Having Friends = Being a Friend
i.e. starting over in a new place…
A few weeks ago we moved to a new city and state. Among other things, I mourned the loss of the close ties I had made in my old home. Yes, friendships can survive a move, but proximity to dear friends is a gift. I miss my old coffee dates, walks, meeting up at school pick up and catching up on the day’s events, and the ability to drop in and say hello.
But life goes on. What to do?
First, I prayed God would give me opportunities to meet new people. Then, assuming said persons would not flock to my doorstep, I had to make myself go out in order to meet them. Contrary to what it seems, this is often difficult for me. I do not always feel full of energy, and making conversation can drain me, which is why I enjoy asking questions and letting others do the talking.
So, I volunteered at the school, I smiled at almost every stranger I met, and I went with my daughter to lunch at her school and chatted with the other kids. I joined a Bible study at the church, went on a women’s retreat, and am about to help some new acquaintances move into a new home. I went for a jog yesterday and texted two of my new friends that run to tell them I was thinking of them.
And you know what?
People smiled back at me. My runner friends texted me back. I made lots of new friends on the retreat. My daughter was invited to a few parties after the moms met me.
Once we move into our new house, I will host a “Toys for Tots” donation party for my daughter’s new classmates. Things are happening. Life feels less lonely.
It is taking time, don’t get me wrong, but being available to people, listening to them, and doing things along side of them goes a long way toward making new friends.
I’ve learned a lot about people, especially that many of my new acquaintances are new to the area and just as lonely I am.
I pray you will have the same experience whether you are new to an area or have been in one place for a long time. I try to think of new people as an adventure waiting to happen and enjoy hearing their stories. I hope you will find the same joy in fresh faces.
Have you ever been the new kid? What are your tips for making friends in a new community?