Sometimes it’s a new job. Sometimes it’s a new city, and sometimes it’s the same city but a lot of your friends have moved on. Unless you’re staying in the same town you’ve always lived in, you’ll probably find that you need to make a lot of new friends. When there is a lot of transition and you’re in a new season, you’ll need support, and a space to decompress, and encouragement. It starts with a few good friends, but don’t let it stop there.
I use the term “find community” because, in truth, it’s never about finding one friend. Community and friendship are not the same thing. A community provides an opportunity for you to grow and be a part of growing others. Drew Hunter shares more about this nuance in his post Community vs. Friendship.
The most overwhelming part of finding community is putting yourself out there. But there is one redeeming part of it, you’re only looking for people who are putting themselves out there too. Think about it, if you are invited to a party and you’re excited to be there, do you actually want to be in the corner with the one person who refuses to share their name? If you’re the person in the corner, you’re going to mesh with someone with the same level of “corner” energy.
Where To Look For New Friends
So, where do you start?
- Sign up for a group in your church/religious community
- Join an interest group at work
- Go to a free and public event in your city
- Join an entrepreneurship community in town
- Go out for drinks to celebrate a win or birthday at work
- Sign up for meetup.com and challenge yourself go to 1 event a month
And, my favorite podcast ever, Jesus and Jollof with Luvvie Ajayi and Yvonne Orji, has an amazing episode about adulting where they share how to get plugged into your city. I encourage you to listen to the whole episode because it’s great, but the part about meeting people starts at 22:30.
How to Move From Finding Community to Building Community
For me, the hardest part is getting out of the house and showing up. That said, I am an extrovert. Most of us meet new people or touch base with an acquaintance all the time. Community happens when we turn these sighting to interactions.
I encourage you to use every event that you attend as an opportunity to walk away with one genuine interaction. You won’t always find someone you’ll actually want to hang out with some other time, but there’s no shame in trying.
When you do connect with a like-minded person or even a group of people you can follow these easy steps:
- Share contact info
- Send them a quick “it was great meeting you” message/email
- Invite them to reconnect via coffee or a short call to keep the conversation going
This isn’t a guarantee that they’ll respond. 🤷 You’re creating an opportunity to continue the conversation. This way you can avoid forcing things.
Are you really good at meeting new people? What about finding new friend groups? I’d love to hear how you connect in a new season.
This post is part of my Adulting Starter Kit series. You can find more posts in this series here.