Discover ways to expand your social network with these hints.
Meeting new people can expand your views of the world and connect you with others who want or have had the same life experiences. No matter how big or small your social circle is now, you might feel like there’s room for more. These tips for meeting new people include places to meet them, possible conversation starters, and how to keep the friendship going:
- Join a local activity group
- Take a class
- Go dog-walking
- Host a “bring-a-friend” dinner
- Chat about common interests
- Play the “conversation jar” game
- Connect with technology
Learn more about these tips for meeting new people below.
Join a local activity group
No matter what hobbies you’re into, there are likely many others who share that same interest. To find groups already gathering to participate in these activities together, check local community centers and libraries to see if they have bulletin boards or fliers, or join an online community like Meetup.com. Whether you’re looking for a group of fellow readers, board gamers, crafters, hikers, foodies, or something else, joining a local activity group is just one tip for meeting new people.
If you’re inspired to help your community, you could meet new people as you unite over a shared passion. Volunteering is a perfect way to meet new people who care so much about a cause that they want to get out and make a difference. Volunteering even has health benefits, including reduced stress levels, decreased risk of depression, and physical and mental fitness. Whether you’re looking for ways to volunteer to help kids or other people in need, animals, the environment, or another cause, check with nearby organizations or find local opportunities that match your interests with a program like VolunteerMatch.
Take a class
Taking a class where you can learn something new is another tip for meeting new people. It could be a lecture or class at a nearby community college, fitness class at a gym, woodworking class, or perhaps a cooking class to learn recipes from a new cuisine. Along the way, you’ll get to meet fellow “classmates” and help one another master the new craft!
Your furry friend can also help you make more human friends! If your dog is friendly, start frequenting a local dog park. While you’re there, you can connect with other pet owners and trade tips. If you don’t have a dog of your own but love animals, you could check to see if a local shelter is looking for volunteer dog-walkers.
Host a “bring-a-friend” dinner
Meeting friends-of-friends is yet another opportunity to expand your social network. And these new people are easy to meet since you already have connections in common. Invite some of your current friends to a potluck or activity and encourage them to invite others. You might be surprised how many people are looking to make new connections and expand their social circles too.
Chat about common interests
After meeting someone for the first time, consider starting the conversation by finding common interests. If you’re in a class or activity group together, you have a perfect built-in conversation starter. Ask how long they’ve been interested in the topic and what other related experiences they’ve had. If you’re meeting someone outside an activity, a good jumping-off point is to ask about their favorite things to do in their free time or any new projects they’re excited about. This line of questioning can help identify passions you share or learn about a new subject.
Play the “conversation jar” game
A fun way to get to know new people either one-on-one or in a group is to make a “conversation jar” full of little papers that have questions or prompts written on them. They can be questions like “What book has had the biggest influence on you?” or “If you could have an all-expenses-paid trip to anywhere, where would you go?” Here are 250 ideas of questions to include.
Connect with technology
Once you’ve made a new acquaintance, a convenient way to keep in touch is by connecting on a social media platform. Using technology in this way helps you contact each other after your initial meeting and get to know one another a little more. Use these social media tips for seniors to confidently navigate Facebook and other social networks.
You can also trade numbers to stay in touch by phone. If hearing loss prevents you from reaching out over the phone, a CapTel captioned telephone displays captions of everything your caller says, so you never miss a word. Learn more about CapTel hearing loss telephones here.
These tips for meeting new people can help expand your social circle as you develop new and fulfilling relationships. For more articles on senior living and independence, visit our blog.