How to Make Friends and Grow Your Network!
New to a city and looking to make friends or establish a network? This one is for you!!
Relocating is so common today! Either we are relocating, or our besties are moving one by one. Just within my four-year career, I have moved three times! With each move, I have found a common theme for myself and others I meet: it is LONELY and HARD to make friends!! Trust me, you are NOT ALONE.
Something I wasn't prepared for with my first move was how LONELY it can be – especially when you move to a place where you don't know anyone. After the excitement of my first move and the new job wore off, I was surprised at the cabin fever I experienced due to a lack of others to talk to or social things to do, and I always had great anxiety for the approaching weekend - not knowing what the heck I would do to avoid being ALONE.
After getting sick of crying in my wine-stained comfy pants, I took charge to make some real friends. I found mad success with the following tips below and my confidence sky-rocketed each time I tried any of the below actions.
Grab some coffee, tea, or a glass of wine and read the below tips to create some new opportunities for yourself that will take your life to the next level!
Tips for making friends/building your network:
1. Schedule FUN into your calendar.
Sit down on a Sunday and a fill out a FUN calendar! Your fun calendar should include social events, or opportunities to try new things! Check local events, groups and activities in Facebook, Meet-Up or your city's events calendar. Facebook in particular is a great resource for finding girl groups, support groups and even roommates! If you do have some friends/acquaintances already, set-up some coffee dates or wine nights! Start small on this – just pick two days in the upcoming week to try something new, from a hair braiding class to a book club. Seriously, you have seven days of the week to Netflix and chill, will it really kill you to give up one or two nights?
Why is planning ahead crucial? You will NEVER feel like it in the moment. If you are like me, when you have finished a long day of work, the LAST thing you want to do is go hang with people you don't know well and be social! All I really want to do is go home, throw on my comfiest yoga pants and t-shirt, and pour myself a glass of wine (or 4) while waiting for the Bachelor to start (OMG can the next season be ready yet?!?!). When you plan meetings ahead, you make that commitment and emotionally prepare for the event. Just like you'll never regret completing a workout, you won't regret being brave and trying something new! Now go put some fun plans on your calendar and get excited for an event you have coming up!
**The confidence you experience from trying something new is so different from going back home into your safe place… I have realized I feel more powerful and authentic after trying something new, even if I don’t like it!**
2. Join a Book Club
Find a local book club even if you hate reading books. Book clubs normally meet once a month and 80% of the club doesn’t finish the book or read past the first chapter anyway. There are so many different personalities within these groups that you are bound to learn something new or bond with someone. Also, as you meet more people, you find out about other interesting events going on. Book club is not just about the book, it is an easy peasy way to meet people and have something to talk about, whether it's about the book or not!
3. Commit to doing an active, social activity regularly.
Find a way to move your body that lights you up and offers opportunities to do it with others. I hate running, cycling or any method of cardio and have gotten bored of weight lifting. However, recently I started doing Barre Class and this is lighting me up! Instead of pretending to lift at the gym, I have found a Barre studio full of women my age and it’s a perfect outlet to workout and also socialize with others outside of work and home. Figure out your favorite method of moving from hiking to Crossfit and find a social setting or club to do it in consistently! There are so many cool clubs for working out that deliver a triple whammy of benefits by meeting friends, doing something great for your body and mind!
4. Use Instagram to identify friends.
Look up hashtags of your city on Instagram and see who/what pops up! This is the first thing I did when I moved back to Nashville – I searched #nashvillebossbabes and found a ton of girls with similar entrepreneurial interests to mine, and if they looked legit, I asked them to meet me for coffee! 80% of the girls replied and some have become great friends or told me ways to get more involved with the Nashville community which lead to more friends and more opportunities! This might take some extra courage, but if you are willing to face potential rejection by someone not responding, GO FOR IT! What do you have to lose? **If you are meeting a stranger, be cautious and meet in a public place!!**
5. Sign-up for Bumble BFF.
This is the mecca of finding friends who are in a similar situation as you – sick of lonely Netflix and chill nights spent in wine-stained comfy pants. The girls on Bumble BFF are HUNGRY for friends and ready to go on a friend date tomorrow or even the same night. Download this app and write down exactly what you are looking for in a friend!! I did this when I lived in Kansas City and met a friend that opened SO MANY doors for me including a badass mastermind group.
6. Schedule coffee dates.
Make it a habit to meet people for coffee and build this expense into your budget! Ask anyone and everyone to coffee that you can learn something from, teach something to or gossip about The Bachelor with! Why coffee? Because it's a small commitment that could last for 10 minutes or 3 hours if you're having a great time. Getting used to asking others for a coffee meetup builds serious confidence and while also allowing you to try out new places in your city!
7. Start a side hustle.
Ok – if you barely have friends there is a good chance you have some time on your hands. If you are good at baking or taking pictures, start learning more about how you could monetize it! This could become a really fun hobby or maybe lead to a new opportunity. When you become interested in a specific topic or activity, it also leads to other groups of people you can meet who can teach you something new.
8. Find a mentor and be a mentor.
One of the best ways to build confidence is to learn and also teach. Wherever you are in your journey, you always have insight based on your life experiences or have something to learn. Try to always have someone to learn from and also someone you can help or teach.
9.Start your own group.
Can’t find any local groups that spike your interests? Maybe you love horse riding or knitting and can’t find any clubs! Start your own club on your terms! Others with the same interest will thank you for starting a group they have been yearning for!!
Lather, rinse, REPEAT! As you go along this journey, you may find a bunch of new friends or even a special significant other and find yourself “too comfortable” again. You can always go back to this list!
I think it is time I go back to this list, as I just got engaged, and it is easy as quicksand to get pulled back into your comfort zone!!
WE GOT THIS!