away.) Seriously, I grew up with horses, and people go nuts for them. I, on the other hand, know that their main two attributes are being smelly and sassy, so I don't quite understand the charm. However, when I first got to college and the fact that I have horses came up, people flocked to me in a disconcerting manner.
10. Exercise with them.
Nothing brings two people closer together than endorphins and looking completely ridiculous at an early stage in the friendship. Some of my closest friends are girls that started off as running partners. Running partners are particularly valuable people because you'll eventually be close enough to ask for a water or walk break without shame.
9. Cry in front of them.
This also works weirdly well. One of my best friends from college is someone that broke up with her high school boyfriend at roughly the same time I did. Pretty much all we did together for the first month was watch The O.C. and ignore our ex-boyfriend's calls. I'm not even sure we would have become friends had we not shared that bond.
8. Ask them to run errands with you before you're actually close enough to really ask that.
This is a trick I learned from my extrovert friends. As an introvert, I'm more than happy to do things by myself. Did anyone watch that episode of Sex in the City where Carrie has that 'revolutionary' lunch alone? I really didn't understand that episode. However, if you claim that you need someone to go somewhere with, then more than likely you'll find someone that needs to go to the grocery store as well. It doesn't matter if you met them last week. In fact, that's better! Maybe you'll bond over your shared love of mozzarella.
This is a particularly great way to bond if you work in the service industry. You work too many hours for too little money. Everyone would rather be somewhere else. The management is corrupt in some way or another. People suck at tipping; they really, really suck. There's always that one server that is actually as dumb as a box of door nails, and there's always the worker that is a huge kiss ass. You may actually be surprised that she hasn't swallowed your boss whole. So complain. Say it out loud. I promise you're not the only one thinking it. Just don't complain too much, or you'll be the one everyone hates.
People love comfort food. It reminds them of home. Also, if you bake for or with people, they'll probably start to subconsciously see you as a food source and innately want to be friends with you.
5. Connect through other friends.
This is great if you're moving to a new city. Ask your current friends if they know anyone there that you might get along well with. Or if they know anyone that knows anyone. We're all connected by seven, isn't that the statistic? Eventually someone will know someone. Then proceed to bake with, or cry in front of, them to seal the deal.
4. Drink together.
You've got two options here: coffee or alcohol. Personally, I've found that they produce similar effects. If you choose the caffeinated route, you're probably going to get super hyper and end up jumping on the couch to Taylor Swift's “22,” or literally crying on the floor because you're laughing so hard. If you choose the alcohol route, you're probably going to end up doing something similar, just in a more public and embarrassing way. Either way, you're going to have a headache in the morning from the dehydration. You might have a new friend as well.
*If you're the really chill type, you could drink tea. You could then read poetry to each other and talk about your feelings. Whatever.
3. Don't talk about your girlfriend/boyfriend.
Having a friend that is oh-so-in-love is hard enough for those old, tried and true friendships to stomach. Even they don't want to hear about it. Of course they're happy that you're happy, but your friendship is a relationship as well, and when you're with your friend, that is the relationship you should be focused on. Gush for three minutes if you must, then move on. This is especially true for new friends.
2. Yell quotes from your favorite movies until someone responds positively.
This means that if you like The Terminator you should occasionally break into your best Schwarzenegger impression. If you're into Star Wars then Darth Vader breathing is a good idea now and then, despite what your mother tells you. Or, if you want to be friends with me, get in the car loser, we're going shopping.
1. Be yourself.
This is the most cliché, obnoxious thing to say, and I almost hate that I'm saying it. It's true though. All of those suggestions above? These are things that have worked for me because I'm me. I do have horses, I cry easily, and I like running with other people. These are all huge contributors to my personality, and personality is how and why you're going to make new friends. So get out there, and be who you are.
Making friends can be a daunting task for even the most extroverted of individuals. Seriously, my most extroverted friend recently told me she was nervous that she might be lonely for the first couple of months when she moved to a new city. Less than a month later, she's back to her social butterfly self. So don't fret; no one is as unique as they think they are, and eventually you will find someone who shares your interests.