Meeting People – Finally choosing to be fearless…
Posted on April 26, 2009 by yankeebean
I started to write a comment in response to Lisa’s comment on the About page – but it was so long that I thought maybe it should be a post. Lisa was talking about the possible frustration of trying to fit in and wondering how long it should take? And if we should ever throw in the towel and head back home…
My heart goes out to you, Lisa, because I know how hard it can be to make friends. I currently have a new theory that I’m testing and it’s based on another reader’s comment on a previous blog. Basically I’ve decided to not give up… and it comes in two stages.
First I have to find people… and this won’t happen if I’m sitting at home. So I’m doing the following things to make sure that I see groups of people regularly:
1) Going to lots of networking events related to my job.
It may be workworkwork, but they’re still human and I always try to get people talking about their hobbies or their families instead of their business. How knows, maybe I’ll meet someone cool? If you don’t know about any networking events near you just search for “networking [your location]” in Google and you’ll find something.
2) Joining my local Weight Watchers.
I’ve been a ‘Weight Watcher’ for about 3 years now and I’m still at my goal weight. This means I don’t have to go to meetings anymore, but I’ve decided to join up again just to try and meet some lovely ladies. WW meeting always involve laughter and chatting so it seems like it could be a good way to meet people. (And get support, too!)
3) Going to my local church
Of course, pick the faith that fits, but then check out your local service. I just found a church near me that has a tea and coffee hour after the service and everyone mills around and chats. Last week I stood on my own for about 3 minutes and then someone walked right up to me for a chat. I’m gonna have another go this week
4) Looking for hobby-related groups that meet up.
Previously a reader suggested meeting up with people you have things in common with (other than just being American) – Once I read it it seemed so obvious that I couldn’t BELIEVE I hadn’t tried it before. DUH! So I’m going to look for a casual band to join up with (although music is my business, it’s also my hobby). And I’m going to check for a local crochet/knitting group and see if there’s room for one more. Hopefully it’ll lead to some coffee-based-friendship.
The second stage is just as important… I’m going to try and meet up with every human person that I come into contact with (without seeming stalker-ish) and see what happens. If we sit and drink an awkward cup of tea for half an hour, that’s fine, I just won’t invite ‘em over again. If we laugh a little and only talk over each other half the time, maybe I’ll text them and we’ll have another cuppa sometime. My new mantra is to ‘go with the flow’ and to not try to force any square pegs into round holes.
If English women seem stand-offish, I’m going to take it at face value and not read too much into it. If I feel ‘too American’ sometimes, I’m going to let myself feel a little silly and laugh at myself… and then GET ON with it and see what happens. This is my new plan… I’ll keep you posted on progress!!