When you move to a new place, it can be a very exciting experience, but also kind of isolating. You probably built a pretty active and satisfying social life naturally wherever you lived before. Now, you’re suddenly in a strange new place where you don’t know anyone! It may be a daunting prospect, but building a social life from scratch is far from impossible. Here are a few of my best tips to help you along…
Know your Type
As you probably know, a fulfilling social life means different things to different people. Some of us need dozens of friends and a very broad social circle. Others will prefer to stick to a smaller, tight-knit group and have plenty of alone time. Some want it somewhere in between. The first step in carving out a new social life for yourself is understanding the type of social life you’re going for. If you don’t know your preference right off the bat, think about the friends you’ve had in the past, and what made you feel so good about that particular situation. This will help you to seek out the kinds of people who will make you feel great, and keep away from those who will just bring you down.
Go Where the People Are
Once you know the size of the social circle, and the kind of people you’re going for, you need to take action and actually meet them. This may sound like an obvious pointer, but it’s something that a lot of people manage to overlook. If you sit and wait for people to come to you, you’ll be waiting forever! Try to come up with a list of activities that will help you brush shoulders with people you’d enjoy interacting with. If you’re crazy about reading, join a nearby book club with a focus on your favourite genre. If you could do with a few more rugby trophies on your shelf, join the local team. If you’re passionate about music, then start frequenting venues in your new hometown. It doesn’t matter what kind of forum you use, as long as you make a point of coming out of your shell and talking to people. Find an activity you enjoy, and you’ll already have something in common! This brings me onto my final tip…
Be the One to Break the Ice
Let’s say you follow my last point and attend a workshop, club or class. It’s full of people who share an interest with you. Generally, the passive, reclusive approach tends to prevail in these situations. Don’t just sit there silently waiting for people to approach you, ask questions, and spark a conversation. This may happen, but you’ll start to develop a social circle much faster by being the person who breaks the ice. This can be a little nerve-wracking if you haven’t had to do it before, but people, most people anyway, don’t bite! Just introduce yourself and start chatting about something around you. If you want to learn how to swim, you’ve got to jump in the water at some point!