Moving to a new city is tough, there’s no doubt about it. Whether it be for school or work, the stressors of switching up your environment can easily leave you feeling isolated. It can be challenging to make new friends but putting yourself out there and doing so is a sure way to make sure you thrive in your new surroundings.
Loneliness can play on our brains and cause feelings of emptiness, a longing for human contact and a distance from others. In a series of studies, psychologist John Cacioppo found that lonely individuals reported higher levels of perceived stress even when they are relaxing. It can raise blood pressure and damage the quality of sleep having both psychical and mental effects on your health.
As humans we need personal connections to thrive, whether it be platonic or romantic. After education, it can be a daunting task to make new friends. In our day to day lives we’re not used to putting ourselves in situations where we are surrounded with completely new people. Therefore, we miss out on opening ourselves up to new friendships and possibilities. Moving away from everyone you know means you really are at square one. Navigating how to make friends in a new city can be a minefield.
Social media is a great way to keep in contact with friends and family you may have left behind but it can also make you feel as though you are missing out. With today’s obsession with online appearance, people are spending more time depicting themselves perfectly on social media and less time out in the real world creating human connections. Constantly being bombarded with other people’s highlight reels has a damaging effect on the way we view ourselves
According to a 2014 study, millenials who use over seven social media platforms are three times more likely to be at risk for anxiety and depression symptoms compared to those who use two or less. Feeling the need to live up to the perfection portrayed by others can be damaging to our self esteem and make us feel not worthy.
New city, new friends
With all these new tools, you would think it would be easier to make friends in a new city. However cities can be especially hard to meet new people because of the lack of community. Everyone is in their own bubble. It seems as though people spend so much time comparing their lives to others online that they don’t put the effort into putting themselves out there and meeting new people. Is there a way we can combat this? We have some useful tips to help you take this new city in your stride and start making new friends and finding genuine human connections.
Wherever you may be, you can use apps like Piin to make the first step in meeting new people that little bit easier. Approaching people in person is a daunting task for most. By taking the pressure off and starting the conversation on your phone you can help break down that initial boundary and be your amazing and confident self.
Here are some ideas for places you can put the app to use to find real, genuine connections and make new friends:
Do something great for your body and mind. Not only will you feel the physical benefits of getting into shape, your mind will benefit too. Put those endorphins to use and start a conversation with someone in your class. That shared success of smashing an intense spin class or finishing a 5k is a great way to bond.
The easiest way to start a conversation with a stranger is through a common interest. How do you find people with these interests? An event, gig or festival. These days there’s a festival for everything. Music, fitness, veganism, gin. The list is endless. The Facebook events page is the simplest way to find out what’s on near you and you can quickly see if anyone you know is attending.
Use your existing connections
The friends and family you do have in your life already are your greatest tool for meeting new people. The common ground of a mutual friend is an instant icebreaker and will put you both at ease. Next time you’re at a birthday party or wedding, take time to speak to new people and you might be surprised who you meet.
Don’t write off work colleagues
People tend to think that work and friendships should be separate but that is far from the case. You spend almost every day with these people so why not invite someone you feel close to out to do something outside of the office. That shared experience of work will mean you will always have something to talk about. It might even make your work life more enjoyable too.
Let’s take it back to basics. Bars are great places to be surrounded with new people. It’s a relaxed social setting and if you do drink, the alcohol can be great to help things along. At first it might be intimidating to approach a stranger but next time you’re next to someone else waiting to be served, strike up a conversation. You both have nothing better to do and who knows what it could lead to.
With Piin you can check in to a place or venue and instantly see who else is there looking to make a human connection. Match with a profile and then meet up in real time. Find friends, business contacts or even romance. We’re in BETA now. Download the app and start connecting in real life.