Gather Your Courage and Go, Meet New People and Make New Friends, A Step-by-Step

As a child my family moved numerous times. Which means I don’t have a lot of friends from my youth.

Mom and dad before their last long-distance move.

After my husband and I settled in one locations, for twenty-six years, long-standing friendships developed. Friends who were like family. People who were there for me after his death. However, others had their own lives to live. My life was empty.

What to do, what to do?

My solution? Find new friends, rekindle old interests, or get involved in new ones.

The question – How?

Here’s what I did, and it might help you too.

DETERMINE LIMITS

For example, when I first ventured out, driving at night was not an option. I was a year out from his death and felt more comfortable snug in the house after dark. Driving at night had never been a big concern and I knew that at some point I’d return to being on the road after dark. Not right then, no need to push myself too far. It’s also important to determine how far you’re willing to travel for your interests. Since I live in a rural area, driving 2 hours is no issue for me. For someone else, a thirty minute drive is out of the question.

CONSIDER YOUR INTERESTS   

What do you enjoy doing? What did you do in the past you’d like to do again? Is there something new you think you’d like to try? For me it was Toastmasters. I was trying to be a writer, and several people had mentioned I’d need to speak in public to promote my book. Why not check out Toastmasters? I did, and have been a member ever since, almost 12 years now.

FIND A LOCATION

It’s important to find where a particular hobby or interest is pursued. Checking with family and friends is one way. The internet is another. You can simply google your interest, then look for the location nearest you. There is also Meet-UP, where people post about their group’s requirements and meeting information. You can even create your own Meet-up if you want, and have a place to meet.

MAKE A DATE TO ATTEND

Once you know the specifics, where and where the group gathers, make a date with yourself to attend. If possible tell someone in the group  you will be coming. I had to call the Toastmasters group and ask if they allowed visitors and get the specifics. At the end of the call, the person on the other end, Scott, said, “We’ll see you Monday. I’m looking forward to meeting  you.” Now I was committed, he expected me to show  up and it sounded as though he’d tell the others I was coming.

Still, even with someone expecting me to come, I had to pump myself up. After all, it wouldn’t be that big a disappointment for them if I didn’t show. For me, not attending meant staying in the same place emotionally. Going was a big deal.

I wrote the meeting on the calendar. Picked out what I’d wear (something that made me feel more confident.) Filled the car up with gas (to eliminate that excuse.) Planned out my route, and gathered some change for the toll road.

GATHER UP YOUR COURAGE AND GO

That’s it. You have everything  you need ready for the visit. All that’s left is to gather up your courage, remind yourself you can do this, take a deep breath and go. Remember, if you start to tear up, you can always excuse yourself and step out of the room while you gather your composure. If it starts to feel overwhelming, you can leave, no one is going to tie you in a chair and make you stay.

However, if you give the gathering, whatever kind it is, a chance you may find yourself with a new set of friends. Although I no longer attend that first Toastmaster group, for a variety of reasons, those people are close to my heart and I’m in contact with several of them on a regular basis.

Once you’ve ventured out to one activity it will be easier to try something else if you desire.

Just a few Toastmasters gathering for food, entertainment, education, and visiting.

Note:

It was suggested that for today’s post for the Ultimate Blog Challenge,  we post a how-to.  Since I’m working on a how-to create a gratitude jar or journal and it’s not ready, I went a different route.  Of course, we can always be grateful we have an opportunity to meet new people. We can be grateful about the new people we meet. Reasons for gratitude can be found everywhere.

In the meantime, if you’re an introvert (hello, nice to meet you), live alone, and are wanting (even if you don’t feel quite ready) to meet others or become involved in something bigger than you, I say go for it. Find  your people.

What is something you’d like to do but never have?

What is the most recent group or activity you joined?

What drives you to join a group?

About Nita

Quilter, writer, speaker, mom and grandmom. I enjoy making quilts for my grandkids, and other children. I especially love hearing and sharing quilt stories with others, that's how the book came about and this blog will continue to share quilt stories and how God works with quilts to comfort and teach us.
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6 Responses to Gather Your Courage and Go, Meet New People and Make New Friends, A Step-by-Step

  1. Mary Corbett says:

    No matter what our age we all need to have a tribe that will change and evolve over time but taking the action steps one at a time, one foot in front of the other is so essential – I liked your blog

  2. Eydie says:

    Moving is a difficult task unto itself. Add having to make new friends – well, it’s double the hardship. I’ve not had to move too often in my life, but I did move from NY to CA. Then more recently from CA to AZ. I had so many great friends in CA and I thought I’d have a difficult time finding friends in AZ. Well – I was wrong. I just put my head in the right space to make new friends. I forced myself to be more outgoing. I also knew that I had to take the first step in the business of building new relationships. I joined clubs, attended pot luck lunches, and invited people over for coffee or drinks. Before you knew it – I was surrounded by a LOT of new friends.

  3. Martha says:

    My granddaughter is an introvert and I need to share this with her! Thanks for you your incites!

  4. yajja2015 says:

    Thanks for sharing tips for those persons who desire to venture back into creating a new circle of friends or rekindle relationships. Many entrepreneurs, mostly women, who work from home get comfortable about not having to get out and meet other people. The reality is being an entrepreneur can be lonely and we need support in our business but also our lives in general so it makes sense to creating ongoing relationships.

  5. Fran says:

    Oh, Nita, this brought back such memories for me. After my divorce, I found myself lost. I was used to being a couple. I began to make a list of things I wanted to do, as you said. I also had to do this with my career since we had a business together. I started at the top and began trying things out one at a time until I found a life I loved. Now I help others do the same. Those who are introverts, or starting over and lost. It’s not easy. I’m sorry about your loss and am happy you found your new life. thank you for this.

  6. That is a great idea. You have to push yourself to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. Funny story, I met my husband by deciding to meet new people. I am not good at meeting new people and decided to wander outside of the box to see what life had to offer me. I am so glad I did.

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