When we are new to a situation we can feel awkward. There can be a sense that everyone else has their own established friends and groups. We are the new kid on the block, trying rather clumsily to make some inroads into the various groups. It can feel daunting at first, but perseverance is the key, that and not trying too hard.
– New friends can be difficult to find. My brother and his wife are excellent at the art of making new friends. They have relocated regularly due to his job and immediately join any local groups they can find. Whether they be charity or volunteering they introduce themselves to local organisers and immediately enrol. Organisations like the National Trust, Rotary, the Townswomens’ Guild have all benefited from their efforts to become useful members of their new community, and it has always been a successful gesture. They have made good friends and connections everywhere they have lived.
– Work can be a stressful environment as a new person. There’s always the feeling that everyone knows everyone else and is familiar with the routines and protocol of the place. Smiling, being friendly but not pushy can ensure that people make the effort to be friends and are keen to help, which is always a relief. As time progresses it can be a positive move to enquire how others feel about an evening out. Maybe suggest a sports evening like ten-pin bowling or an interesting, popular show or even a theme night at a local restaurant. That way you can introduce yourself to the other employees and be seen as friendly and prepared to make an effort. That’s always a good combination.
– Being newly single can feel daunting at first. Not everyone wants to start dating again straight away. It can be important to have some time to experience being single and heal from the previous relationship. But gradually it can be pleasant to start mixing with other single people again. A softer approach can be to join groups rather than enrole in one-to-one dating site and clubs. Some groups are at venues where people pay at the door and circulate. Others involve a sit down meal where everyone eats and chats to the other people at the event. Everyone is there to meet other interesting people and have a pleasant time so introducing yourself can be a perfectly acceptable thing to do at these events.
– Groups and clubs, places where people go regularly are excellent places and opportunities for introducing yourself and making a connection. New friends, potential, lovers can be met regularly over a period of time. Starting out by smiling, sharing pleasantries, then asking lightweight questions about their day can be a gradual way of building rapport and interest with other people. Gyms, book clubs, bridge societies, discussion groups, various classes are all places where people commit to going regularly. Seeing someone with whom you feel a connection can be the perfect scenario to introduce yourself and build on that.
I always say that if you go halfway to meet someone they will usually respond to the gesture. Introducing yourself to someone new is the first step towards starting a new relationship. It’s about making the first connection with a potential new friend, colleague or lover.
Susan Leigh, Counsellor and Hypnotherapist,
About This Author
She started the practice in 1988 with her husband Frederick, and after being widowed at the age of 39, took over the practice full time.
Prior to working as a Counsellor, Susan worked for many years with a blue chip company and has experienced the stresses of balancing a corporate and personal life. Now she balances writing regularly for many organisations, is a regular contributor to BBC radio and has a thriving Counselling and Hypnotherapy practice. She works with individuals, helping them cope better with the pressures of daily life, works with couples to provide relationship counselling and improve communications, and in business to provide support to staff members and teams. She has had a lot of success working with clients with unexplained infertility in women and also with managing pain in childbirth. Many of her clients have successfully gone on to become pregnant and have a positive experience of giving birth. For more information see www.lifestyletherapy.net