Shy In A New City- How do you make friends?

More often than not, the idea of moving to a new city is fantastic. New place, new things to do, and new people.

Some of you may know I’m from St. Louis, MO, but now I reside in the big city of Houston, TX. I moved here about three years ago with that exact mindset. “I can’t wait to get out of St. Louis”, “I just want something new,” “I want to meet new people”, etc. Forgetting I am introverted and Shy AF sometimes (most times), I went anyway because I wanted anything but to be in St. Louis. Looking back, I don’t know why I was in such a rush to leave. It’s absolutely not a perfect place, but I’d thrive wherever I live so it would be no different. I don’t know, but that’s in the past. Anyway, when I arrived in Houston, things were okay. I was living rent-free at my dads, I secured a job right away, bought a new car, I did a lot of things that didn’t require me to meet anyone, which began to suck… quickly.

When I moved here, I knew all of three people outside of my family and I couldn’t nor did I expect them to just drop everything they had to do in their daily routine just to hang out with me. I saw them sometimes, but it was few and far between. Luckily, I made friends with some co-workers, my rollie with a dab of ranch, India, my now big sister Chanelle, and my angel in heaven, Ms. Tina (miss her so much). India and I clicked instantly, she is that friend that makes sure she includes you in everything. If she knew a move, so did I, UNTIL SHE LEFT ME AND MOVED BACK TO MEMPHIS (If you’re reading this, YES, I’m still salty lol.) But when she moved, I literally felt like I had no one for real, I was alone a lot. Again, fairly new to the city, didn’t want to bother Chanelle or Ms. Tina because they’re moms and have routines so I had to figure it out on my own.

So, my advice for anyone trying to make friends after moving to a new city when you’re shy:

  • Find an organization of something you enjoy. I didn’t actually do this until recently to get more involved, but initially, India made mention of the Houston Area Urban League after she left. I was hesitant to go by myself (again, shy), but I decided to check it out. Thankfully, HAULYP has a membership committee which welcomes new members and Tasha & Nisha made sure I was comfortable so that helped a lot, but aside from that I’m SO happy I joined. I’ve met the most beautifully spirited people from this group, and I’m so blessed to be able to now call them my friends. Two of them specifically have really made a point to include me in things (events, activities, etc.), and that means so much. Even if a group doesn’t have a membership committee that caters to new members, although they should, whatever it is that you’re comfortable talking about typically eases nerves when you’re well versed so you’ll be fine. P.S. the Urban League Young Professionals is NOT only in Houston, but your city may also have a local chapter.

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  • Make an account on Meetup: I didn’t do this until recently but there are so many different groups with a variety of interests, so you’re bound to find something you like. The hardest part is just going by yourself but muster up the courage to go.

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  • Join Bumble BFF: It’s honestly not as bad as it sounds. I will say the odds of meeting an actual “BFF’ are probably slim, BUT it’s a cool way to meet people who may be in the same situation. I’ve met two pretty cool girls, and while we haven’t officially met yet, we follow each other on social media, and I look forward to meeting them soon.

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  • Build connections with Co-Workers: I know some people are like “No. I go to work to do my job and go home, not to make friends.” And I understand that, but honestly, you could be missing out on some genuine friendships. My co-workers are literally like my sisters. We have group chats, hang out, fuss, and talk about everything, hell I went grocery shopping with one yesterday. So while I understand some won’t want to cross lines (I was the same way), don’t just rule it out.

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  • Finally, and this is the hardest thing (at least for me): LEAVE THE HOUSE. Go places by yourself (be careful) but seriously, go enjoy new things. Not like to the mall or running errands that’s standard stuff. I mean, look on Eventbrite, find something you like and GO. I’m not saying you’re going to meet someone every time you leave the house, but it’s bound to happen eventually. I still struggle with this to keep it 100, but as a blogger, I get invited to stuff, and I have to go alone because the people I know aren’t available. It’s FORCING me to escape my comfort zone, and that’s a good thing. It’s tough to just go, I know, being comfortable in the house is where it’s at, but you won’t meet anyone that way. Swiping left and right gets boring, trust me, and those connections are NOT genuine. So, just take the leap!

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Kinda weird buuut I needed a picture, you get the point.

Anyway, don’t let a new move get you down or make you discouraged if you haven’t met anyone just yet. I’ve been here for three years and still attempting to make friends, my circle is pretty small. People who are from here already have a core group of friends. Unintentionally, they don’t think to mix or include the “transplants” because It’s their routine. It’s just not what they’re used to doing, and that’s okay. Know that you will meet those people who WILL think of you and include you when they’re doing something, and I guarantee those will be the ones you remain friends with the duration of your stay and beyond.

Have you moved to a new place and if so, what were the ways you made friends? Let me know in the comments!

Love Always, JoJo♥

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