These past few days were great. Well, not counting the cold I seem to be catching, but other than that I enjoyed some really good times amongst friends. It was T.’s birthday a few days ago and since he likes to celebrate his birthday for more than just one day, we happened to celebrate four days in a row. There were a couple of dinners we got invited to by two of his best friends (they paid for them too which was really kind). There was a ‘shared birthday’ party that we joined as one of our friends had her birthday just a few days later. Good food, good music, good people – what else shall one desire?
Although I am literally all ‘birthday-ed out’, I have to say I did enjoy spending more time with the people outside of my usual social circle. It really felt like I was making a different kind of effort to carry a conversation, to make jokes, to be more aware of what I was saying. You know, just being more conscious about putting your best self forward 😉
On top of spending some quality time with T.’s friends (‘brothers’ as he calls them) I spent a lovely day with a newly met girlfriend. We even made a trip to IKEA together. We had fun, we joked, we laughed, we chatted about work, family, books and what not. E. is also Polish, around the same age as I am, we both have 2 year older sisters and her and my mom passed away around the same time. We literally bonded from the first time we spoke.
I had not made a new friend for quite a while and really loved how it felt to meet someone new who has a ‘potential’ to become a really good friend. We are already planning things to do together, especially when it gets warmer and we can get out of the house more often. We are planing on taking each other to all of our favorite spots in our hoods and to explore too; just spending time together enjoying each other’s company.
I will not be adding it to my goals and resolutions, but, on top nourishing and growing my existing friendships, I really want to make new friends this year. I want to be more open, more proactive and make more effort to follow up after I meet someone new. It has been way too many times that I would meet a person, thought she was nice and we had ‘a connection’ but it would never go past exchanging a few txt messages.
Are you hoping to make some new friends this year as well? Where and how do you usually meet new people?
Some ways that seem to be working for me, amongst other, are:
1. At work / through work connections
I have to say I am very blessed to work in a great environment. Most of my colleagues are super nice, helpful, kind, sincere and funny. Even at the busiest of times we always try to find a minute or two to catch up during lunch, say a joke, talk about family, upcoming holidays or anything else. It truly feels like a big family. With two girls whose desks are next to mine I became good friends too. Occasionally we make plans outside of the office, grabbing the infamous ‘cup of coffee’ together.
The above mentioned newly made friend, E., is a work connection as well. Both of us work as Executive Assistants and when our bosses exchanged emails keeping us on copy to schedule a follow up meeting, we realized that both of us are Polish. After we scheduled the meeting, E. just suggested ‘Hey, let’s meet’. It was THAT easy!
2. Hobby class
If you meet someone this way, you surely have at least one thing in common! 🙂 Yoga, dance, acting, cooking, guitar playing, knitting or anything else. It is also a great way to find an ‘after class’ partner to practice.
Sometimes I take a yoga class and simply find myself running out the moment it is over. I will try to make a conscious effort to speak to a person next to me. ‘Do you live in the area?’, ‘How long have you been doing yoga for?’, ‘Do you do any of those yoga retreats?’. So many opening lines to start a conversation!
3. Cafes, libraries and such
I actually made a couple of friends in a cafe with one of them becoming one of my best friends. Bonding time over coffee 🙂 Don’t be afraid to be the one starting the conversation. There is always something going on so you can use practically anything as a conversation starter.
4. Through your puppy
If you have a dog you are far ahead of the game in the ‘friend making’ field. In NYC at least. If you have a dog, and especially a puppy, everyone and I mean everyone will stop you to pet it, hold it and ask you questions about it. Use this to your advantage. At the dog’s park, if the pets make friends, it is super easy to suggest a ‘dog run’ date. This way the ‘masters’ can make friends too.
5. Local ‘classifieds’
Well, not really. I am NOT talking craigslist here. I am talking about local, community oriented websites such as our local Bazarynka. Bazarynka connects Polish community in the tri-state area. One of the sections is ‘make friends’. I actually replied to a couple of ads and met another super nice, Polish girl who lives in the area. It was good to remember that if I was looking for friends, the chance was that other people were too.
Where did YOU meet your friends?