making friends

Making Friends In A New City

Written By:

Lynn Whitbeck

I recently moved to a new area where I don’t know anyone. I’ve always been shy, but I want to make some new friends. How and where can I meet new people? How do I develop friendships now that I’m out of school? – Riley in Tucson, AZ

Answer:

LYNN: I’m going to start with a question back to you, Riley: What do you like to do? Because that is where you’re going to meet new people and make new friends who have shared interests.

You can do a web search for groups and clubs in your area. You can check out local stores. Many will have a bulletin board, classes, and maybe group outings. You can also join a gym. You’re going to meet people with whom you share a common passion when you get involved. After that it’s easy to arrange to meet your new acquaintances before or after a class for a coffee or another activity. Then there are community organizations, with many different ways for you to participate. When you volunteer and you’ll meet great people with similar interests.

Don’t forget your work! Depending on how close you live to your job, there may be co-workers who live nearby or who have like interests. They may be able share information about an organization or event that’s going on. My late husband met a lot of great friends at work. He joined several of these clubs and met people that didn’t work anywhere near his department, and had a wonderful time getting out and about. So join in and in no time you will make new friends.

TINA: Lynn, you have provided some great suggestions! I am partial to the volunteering approach – great way to meet compassionate people.

When you’re new to an area, particularly if you’re shy and find it difficult to make friends, focus on those things that you really enjoy doing. Look for classes that interest you – perhaps cooking or needlework work classes. I love Lynn’s idea of joining a gym and getting to know more active people there. And don’t forget your neighbors – talk with them and see what type of activities they’re involved with.

I realize that making friends can be difficult. However, if you are in your comfort zone enjoying activities that you are familiar with, it might be easier to strike up a conversation with like-minded people. Through those new associations, you will have an opportunity to learn more about your new community and find your place within it.

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