Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The art of meeting new people

You know what the worst part about being an adult is?

Ok, after the bills.

And the dealing with grown-up issues like sick parents, mortgages, etc.

What's the third worst part about being an adult?

Give up. For me, it's the lack of ready-made social situations.

Meeting new people in elementary school was as easy as going to school in the morning.  Of course, if you went to a small school like mine, you pretty much met everyone the first day.  After that, it was more about learning everything about everyone you knew.  And trying to ignore the people you wish you didn't know.

Middle school and high school were very much the same, at least for me.  The only way to meet new people was to wait for new people to move in or to cruise the drag in other towns (and I totally never did that ... *looks around*).

College was the best place to meet new people.  Every few months, your classes changed.  You might see a few of the same people, but undoubtedly, you had the chance to meet many new ones.  And then there were organizations, athletic events and parties.  Tons and tons of opportunities to learn new names and see new faces.

In the real world, it's just not that easy.  I've now lived in four different communities since I graduated from college.  In all those moves, I haven't yet mastered the art of meeting new people.  At least, not new people with whom I can be friends. Whenever I go to a game or concert by myself, I inevitably end up chatting with the person next to me.  I have no problem doing this at all.  But these things don't happen in the town where I live.  Maybe the answer is simply going to more things in town (even things I don't think I'd enjoy) so this scenario can happen closer to home. Hmm.

I truly believe meeting new people is an art.  I know folks who are very good at this.  Unfortunately, the person I look at in the mirror each day is not one of them.  Being an introvert certainly doesn't help my cause.  I'm also kind of quirky, and I know not everyone enjoys my humor or me in general.  (I don't like it when people don't like me, but I'm learning to deal with that as well.)

Sure, I meet a few people courtesy of my job.  I met a lot more when I was in the newspaper business.  But these are all professional contacts.  I want to make some new friends.  Find someone to join me for a movie or a dinner on any given night.  I'm not talking about dating (although that would be nice too ... but I'm even worse at dating than I am at making new friends); I'm just talking about finding someone to hang out with.  I enjoy my alone time very much, but occasionally, I'd like to change that up.

So what do I do about it?

The town I live in really isn't big enough for, which seems to have worked well for my friends in larger cities.

I guess I could go to a bar and talk to the bartender. That's really not my style though.  The only bar I'll walk into alone is the one my brother owns, and that's two hours away.

I suppose I could join some sort of club or committee.  I probably will be on a Relay For Life committee in the next few months, actually.

But what about right now?  I'm not a patient girl.  And even though I'm on the go a lot right now (which is probably another factor in my struggles to meet people here), winter will be here soon, and I'll be less likely to venture out of town.  So what do I do?  Does anyone have any advice?

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you...this is actually my biggest fear about moving out East.


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