New Friends

Even if you are naturally shy, these three tricks will help you to quickly build a new social circle in any new city.

1. Take Pictures

One of the great things about taking pictures at an event or party is that it gives you an excuse to get in touch with the person later.  Everybody loves seeing pictures of themselves, and it’s very easy after taking a picture to say “Are you on Facebook?” or “If you’d like I can email it to you.”

This can be the seed that leads to new connections. The next time you hear about a fun event email your new contacts to let them know about it.

2. Eat Alone In Public

If you don’t know anyone in a new city, it can be tempting to order take-out and retreat back to your lonely apartment or hotel room.  Instead, try eating by yourself in public as often as possible.

You might feel self-conscious eating by yourself but it has an important benefit: you are much easier to approach when you are alone.  People may be afraid of interrupting you or being rude if you are in a conversation with someone else.

Bring a book or newspaper to read (this will make you feel less self conscious).  Plus, having an interesting book with you will give others an excuse to start a conversation if they’ve read it.

3. Join A Class, Sports Team, Or Club

Yoga, salsa dancing, volleyball, jogging, Toastmasters (a public speaking club), a class for work, martial arts, etc.  Take up a new hobby or continue an old one!

These are all great places to meet new people, primarily because you will be forced to see the same people over and over again in the class.  You will automatically make friends with them if you have a common interest and are forced to see each other again.

If you’re having troubling thinking of a good one to join, try browsing the many clubs on MeetUp.com or the events on CraigsList.com

Bonus Tips:

  • In the beginning, never turn down an invitation from someone, even if it’s something you wouldn’t normally do.
  • Email your new friends with fun things to do instead of always asking what their plans are.  If they have a better plan you can always still drop yours and join them.  This will help establish you as someone who is contributing value instead of just taking it (people want this in a friend).
  • Don’t let little things in life piss you off or be a negative person.  Others won’t want to be around you!

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