How to Expand Your Social Circle

Coffee Social Circle

Expanding your social circle helps you link with people who like and respect you. Positive, friendly circles of sociality provide ways to find support in a new place or city, and isolation worries can be dispelled. Some of us need a re-boot after the pandemic and we’ve come to realize that more friends in our area would be nice to have.

Friend groups will tend to overlap. Someone from your church asks you to coffee with a person from her bridge group whose company she thinks you would enjoy.  A colleague at work has a child close in age to your child and begins sharing fun video and book suggestions and play dates.  You decide to join Toastmasters Club to sharpen your speaking skills and learn that someone else from your place of work also attends.  Your professional life often takes you to networking and cocktail events where colleague and friendship-building combine.   

But how do you expand your social circle?   How do you meet others who share interests and similar passions?

Being Proactive

You can wait around and see who pops into your life or you can get out and begin meeting people.  While the latter suggestion may push some of us out of our comfort zones, it is the most productive way to expand your circle of friends.

If you’ve moved

  • When you are new to a neighborhood, consider having a housewarming party after you’ve settled in.  Invite the adult neighbors for appetizers and beverages and welcome them to your new residence.  Friendly conversation is bound to happen and it’s a great way to learn informal rules of neighborly conduct expectations in your neighborhood.  In time you might discover new friends. 
  • Discover what kinds of organizations you might want to join in your new city.   Scan your interests and talents, then search for clubs, groups, and volunteer possibilities in your new community.  Your current friends will have ideas on connections.  
  • Be a good neighbor.  Show genuine interest in the new neighbors you meet and always be positive.  

Overcome Relocation Depression 

  • Check out the local museums, zoos, galleries, and other attractions within easy access. 
  • Having conversations with city locals keeps your casual conversation skills honed. 
  • Look through the cultural calendar of your new city and attend an event or art festival outdoors. 
  • Discover a farmer’s market in your area.
  • Take advantage of online opportunities to meet up.
  • Join a fitness, Pilates, or yoga club or studio.

Take a class in an area of interest  

  • If you are an old-timer in your current area, don’t plan to move, but want to enlarge your circles of friends, occasioning ways to learn something new takes the focus off the need to feel included. 
  • Auditing classes at a local college or university is still a possibility.  Look online for opportunities.

Using Etiquette within Your Social Circle

Establishing new circles of friends is hard, no doubt about it.  But getting out there, regardless of your personality type, offers you greater advantages.  

Making small talk and making personal introductions can feel annoying, but it is necessary to building genuine connections.  Employing the etiquette guidelines of showing up on time, keeping your word when you make a commitment, and communicating well and timely will help build trust and respect with your new group.   

Close friendships within a social circle come down to shared time together.  Discovering common interests calls for scheduling more time to spend on those interests with each other. Say “Yes” to invitations and stretch yourself.  It’s wise to step into your social self!

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