Moving to a new city can be a little scary for many different reasons. You’re likely to get very lost, struggle to find convenient Chinese takeout and the closest grocery store, and even struggle to navigate your new office building. With all that aside, what can be the most overwhelming is meeting new people and navigating a new social scene. So if your job brings you to a city where you don’t know anyone, the social adjustment can be challenge.
Even if you’re feeling alone and overwhelmed during your first couple days in a new place, there’s no reason to resign from being the social butterfly that you are. Meeting new people can sometimes be nerve-racking, but it’s entirely possible to make connections with new fun people if you are willing to put yourself out there. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you enter the social scene in your new home.
Even if you aren’t in a situation where introductions are completely necessary, such as in the hallway of your apartment building or walking past a neighbor on the street, say hello and tell them your name. If you don’t, you will continue to be known as “the new girl/guy.” Once you take this first step, you will now be known as “(insert your name here), the new girl/guy,” which is a start! Getting on first-name basis with people will lead to future interactions and build your social network!
Never underestimate the power of a friendly face. A smile can show people that you are a welcoming and easy-going person. People are more likely to engage socially with people who are smiling! Who would you rather invite out to drinks after work: the guy who smiles at you when you cross paths in the office kitchen, or the guy who looks grumpy and stressed all the time? Get that grin going, and you’ll be connecting with new people and in no time.
Never Say No
If you get an invite to a wine and cheese party, or get invited to drinks after work, GO! Even if you’re tired or there’s a new episode of “Game of Thrones” on TV, you will not regret going where you’ll have the chance to meet new people and build relationships. Even if you already know the one person who invited you, you never know who else you will run into or what you will end up talking about once you get there. Invites are opportunities, so take them.
Read the situation. If it seems appropriate to enter a conversation, go for it. If you are overhearing a group of co-workers talking about hitting up a new karaoke bar in town, there is no harm in expressing interest in coming along. Sometimes people feel just as uncomfortable inviting new people to things as you are with joining in. Even if this makes you slightly nervous or uncomfortable, it’s bound to pay off in the end.
Ask a Neighbor or Colleague Out for a Drink
If you find yourself with no plans on a Friday night, make one! Call up your neighbor or ask some people you meet in the office if they want to get a drink or catch a movie. It is unlikely that they would reject you completely. If they have other plans, they may invite you to join in on that instead. Asking people to hang out will make them much more comfortable inviting you to things in the future.
Offer a Helping Hand
When you go out of your way to help someone out, you will be remembered. Anything from letting your neighbor borrow your gardening tools to offering to give their kids a lift home from school to being the one to refill the coffee pot in the office will help you stand out. People will soon think of you favorably and be more inclined to reach out to you.
So if you’re concerned about making friends in a new city, fret no more! If you keep these pointers in mind, you’ll be fully adjusted to the social scene in no time.