Long gone are the times of playground games, sports camps and endless birthday parties. Long gone are the glory days at Uni, where being a loner was as impossible as keeping a face straight when someone trips over. You have grown up, you have a job, a house and all the bills to pay, never to mention kids to feed and to take to their respective friends and play dates.
So, when was the last time you have made a new friend?
If you can’t hack how to make new friends as an adult, we have the right tactics to trick strangers into thinking you are good a person!
How to make new friends in a new city
I have been through the whole ‘how to make friends in a new city’ when I was not doing something cool like an internship at BBC Top Gear in London, or taking up my first job in media in Redditch. As I have recently moved from a rather big city at the doors of Milan to a tiny residencial village not far, in the hope of entering a community of friendly people, professionals too, who shared the same interests and passions I have.
Where do the locals go, what do they do?
You have got to put your anthropologist hat on and study where to and how to find friends in a new city. Think and act local.
The local pub, gym, hair salon, supermarket, post office: in a small town, but also in the neighborhood of a big city, meeting people that you are actually going to be able to fee the distance to meet up again in the future starts with showing yourself around in the local amenities. I kept meeting the same girl every time, until one day we said ‘ we’ve got to stop this!’ and that triggered a conversation that led to the discovery we have both worked in the same industry, we love sports and so on and so forth.
Talk to people
You don’t want people to think you are a lunatic or that you are trying it on with them. You don’t want to annoy people either. Before approaching somebody to say something, play the reverse situation in your head: how would you feel if somebody approached you and said that? Unfortunately, how to make friends as an adult takes up more courage and a little bit of forgetting of your inhibitions, but just not too much.
People are generally bored as they wait for their coffee to be made at the counter, or whilst they are queing at the mechanics. Pick up on something and if you have done your homework and become a local wanderer, you should be able to spark a conversation on the things you both do locally to find out the other person’s interests.
What type of friends are you looking for?
Do you need a pal to go out with at night? Is it a fitness partner you are looking for or somebody to talk to? These are the factors you have to take into account when ‘picking’ friends. There’s no point in speaking, as in organising dates, with somebody who is never going to help you in whatever it is you have established you need help with.
How do ‘you’ become their friends?
You have finally found somebody who is going to come running with you or that can share your passion for caffeine and infinite chats. Now what? How can you make sure that they become interested in you and that a friendship is successfully installed?
Make sure you don’t postpone that message, thay you show that you are grateful for what they do for you and of course that you care about them. Don’t be self absorbed, ask them questions: questions on things they have been telling you – you have to try to listen more.
This doesn’t mean you have to buy your relationship off, but do turn up with a little gift, a gesture showing that you do care about them and that they are just not filling in your time.
Read “How to win friends and influence people” by Dame Canergie
It is the best selling book of all time, which means two things: we are all alone and seek for how to make friends as whatever we have tried didn’t work, it’s a really good book to read. I love this quote, and if you are trying to make friends with me, please use it as golden rule:
Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain. Human nature does not like to admit fault. When people are criticized or humiliated, they rarely respond well and will often become defensive and resent their critic. To handle people well, we must never criticize, condemn or complain because it will never result in the behavior we desire.
Use sarcasm instead, at least it’s funny!