Heather is one of our first Community Members. She shares her thoughts on making friends in a new city and why coworking is the best. Thanks, Heather!
I joined Nido in August 2016 as a community member. To my knowledge, I’m the only member who is a non-parent. I live in the neighborhood; run my own solo law practice (more on that at http://www.ampersand-law.com); and I generally work out of my home. But, I needed a good place for meeting clients in a location that would generally be convenient to clients and me AND wanted the opportunity to be out around other humans during the workday. Nido was my first choice and happily, right around the time I needed it, the community member option became a reality.
Backing up to my point about wanting to be around other humans … This isn’t something that’s just happening in my work life. We moved to Durham in November last year, after renting in Chapel Hill for a few months. We moved (back, long story) to North Carolina from Wisconsin for my wife’s new job at UNC – Chapel Hill. This meant upon arrival, I spent a few months unpacking – repacking – and unpacking again and then a few more months prepping for an taking a couple of tests (the MPRE and the North Carolina Bar Exam). Fast forward to March of this year – I’m waiting on my Bar Exam results and suddenly I realize – I don’t really know many other people in my new community and I’m not entirely sure how to meet people and make friends without seeming desperate and/or creepy.
If you do an internet search on “how to make friends as an adult” or “how to make friends in a new city” (as I have), it’s clear that I’m not alone in wondering how to do this. So in the spirit of education and a bit of entertainment, I thought I’d share a selection of what I found:
The less helpful (aka the things that I can’t even imagine trying) -
Chat with other people getting manicures at the same time as you;
Eat alone in public as often as possible because people are more likely to approach you when you are solo; and
Take pictures of people at events and offer to share them on social media or via email.
The helpful (aka some of the things I’ve been doing and am seeing the value in) -
Use your dog to meet other dog people (and/or use your kids to meet other parents) ;
Become a regular at a weekly workout class.
The very helpful (aka some of the things I’ve been doing and am seeing great results from) -
Make an extra effort to get to know your neighbors;
Say YES – if you get invited to do something, try your best to say YES; and
Find a workday crew (for those of us, ahem, who telecommute or work from home and don’t have the built-in option of becoming friends with coworkers).
In conclusion, to make friends: use your dog/kid, volunteer, do group fitness, be a good neighbor, say yes, and join Nido Durham. Of course, actual results may vary (the lawyer in me demanded I provide a disclaimer). And – if you happen to be one of those people who has found that chatting with other people while getting manicures, eating alone in public, and/or taking unsolicited photos of people at events are reliable ways to make friends – let me know – I’ll buy you a coffee and you can tell me all about it.
“Tips” Sources (in no particular order):