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Talk to your neighbors. Sometimes the people we're looking to meet are in our own backyards. Have you reached out to your neighbors lately?
If you see your neighbor working in the yard, walk over and offer to help. Or make a little extra soup or an extra dozen cookies and walk them to the family down the street. By extending yourself just a little, you might meet some wonderful new friends within a short walk of your home. Wherever you happen to be — in line at the post office, at the grocery store, or at a concert, start a conversation with someone around you.
Have a few conversation starters handy so you always have something to say to kick off a conversation. Yes, this might be uncomfortable at first, but if the other person is friendly and responsive, it might be the beginning of an interesting connection. Ron and I have a beautiful white collie named Scotch. He's unusual because he's white collies are usually black and tanand he really is a handsome guy.
When we take him on a walk, we get stopped by nearly everyone we pass. Taking your dog for a walk gives new people a reason to stop and talk to you. Other dogs will be naturally curious and drag their owners over to say hello in doggie language. If there's a dog park in your community, take a ball or frisbee and have an outing with your pet.
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The odds are good you'll meet people that are fellow dog lovers. Sit at community tables. Find restaurants that have community dinner tables or bar tables. Rather than isolating yourself at a two-top, sit at the community table and meet new people seated nearby.
Reach out on Facebook or other social media. I reached out to a few and have met up for coffee. Through Facebook, you may discover some old friends or acquaintances that you didn't know lived nearby. Host your own casual dinner party or open house and invite your neighbors, people from work, or acquaintances you've bumped into along the way. Invite them to bring a friend along so you expand your potential circle of new connections.
You don't have to do anything elaborate. Make a pot of soup or order a few pizzas.
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The point is to simply bring people together and expand your circles. Find a business association. Are there groups or associations related to your career? Research local business events and attend them so you can network professionally and personally. Go to a cultural event. Become an annual member of the symphony, local theater, or ballet. Attend the performances as well as the fundraising and member events. Strike up conversations with other attendees who are there because they appreciate the arts just like you.
If you prefer visual art, visit your local galleries, talk with the owners or managers, and discuss the art with other guests. One of the best ways to meet people is in a class at the gym. But if classes aren't your thing, spend time in the weight room when it's busy so you can converse with other gym rats. If there's a cafe or juice bar at your gym, hang out for a bit after your workout and connect with other members.
If you have a couple of friends or acquaintances who have a larger circle of friends, ask them to introduce you to new people. If you've moved to a new city like I have, maybe your existing friends know people in your new city. Ask them to make an email connection and then follow up yourself to suggest a get-together. Participate in Toastmasters or another speaking club. Public speaking isn't fun for most people, but when you're thrown in a setting where everyone shares the same fears and learning curve, it can quickly break the ice.
Speaking clubs not only give you the confidence to make presentations, but they also give you the chance to meet a variety of new and interesting people. Go on a wine or beer tour. I live in a city with dozens of local breweries, and brew tours are common occurrences here.
If you have wineries nearby or even restaurants that offer wine tastings, join in the fun and meet other connoisseurs. Beer, wine, and socializing always seem to pair well together. Take a dance class. Ballroom dancing is a great way to get up close and personal with potential new friends or romantic partners.
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But you don't have to stick with ballroom dance. Take a jazz class, Zumba, or Salsa dancing.
It's great exercise, and you'll meet fun people who enjoy kicking up their heels. Find a church or religious community. If you're a spiritual person or have a strong faith, your church, synagogue or other religious community is the perfect place to meet supportive, like-minded friends.
Go to seminars, book signings, or speaking events. Look in your local community guide to see what happenings and events are coming up in your area. Attend some of these events and try to sit next to someone who might be looking for a new friend too. Hang out at a jazz or music club.
Do you enjoy jazz or some other music genre that works well in a smaller venue and allows for conversation? Find a cool, low key club where you can listen to great music and start up an interesting conversation.
Take your book or computer to a coffee house. When I start to feel house-bound working from home, I go to a local Starbucks or indie coffee house to work. It's easy to keep your head down in your computer or book, but look up every now and then and survey the landscape.
Strike up a conversation with the person at the table next to you. You never know who you might meet. Hang out at the local museum. Get thee to a museum! Do you like art? Most cities have one or several museums devoted to something that interests you. You'll have no shortage of things to talk about if you chat it up with another museum-goer. Nextdoor is the perfect alternative.
Bumble Free Bumble might be most famous for being a dating app, but it offers more than just romance. Peanut Free Peanut is an app that hopes to build a community of women who also happen to be mothers. You can spend time in the app chatting via a group chat facility, but Peanut has a strong focus on arranging meet ups. Skout Free Skout works on preferences and proximity, much like a dating app but for friends.
You can easily check out what events your friends are liking or attending, as well as keep in the know about when your favorite musician or comedian is around. Personal recommendations make it easy to find something to do any day of the week. Meet My Dog Free Dog walkers know how easy it is to randomly talk to people while walking their pooch, but Meet My Dog just made it even simpler. You can easily use it to see what other dogs are in your area, chat with their owners, and event set up doggie dates for you and your hound.
Foursquare City Guide Free Foursquare is a well known name in social networking, but you can also use it to get to know folk. Its City Guide helps you find the best restaurants and bars in the area, while also giving you some insight into where like minded folk might reside.