5 Ways How to Make New Friends

Leaving your friends and family behind and moving to another country is not for the faint of heart! Having to start completely from scratch at building new friendships is overwhelming and intimidating. Kiwis are very nice, but (in general) they are not as outgoing. So, 90{179783934889d100e7f719b3668747b043c6f5c7faae1d7c605a8698652824b4} of my friendships have had to start with my initiative…which is oh so hard! Let me share with you a few ways that I learned how to make new friends as we moved across the world and had to start over…

Be Confident
You need to be comfortable in your skin and confident with who you are! As intimidating as it is to go up to someone you don’t know and strike up a conversation, it’s much harder when you feel less sure of yourself and self-conscious. I always feel more confident when I’m dressed nicely, my hair & makeup is done for the day, and have put effort into how I look…not in a vain way, but in a way that you feel good about how you look and who you are.
Be Friendly
Smile! Give complements! Be friendly! Get to know the other person and don’t talk about yourself the whole time. Be interested in them and their life.
Ask for Help
Since we were in a completely new land, we had to learn the new laws, how to maneuver a new community, and learn a new way of life. An easy way to get to know people was to pick their brain and ask for help! I asked many school moms where good places were to shop, who the best doctors were, the best beaches to play at, hikes to do, and anything else we needed help with. People are always willing to give advice and help when asked for their opinion.
I got to know people by serving. I took a homemade loaf of bread to our elderly neighbor across the street. She warmed right up to us and we became quick friends! I helped on school fieldtrips and got to know the teachers and some parents better that way. By giving of your time and service, you connect with people on a totally different level.
Join a Church
The best way that we made friends quickly in a new country was attending church. We’re lucky to be part of a worldwide church so most anywhere we go in the world we will be guaranteed to find people with the same beliefs that we have. Our church congregation welcomed us with open arms! But we just didn’t sit back and wait for people to get to know us, we became heavily involved right away. We went to all the activities, attended church every week, and served alongside the people. We immersed ourselves in the culture. Not only did we have our Sunday friends, but we cultivated friendships with many others that we hang out with regularly. We have fun going on date nights with couples, having people over for dinner, meeting with friends at the beach, and going on family hikes.
Being away from your comfortable relationships of old family & friends is hard. But being apart from your loved ones opens your eyes and makes you appreciate those relationships even more. So, cherish the times you do get to spend with them but embrace the new friendships that are waiting for you!