There were days in the earlier months of 2020 where my entire body ached for human interaction.
I moved to Brighton 2 weeks before the entire country went under strict lockdown rules for 3 months. I had a home. I had Danger Zone. I knew a handful of people but I wasn’t allowed to see any of them. It was hard.
From an educated perspective, I know that desire to form and maintain social bonds is among the most powerful human motives. ‘Belongingness’ as it is known in psychology is considered to be one of the 5 core human needs. Much of what we do across all cultures is done in the service of belongingness. The needs for power, intimacy, approval, achievement and affiliation, are all driven by the need to belong.
Over those long and sometimes sad months, I learned to be alone. This is how you deal with loneliness.
I also gained a new appreciation for community and made it my priority. Here are my 8 best tips on how to find your people when you move to a new place.
1. TALK TO PEOPLE
Most people are shy. And yet everyone craves friendship and belonging. I can talk to anyone if there’s a conduit. The other day I made friends with a man over a large wave that almost washed out towels away. We had a connection point, to begin with, and then we had the most fascinating conversation about love, missed connections and saying goodbye. It’s that simple.
The best place to begin is with your neighbours. They’re right there.
Know that not everyone is going to be your people and that’s okay. For now, you are just friend shopping anyway.
2. USE THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Instagram acts as my most ultimate friend-making app. You can vibe each other out without any awkward conversations and then make the first move by sliding into one another’s DM’s. I would say that 50% of my current deep-and-true friendships have happened because of Instagram and I’m so damn grateful for that.
3. USE PAST CONNECTIONS
Reach out to the people you know and ask who knows people in the new place you have moved to. Allow them to make a connection for you. I love when people I love introduce me to people they love. It almost always works out.
4. BE A GOOD COMMUNICATOR
When you meet someone, compliment them in a specific way, for example, the way they move with grace or their open-heartedness, or how genuine and helpful they are. People will always remember how you made them feel and when you make someone feel good, they’ll want more of that.
Share stories and let them be an intimate part of your life by sharing details. Listen to their stories with all of yourself.
Around here, we do things a little differently...
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