I have talked a lot about my experience of moving to the UK on the blog, but there is one aspect I haven’t really talked about. There was a lot I had to deal with but one of the biggest struggles that my support system was so far away and I didn’t really have very many friends when I first moved. It didn’t really help that I was unemployed, and it was the dead of winter, but since then, thankfully, I’m in a place where I’ve built a group of friends and it’s a great feeling… so great information fact that I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned!
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
I am a pretty extroverted person but I definitely had to get out of my comfort zone in order to meet new people and make friends. I’ll use The Bloggers Market as an example because I went to the first one shortly after I moved to London. I was really nervous about going because I knew I wasn’t gonna know a single person and I’d be on my own. I thought if I can just chat to people and try to be friendly, I’ll have achieved something. I was crazy nervous as I made my way up to Camden! I remember chatting to a few people, passing comments about liking the top they had on or chit-chatty things along those lines. It felt good to be social, to just be in a room full of people different then the norm (which at the time was almost exclusively P, and even then, he was mainly at work, so the norm was actually being alone).
Take It One Person at a Time
Trying to make friends when you’ve moved to a new city is a bit like trying to date, which funnily enough, I was never very good at. You’re essentially asking complete strangers to have a cup of coffee or join you for a thing that you thought they might be interested in… It’s a little easier if you focus on one person at a time. After the Bloggers Market, I emailed Kristabel and asked if she’d be up for meeting for a coffee. I’ve reached out to people I followed on Instagram, who I met at other events, and just slowly but surely would get dates in the diary. It got me out of the house, it allowed me to meet new people through that one person, it made the world of difference. All it takes is one person to say sure I have a couple coffee and tell me you have something in your social calendar. Blogging and social media have been absolute godsend when it came to making new friends and meeting new people!
Don’t Force It
I’ve met some pretty amazing people over the last three years! Am I good friends with all of them? Not necessarily, but that’s not a bad thing. It isn’t a statement about myself or about anyone else but sometimes you just click more with several people than with others. There’s no real rhyme or reason for it, but don’t sell yourself short. Make an effort to spend time with the people you meet who you do click with and who respond to you. Good vibes, guys! I absolutely say hello to every person I’ve meet along the way, but I don’t feel the need to force something that isn’t there. If you don’t click, you don’t click.
Maybe you are starting new job or, like me, you’re moving to a new place, but whatever the change, it’s likely to have an effect on your social life. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Friendships are built, but not in a day. Do what feels right for you!
Photo by Jazmine