How to Make Friends in a New Neighborhood When You Are Shy

Getty / Echo
Get together with new people who share your interests to make friends. Getty / Echo

A common concern when moving to a new neighborhood is how you are going to meet people in the community. Making friends can be a challenge for anyone, whether you are socially anxious or not.

A great way to meet new people and gain some friendships is to expand your interests and cultivate the ones you already have.

One of the hardest parts of making friends is how to arrive at that initial conversation.

How do you get to the part where you say “hi” to someone? What about where you talk about what you have in common?

If you aren’t the kind of person who can just walk up to anyone and start a conversation, a great option is to get involved in the community.

Even if an activity might not be something you have done before, such as a book club or a hiking group, it’s always a good idea to give these types of activities a try for a few reasons.

First, you might find that you really enjoy an activity that you had never tried before, such as knitting. Second, there isn’t the pressure of having to make awkward small talk because there will always be something to talk about: the activity you are doing!

Finally, you are guaranteed to meet new people and may even find out about more ways to get involved in the community.

If you’ve ventured out and tried some new things to meet people, you are probably ready for the next step; invite others to participate in your interests.

For example, let’s say that you attended a book club and met several people who also had dogs. A great way to get to know these people better would be to ask if they would like to join you for walks with your dog.

Since you already had met in the book club, it will be a lot easier to ask them to go dog walking than if you had just seen them outside in the neighborhood.

The same works for any other type of activity. All you have to do is try to see who might be interested in your passion and go from there.

If asking people in person is a bit too daunting, there is always the option of a quick text or email!

However, let’s say that you went to a hiking club and didn’t really meet anyone who had any similar interests to yours. No worries!

Go to another meeting of the club or activity you attended and ask the leader of the group if you can make a quick announcement during the meeting. You might not know if anyone has a similar interest, simply because they didn’t know you were also interested in it. If public speaking is a challenge, even more reason to give this a try!

Invite members of the group to go birdwatching, biking, or whatever other activity interests you.

Moving to a new area and making friends can be a cause of worry for many people. The key is to stay positive, get involved and then get others involved with what you like to do.

Make sure to stay active in the community.

From there, you will have the foundation laid for making connections and lasting friendships.

Although it may seem difficult at first, keep pushing forward and make as many connections in the new community as possible.

By using these tips the process will be much less stressful and hopefully some new friendships will grow. Always remember, a simple “hi” with a smile goes a long way in making friends.

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