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How To Make A Bunch Of New Friends In Any New City

How To Make A Bunch Of New Friends In Any New City

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Last Updated on October 15, 2018

Why Helping Others Actually Helps Yourself

Why Helping Others Actually Helps Yourself

Helping others: it’s a fundamental part of humanity, bonding together and helping a fellow man or woman. In times of tragedy, the stories of those who help others are inspiring, such as helping the nation recover from national disasters and terrorist attacks. Some men and women even devote their lives to helping others, from the police force that protects our cities, to the fire departments who run into burning buildings, to the service men and women who risk their lives for the common good.

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ― Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank

But helping others isn’t limited to these grand gestures or times of tribulation. Helping others can be done each and every day. And contrary to what you may have heard, helping others doesn’t always have to be a selfless act. It’s important to understand that helping others can actually help yourself. No matter what the motivation, getting out and helping others is the key. So in that spirit of motivation, here are 5 reasons why helping others actually helps yourself.

1. Quid Pro Quo

When you help someone, they will be more likely to help you. This is the basic, unspoken agreement that fuels nearly every move. I’ll spend my entire day lugging boxes, but you owe me. It’s much easier to find help when someone knows you’d do the same for them. They may not always live up to their end of the bargin, and you may not either. But if you help enough people and do many good deeds, it will be given back when needed.

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2. Karma goes both ways.

All too often, the idea of Karma is described in a negative way. If you do bad, bad will come find you. But it works the other way too. When you are a good person and help people, good things seem to happen. And while you may not believe in an inter-connected universe that rewards good deeds, there is something to be said about how helping others changes your perspective. When you’re helping others, you will often feel better about yourself, increasing the likelihood that your next experience will be a positive one, rather than a negative one.

3. Doing good feels good.

It’s maybe the most cited benefit of doing good: you’ll feel great. Helping others is a great way to feel better about yourself. Seeing a smile or even tears of joy makes it all worth it. It’s as simple as that.

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4. Good publicity is the best publicity.

People notice when you’re doing good. It may not be the reason you help out, but someone is always watching. Even the simplest gesture can make an awesome impression.

When I was in college, I had a class that helped out at a school for a full day. I worked with a small group of high school students who were incredibly interested in writing, and I had a great time. I asked the teacher if I could come back on my own time and work with these students to finish this project we were working on, to which she agreed.

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I went two more times that week, thinking nothing more about it. Fast forward a few weeks: I received a letter in the mail stating I had been chosen as a Presidential Grant Recipient for the summer and received a $2,000 stipend to work with a group of students and professors on a research project over the summer. I was floored, as I hadn’t even applied. I was nominated by that teacher who appreciated the work I did with her students. It wasn’t expected, but helping others ended up opening a door I never would have known was even available.

5. Helping others looks good on a resume or application.

Is your resume looking a little thin? Does your college application need a bit of pizzaz? Volunteering your time and energy to help others makes your resume and applications look as good as it makes you feel. Hiring managers look favorably on volunteer work and many acceptance committees use it to separate similar candidates. So read to some first graders, volunteer at the homeless shelter, and volunteer at your local Boys and Girl Club. Your resume will thank you.

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Featured photo credit: xavi talleda via flickr.com

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