11 Strategies for Making New Friends in a New City

12 Min Read

To some people, making friends in a new environment seems like a daunting task. I understand that while some people want companions, buddies, or pals, they can communicate with and do what friends do, not everyone might have the balls to take the first approach to making new friends. 

The purpose of this article is to help those of you that are shy and cannot choose your friends especially when you find yourself in a new city or environment. If this feels like you then you are lucky to be in the right place as this blog post was written to show you some of the amazing strategies for making new friends. 

So without wasting much of your time let’s get into business, shall we? 

11 Strategies for Making New Friends in a New City 

Here are the 11 strategies I learned about making new friends in a new city: 

1. Use the Magic Words “Hi” and “Hello”

“Hi” and “Hello” are the two most underrated words in the English Language but trust me these two words can perform wonders you may never think of in a thousand years. Not to exaggerate, there is a lot you can achieve with a simple, warm “Hi” or “Hello.” It’s indeed the first big barrier. You have to make the first step to start a conversation and others will follow suit. 

To make new friends faster in a new city you need to be the first to break ice.  Most people are not great starters so you need to put them in the mood and get to know them better. Ordinarily, it can be challenging to engage someone who you just recently met in a conversation but with a “Hi” you can streamline the process and achieve your aim much faster than it seems.  

2. Detach Yourself from the Outcome and Focus More on the Process 

Instead of focusing on the outcome (result) focus more on the process as it will help you face disappointment and rejection without getting offended.  Remember that not everyone you come across whether offline or online will not agree to your friend request hence you need not pay so much attention to what to expect.  

There’s a difference between perceived outcomes and what actually happens. How many times have you worried so much about a situation and surprisingly it turned out much better than you anticipated? If I don’t expect any outcome from whatever I’m doing, then there will be no need to feel disappointed if things should go south. 

3. Tolerate Rejection

Rejections will most definitely always come and it is inevitable. Don’t make a deal out of rejections – there are more people out there to interact with. One thing for sure is that if you get rejected it isn’t about you but about where they are at mentally, so don’t take it personally. Just have it in mind that if they passed up on the opportunity to connect with you, then they missed out on something great. 

4. Don’t Mind What Strangers Think

Let them think what they want to think. Let them say whatever they have to say. You just have to stay focused and do that which you have in mind to achieve. It is your life and business and you have the right to talk to whomever you want to talk to, and don’t let anyone dictate for you.  

You need to understand that not everyone is that open and not everyone would like to be friends with you. If they don’t give you a listening ear in the first place then let them be but if they do then you have a higher chance of becoming their friend. Overall, allow people to be how they are and think how they do, without letting it get to you an inch.  

5. If You Feel the Fear, Do it Afraid Regardless 

What better way to overcome fear than doing the thing you seem scared of.  For me, I advise that you don’t do it once but repeatedly until you have not only gained mastery but no longer see it as much of a big deal. Finding a good friend is as tough as making one and I understand that many people get scared at first.  

However, there’s nothing to fear if you ask me. If you ever feel a tingling sensation for someone kindly walk up to the person with a welcome approach and let them know how you feel. The worst that can happen is for them to tell you a “NO” It will hurt but trust me, you will get over it.  Moreover, respect their boundaries and decisions.  

6. Practice Until You Gain Perfection 

While first impressions matter a lot, don’t worry if you are a bit awkward or aggressive in your first approach.  With time, you should be bold enough to say how you feel and possibly then strangers to your friends through healthy communication. 

However, if your intentions are genuine then there is absolutely no need to worry over failure in your first approach.  Like any other skill, making friends in a new city can be quite difficult for so many people but with time as you continue to build your communication skills you should be able to get the people you want to be your friends.  

7. Make it About Them

It mustn’t always be about you all the time. Discuss something different but this time make it about them. Talk about their interests, opinions, and ideas. Then respond to what they share. Don’t be too forward and give them a chance to air their thoughts.  

The most effective way to keep someone interested in a conversation is to show an interest in their life. Everyone likes to talk about themselves. Even if you don’t know a lot about a particular subject, keep asking questions to understand them. That way, you can get them hooked up for as long as you wish! 

8. Switch Up the Tempo With Laughter 

If you think smiling is the real catch then you really don’t know the magic of laughing. I don’t mean the cringe kind of laughter but pure laughter can change the atmosphere and make the conversation even more fun and joyful. People enjoy talking with others who can make them laugh. You mustn’t take life too seriously after all none of us will get out of it alive! 

9. Try to Discover What They Like 

This is no way near rocket science; it is something you can figure out right from when you hold a conversation with them. For instance, If you notice they are eager to learn or know more about a particular thing you can ask more questions about that. 

Most people like it when you show interest in what they like or do. Let’s assume you asked “What do you like doing in your leisure period?” and they say “Painting.” To get their attention you can ask some more questions on painting and maybe even go as far as engaging them in some art work to create a strong bond. 

10. Go Out With a Big and Contagious Smile!

Smiling gives a good first impression. You can enhance your smiling skills by practicing in the mirror then take it a little bit further by smiling to the world. You never can tell who may fall in love with your smile.  

Most times, when I smile I notice that people get relaxed around me. It is not magic, but it can help you make friends faster and even make people feel comfortable when you are with them.  Sometimes, you may even be lucky enough to get a smile back when you smile first.   

11. Have it in Mind that the Person is Already Your Friend 

To make things easier, imagine in your mind that the person is already your friend. The aim is to create the friendship in your head and make it come through in reality. By doing so, you’ll treat them as a friend instead of seeing them as strangers.

Another better strategy that can play a nicer role is by being comfortable around the person you want to be friends with. It is unsurprisingly the best way to start a new friendship. Psychologically, when you are friendly to someone, there is a higher tendency that they will be friendly back.  

Take a chance today and talk to someone new today and turn those people you see as strangers to your friends! 

Wrap Up 

To make new friends in a new city you need to have courage to approach people who you possibly will be meeting for the first time. It can be quite daunting but with the right manners and communication skills you can get anyone to become your friend. However, bear in mind that you may not always get a “YES” all the time so be prepared for some rejections on the way. I hope this article helps you make new friends!

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