Make New Connections

New journeyWhy Change?

Maybe you have decided you don’t like the direction your life is going in and you want to make some changes.

Perhaps you have come out of a long term relationship, and your old friends have slipped by the wayside, moved away or you just don’t have anything in common with them now.

You may have already made some changes, such as moved to a new town, interstate or even a new country and now you find yourself starting from scratch, without knowing many friendly faces.

Ways to Make New Friends

Making new friends can revitalise your life.  New people where you have no history and no connections to your previous relationships.  New friends opening the door to new interests.  But where do you start?

I have had a few conversations lately with people who have said that making new friends has been hard especially if they are pretty new to the area, so I got to thinking about the different ways to make new connections.

My personal experience when I arrived in Perth in 2006 was that it was hard to break into existing friendship circles. It took a long time and a lot of persistence, and the kindness of a few that took me under their wing. One of the first positive steps that I took was to search for a book group. I did a lot of Googling and found lots of out-dated forums and dead links but nothing close to current. So, I put an ad on Gumtree, saying I wanted to start up a group. I set out what I thought would be good criteria; that each member would take it turns to host, and the host would choose the book and put on food.  The intention was to meet people, make friends, and maybe even talk about books! I had many many responses. I set a time to meet up on two different evenings, and lo! The book group was born.

We still meet up monthly, share stories about life, eat great food, and sometimes we even talk about books!

Other Ways to Meet New People

Another way to meet people with similar interests can be to develop new interests.  There are a multitude of short courses  which are a terrific way to get a taster, whether learning salsa,  soap making , website design, or making garden sculptures from metal, the possibilities are endless. Sometimes you will make friends and sometimes you may just learn how to make something odd for that year’s Christmas Gift.

Try some volunteering. It could be at your local art gallery or museum or for an environmental group planting trees. It is a terrific way to meet people.

Some of my friends have made wonderful connections volunteering, others through house sitting, dog walking and other tasks. There are also some good networking groups around – from women in business to general business groups and specialised business groups. LinkedIn is another good place to look.  virtual groups often have actual meet ups.  Meetup.com is a website that caters for social meeting. You can join an existing group or just start your own. Of course, always play it safe, meet new people in a public place, and don’t give out too much of your personal information.

Local libraries and supermarket notice boards advertise events, classes and social groups. Local civic centres sometimes run free courses on things like composting, water wise gardens, conservation and even local history. Check websites or the local paper to find out what may be on.

Even if you don’t really feel like it, if you are invited to something go along, even if it is only for half an hour. The more often you go to things, the more likely you are to get invited to other things. And if you are there on your own, and see someone else on their own, try saying hello! If they give you the cold shoulder then it is an opportunity lost, for them. Move along, scan the room and smile into the distance. Chances are someone will see you and realise that you are approachable and come over and chat.

Get out there, make it happen. And hey, let me know how you get on!

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