Moving to a new city can be intimidating, especially when you don’t really know anyone in the area. I moved to Baltimore almost a year ago and I was a little nervous about finding a pack to run with. One of the most important decisions we make in our lives is who we decide to surround ourselves with. There’s a really good phrase that I like and I’ll paraphrase it for you, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” In other words, spend time around those who push you and turn you into your best self. Now you can see why I was so nervous about moving. I didn’t want to settle for the first people that I met. I wanted a social circle that would allow me to be my best self. So, how do you get a social circle like this?
Building my social circle was one of my top priorities as I moved to a new city. It’s very easy for me to go to work, then to the gym, then make a great dinner, and then get a great night sleep. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But at some point, you’ll feel isolated and you won’t be pushing yourself. Finding a healthy routine is fantastic, but sometimes you have to break out of your shell to grow. I had to push myself to build the incredible social circle I have today. Within just six short months after moving to Baltimore, I remember I had a party at my house with 20 of my new friends. I didn’t pressure them to come at all. They truly wanted to be there for me and for the company of others. I remember taking a minute to soak all of this in towards the end of the party. I was thinking how happy I was that I accomplished the goal of mind to build a great group of friends in just six short months. These were people that I thoroughly enjoyed being around and they enjoyed being around me. I felt extremely lucky that they were all in my life. I’ll share with you some of the things I did and some tricks and hacks that I would recommend for you to start building your social circle.
- UTILIZE YOUR LOCAL CONNECTIONS – This is the first and foremost important thing you should do. This should be pretty obvious. If you know anyone in the area you’re moving to, then use that as an opportunity to build your relationship with them. For me, I knew a girl in the area that I went to college with. We were decent friends, but we never spent much one on one time together. I used this as an opportunity to build up that friendship and I did. We did fun activities together like going to baseball games, cooking, going out for drinks, or just going out for a walk. As I built my relationship with her, she started to be more comfortable with introducing me to her friends. One friend introduces you to five friends, then those five friends introduce you to five more friends, and so on. Your circle starts to compound. Treat every new connection like that first connection. Build that trust and spend some amount of time one and one and getting to know each other. Today, my original one friend and I are very close. Since we have that initial connection, we feel very comfortable going to each other if we ever need anything or talk about something difficult.
- THROW A PARTY – Or parties**. After you develop a few core friends, invite people over to your place and tell them to bring anyone. It usually helps if you can supply alcohol or food, but it isn’t necessary. The reason I added this one is because when you have people over, whether they are friends or if they are new, they will be very appreciative that you’re offering your place up to them. This gives you a great opening and first impression. People are always nice to the person throwing the party or having people over. So be nice back and start up a conversation. Getting to know someone in this setting is very advantageous because the conversation is already backed with positivity and gratitude. It’s also a great look for you because you will be looked at as the Pied Piper of fun for that night. Since it’s your place, you will be in a leadership role for the night which is great for your confidence and for getting your friends to appreciate your presence. Another perk of having people over is that your friends will likely think of you the next time they have a party or some type of gathering, since you offered your place to them. There you go, you just inserted yourself into that circle and now you’ll be in the loop of things. It’s helpful if your place is close to lots of things to do. For instance, my place is close to a lot of bars and restaurants that my friends and I like going to. It’s easier for them to come over then go to other places from there. Or for after the bars, it’s easy for them to bring food back to mine and have some cheeky drunk pizza with everyone while you replay the night with your lads.
- BE YOURSELF – “Wow, great advice Conrad.” Yes, it’s cliché and obvious, but it’s true and I’ll tell you why. Your vibe attracts your tribe. Just by being true to yourself and your interests will attract people naturally. When you’re around new people, a lot of people tend to put their interests aside and succumb to what other people want to hear, especially when we’re trying to make friends. Although to a certain extent, this is a good thing, because you’re not being confrontational in this mode. However, going too far with this is not good for you or the people you’re trying to impress. In a way, you are presenting a fake version of yourself. This will give out the wrong impression to people, ultimately because your new relationships will be based on something that is not true to you. This will attract the wrong people to you. Your new “friends” will only be confused or maybe even disappointed when you decide to show your true self. So be nice, but don’t be a push over or change who you are at your core just to make some friends. Be patient. The right friends will come in time. Don’t change yourself just to make the wrong friends quickly. Be friendly enough where you are your true self and people enjoy being around you. Over the course of building your friendships, you’ll start to be more and more comfortable being yourself. This will only help you make more connections. Since at this point you’ll be comfortable and confident in being you, people will recognize this and the right people will feel attracted to you. So in a way, the levels of being your natural self will also compound. The more comfortable you are around your friends, the more confident you’ll be in yourself, then the more friends you’ll make because you’re being genuine, then the more confident you’ll be because you’ve made more friends, and so on.
- DON’T COME ON TOO QUICKLY – This is huge. Don’t be too much too soon. It’s not a good look when someone you don’t know is being too friendly or too loud or too buddy-buddy. So, don’t be that guy. For me, I know I take a while to warm up to people and feel comfortable around them. When someone tries to be close friends with me from the start, without me even processing who or what he/she is about, I get uncomfortable and turned off. Don’t force the friendships. It has to come naturally. Be patient and give it time. Some people are very territorial of their friends. If you’re trying to insert yourself into a friend group, you need to give them time to warm up to you or else they may feel threatened in a way. If you get a hint or a feeling that they are being a little standoffish because of something you did, then give them space. Don’t push it. Give it a little time then go back to being friendly. Allow people to form their own opinions instead of you shoving it in their face. Sometimes less is more and it’s so true in this case. Try to avoid asking deep questions or deep topics during the initial reactions. I’m all for having obscure interests, or deep conversations, or out of the box thoughts, but don’t bring these up during the first several interactions. I would even give it more time than just that. After you get comfortable and they know who you are, they won’t be judgmental about your thoughts and ideas because they understand who you are and the basis of where you come from. When you break that comfort barrier, then bring up those weird thoughts or deep interests or topics. So, give it time before you bring up deep shit.
- HAVE ENERGY – People thrive on each other’s energy. Being energetic and having a positive vibe is a powerful way to get inserted into the right social circle for you. Being energetic and enthusiastic will make people come to you with ideas they came up with. Whether the idea is to do something fun or a business idea or even just to talk to. If you are enthusiastic, you will be able attract other people who are enthusiastic and have energy to get things done or do something fun. When people come to you with enthusiasm about an idea they have or a subject they want to have a conversation around, mirror that enthusiasm. Being interesting is one thing that makes your attractive to other people. How do you be interesting? The best way to be interesting is to ask interesting questions. And you can’t ask interesting questions if you aren’t engaged or enthusiastic. Being open to new ideas and being able to provide energy and enthusiasm to others’ ideas is a great way to make friends and attract people to you. If you’re able to make others feel good about themselves, they will want to be around you. And that’s the point we all want to get to. Providing an environment for others to thrive. Because if they thrive as a result of your energy, then they will want to keep you around.
- JOIN A LEAGE/CLUB – I initially thought of athletics when this suggestion first came to my mind, but I’d like to expand it to classes as well. For example, dance classes, improv classes, ect. Athletics is part of who I am. A popular social thing to do in Baltimore as well as other big cities are sport leagues. There is a wide variety of leagues ranging from basketball to cornhole to kickball to softball. Me, I started off with kickball because my first friend in my new city invited me to play on her team. I knew I was a good athlete, so I had an advantage in this scenario. With sports, people always like the athletic person who’s good at the sport you’re playing. No kidding…that’s because people want to win and if you can help your team win, they will like you and keep you around. Fortunately, this was the case for me. I was athletic and although it was just a friendly league of kickball, I was able to help my team win because I was good at it. Most of my close friends come from that first kickball team that I was on. Some other people saw that I was athletic and thought I’d be good on their softball team. Right there I just made another group of potential friends. I played baseball growing up, so I had another advantage right off the bat there. And again, I helped my softball team win since I happened to be good at baseball/softball, which naturally made them like me and want to be affiliated with me. If athletics aren’t your thing, try some classes that I mentioned. The same concept applies. Get good at it and others will be looking to you for help and how to lead them.
Yes, moving to a new city or building a new social circle can be stressful, but putting these suggestions into action will build the positive influences you need to be your best self. Surrounding yourself with the right people is the most important thing you can do, and these tricks can help you start to build that social circle and continuously expand it. The more close-friends you have, the more power you have. Don’t stress over it. Be patient. Be yourself and be confident in yourself and who you are, and the right people will ultimately find you. Your vibe attracts your tribe. Drop a comment below if you have any other suggestions or tips. Hope this helps.