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How to make friends after a move

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

If you moved recently, it can be stressful, but making a new home goes beyond the checklist of booking travel and packing and unpacking. Once you land in your new spot, you have to make some new friends. Experts say a big part of feeling grounded in a new place is finding your people. Janet Woojeong Lee from NPR's Life Kit brings us tips on how to make yourself at home anywhere you move.

JANET WOOJEONG LEE, BYLINE: There's actually a name for that feeling of at-home-ness. It's called place attachment.

MELODY WARNICK: Which is the fancy phrase that means feeling an emotional connection with your place.

LEE: That's Melody Warnick. She's the author of "This Is Where You Belong: The Art And Science Of Loving The Place You Live."

WARNICK: It's kind of that sensation you get when maybe you've been on vacation, and you're pulling back into town. And you just kind of go, ah, this is home. This feels like home.

LEE: But before you get to this ultimate goal of place attachment, you first need to make friends.

WARNICK: Making friends is the ultimate challenge for adults.

LEE: And it helps to be intentional. Warnick recommends, go find old friends on Instagram. Join online communities. See what everyone else is up to.

WARNICK: Subscribe to the local newspaper or find the online events listings. That will help you know what's happening in your town so that you can start to show up for things but also so you just kind of get a sense of where it is you landed.

LEE: Try going to an event like joining a book club that meets once a month. You'll likely see the same people more than once, and you can all discuss the same book. And if you need a little extra help introducing yourself to new people, lean on what Warnick calls the super connectors.

WARNICK: The people who know everyone, and they want to introduce you.

LEE: Super connectors are especially helpful for anyone who self-identifies as an introvert. And if that's you, here's more great advice from friendship coach Danielle Bayard Jackson.

DANIELLE BAYARD JACKSON: The first is only say yes to the activities you know will bring you joy.

LEE: So no need to force yourself to go to that house party. Instead, you could ask to grab coffee or go to that museum you've been meaning to go anyway. Remember, you don't have to get to know everyone.

JACKSON: Introverts will go to a party and sit on the couch and talk to the same person for 45 minutes but maybe leave feeling more connected than the extrovert who made it their mission to work the room. And so really, being intentional is a big part of all of this, is having an objective, following through, being brave.

LEE: And if you make new lifelong friends, that's great, but don't discount the more casual relationships, either. Here's author Melody Warnick again.

WARNICK: One way that people can do that is by creating a third place for yourself. So the idea is to find a place for yourself that isn't work and isn't home but something totally other than that.

LEE: Whether it's your go-to coffee shop, favorite bookstore or park for morning runs, find your comfort place in your new neighborhood. And it doesn't have to be related to your daily routine. This could also be your chance to try something completely new.

WARNICK: It's something that you have to be thoughtful about when you move to a new community, to just kind of open yourself up to the possibilities that are here for you, which may not be what you expect for yourself - maybe far better than you were planning.

LEE: Good luck. Janet Woojeong Lee, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Janet W. Lee
[Copyright 2024 NPR]