First of all, it is important to establish that there is nothing wrong with being an introvert. This is not about that. Introverts lead rich and fulfilling lives that extroverts may struggle to understand. But that does not make it any less meaningful.
Instead, this is a guide for anyone in a new stage of life or a new place and wants to network and make new friends help them put down roots in their new community. The steps apply to anyone. The amount of passion you put in them depends entirely on you.
Whether you’re the type of person who enjoys meeting people on an MMORPG server or the type of person who memorizes random facts about Antarctica for a pub quiz, these tips are designed to help you form meaningful connections with new people.
When you’re starting over in a new place, you can finally let go of the expectations others have placed on you. Other people may mean well, but they see you in a way that you may feel the obligation to fit into simply because that person is important to you.
In a new place, you are no longer constrained by the borders others place on you. You can fully embrace your inner self and live as you have always wanted to live. You will have an unassailable inner glow and confidence about you that will draw people to you because you are true to yourself. Confidently living your life is very attractive to others, and this will help you make new friends and make a better impression on your new colleagues or peers.
Take Controlled Steps Outside Your Comfort Zone
Stretch your horizons little by little. You do not have to throw yourself into a brand-new scene or activity and hope for the best. Try things out at your own pace. This is a great way to establish your boundaries and find out who should become your close friends and whom you should keep at arm’s length.
If a new friend makes a big deal about you leaving a club early, then they might not be the best person to trust. If they understand that you need time and space, then that is someone you can rely on to respect your boundaries.
Find Your People Online
From cosplay to hiking, you are sure to find your people online. Search for groups in your area that enjoy doing activities you like or are interested in trying out. These kinds of groups are usually very welcoming and can give you a sense of community.
They are also guaranteed to have something in common with you, which can be the basis of lasting and happy friendships. Make the time to attend this meeting regularly and participate with passion. Enjoying what you do is a great way to show people that you are sincere, and they will respond in kind to you.
Find an Extrovert and Adopt Them
This sounds funny, but it can be quite effective. The people you will interact with the most initially will be your work colleagues or peers. Befriend the most introverted person from this group that you like best. They are sure to introduce you to everyone they know and take you to new places that you would have never thought to go otherwise.
Extroverts are wonderful at breaking the ice, and being their friend greases the wheels when you want to talk to their other friends and acquaintances. If you liked them enough to befriend, then there is every chance that their friends are people you would enjoy spending time with too.
People love talking about themselves and their interests. They are never more themselves and sincere than when conversing at length about their favorite subject. So whenever you meet someone new, ask them questions about their interests.
Sometimes it can be awkward to ask people personal questions when you do not know them well. So having a ready prepared list of questions in your head to ask can help you ease past any initial awkwardness.
Having a ready list of questions also means that you will avoid awkward silences and move the conversation along smoothly. Once someone has opened up to you, do not feel shy to share your interests with them too. At the very least you will have a lovely conversation, at best, you will have a new fun friend.
Always remember, no one can have too many friends. Your tribe is out there, and they will welcome you with open arms once you meet them. So keep searching, at your own pace, but do keep looking for the people who will be your friends for life.