Turning an Acquaintance Into a Friend

April 8, 2014

You have just moved here and don’t know anyone. How do you go beyond the initial steps of joining organizations to meet people and getting someone interested in being your friend?

If you are an extrovert, it stands to reason you’ll have an easier time of it than an introvert. You will be able to make small talk and make people feel comfortable in your presence. An introvert will probably have a difficult time unfreezing his or her brain long enough to think of something to say and this can be so excruciatingly painful that the other person, far from feeling comfortable with you, might try to make a hasty retreat.

Most people are so involved with their own lives that they don’t think about the concerns of newcomers. They have their own circle of friends and don’t take into account that you don’t have any. You can talk to them at organizational meetings and volunteer to be on different committees, but the bottom line is that most of the people you meet at these events go home to their family and friends without ever thinking to include you in their activities.

Loneliness and feelings of isolation can make a person feel very needy and send out a message to everyone that any friend will do. Consequently, the only people you might attract are the ones who recognize your loneliness and neediness and might try to take advantage of it.

Join the kind of organizations that meet your needs. If you love nature and enjoy hiking trails, join one of the environmental groups. If you like gardening, join a horticulture group. If you are doing something you love, the people who are in those groups will be sharing your interests and from them, you may have a better chance of meeting the kind of people who can be turned into friends.

That said, don’t rush into friendships haphazardly. It takes a long time to get to know someone well enough to decide if you want to be friends with them. If you have to change yourself to be liked by them, get rid of them; they aren’t the kind of people you should want to have as friends.

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