We all need a girl squad, the women we turn to for sharing laughter, tears, support, comfort, and advice-even chapstick. The ones who are by our side during tough times, long chats, nights out (or in), life transitions, relationship ups and downs, and whatever else life throws at us. But what happens if you move away, leaving behind your ride-or-die girls?
It can be intimidating to make new friends, especially if you’re on the quiet side like me. I’ve moved to three cities in the last two years, each very different: first, from Boston to Washington, D.C., then, from D.C. to Los Angeles. These moves have taught me what does (and does not) work when trying to meet people as an introvert. I learned the hard way; so here are the tactics that worked for me to help you find your own girl tribe-whatever age or state of life you’re in.
Ask around for introductions.
Don’t be shy about asking your friends, family, coworkers, and other connections if they can introduce you to someone they know in your new city. It helps to do this ahead of time so you can get the social momentum going before you move. More often than not, people are eager to help the new girl find her way-who wouldn’t want another friend? You’re also pretty likely to hit it off with a friend of a friend versus a total stranger.
Do one social thing every week.
Stretch yourself to socialize once a week. It doesn’t have to be a loud happy hour, it could just be an afternoon coffee break during work or a playground date with each other’s kids. Hold yourself accountable to this weekly goal and you’ll see the results. Plan ahead so you don’t get overwhelmed in the midst of a busy week and forget or back out.
Find a recurring event or group.
Try to find a recurring activity to join or attend. That way, you’ll see the same people consistently and start to form relationships over time.
Use online sources like Eventbrite, Meetup, and Facebook Events Discover. Be open to apps like Bumble BFF, too. Book clubs, volunteer programs, parent school programs, sports teams, prayer groups, arts and crafts lessons, and networking meetups are all great options.
Choose the activities you enjoy doing or want to learn more about. Then you’ll be in your element and meet others who share your interests. As Susan Cain writes in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Won’t Stop Talking, “Everyone shines, given the right lighting.” At the very least, you’ll have a good time doing something you like.
Choose quality over quantity.
Don’t feel like you have to meet everyone in the group. In her book, Poised for Success: Mastering the Four Qualities That Distinguish Outstanding Professionals, Jacqueline Whitmore explains, “You can go to an event and be there for 20 to 30 minutes and make a great connection just by talking to one or two people. One quality conversation is more beneficial than 20 superficial ones.”
Make the first move.
Have your eye on a prospective girlfriend? Don’t sit back and wait for her to reach out, take initiative and make the first move. Ask for her number and shoot her a text, or friend her on Facebook and send a message inviting her to hang out. It’s very normal, so you shouldn’t feel weird about it. And she probably won’t turn you down, either!
I usually like to invite new friends to some sort of activity or event destination like craft fairs teen hookup, art museums, or outdoor markets. These settings give you more conversation material beyond small talk. Even if you don’t end up being besties, you can be content with a rewarding connection. Getting together one-on-one also plays to your introvert strengths.