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Topic: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)  (Read 13862 times)

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So, you’ve made the move over, for a SO, school, a new job etc.  You’re here, but you know maybe one or two people, in some cases you know no one.  What do you do?  How do you meet people that could potentially become your friends?  Here are a few steps you might want to take.


• Do a little research.  You are not living in your comfort zone anymore.  The UK is NOT THE US.  Just like moving to a new State in the US, people are not always the same.  Before I moved to the UK I bought a few books that were very helpful.  I’m sure there are others, but these are the ones I had.

1. This one was a gift:


2. Fantastic Book
 

3. Great
 

4. Some great tips here
 

5. I had a different book to this, but can’t find it.  This is similar and was so useful.



• If you have moved for a SO go out with him/her and their friends.  Let them introduce you to people they think you might like.  When I first came over Rich introduced me to a couple of his really good female mates.  They were lovely.  Since I didn’t work I started out meeting them for lunch.  Pretty soon we were going out in the evening’s having girly nights etc.  Those two women are still two of my best friends here.  I see them often.  I confide in them, they in me.  They have introduced me to some of my other really close friends here as well.

One thing I should add here.  When you do go out with your SO, try not to just stay with them the whole night.  Sticking by their side just does not work.  Go off and find the people you have met through them and hang.  You see your SO all the time, you have a lifetime together (Hopefully) un-glue and roam.  I can tell you Rich and I would never hang out at the pub together.  We chatted with our friends, and then met up at the end of the night to stumble home.


• Take people up on offers of getting together.  This is someone reaching out to you.  You might not like them, (Don’t go if they are absolutely awful) but meeting for one drink can’t hurt.  Some people give awful first impressions.  I’ve been in this situation before.  I’m usually pleasantly surprised and so happy I’ve gone out.  Meeting friends is just like going on a date sometimes, or like an interview.  Do we get along?  Do we have things in common?  One of my good friends invited me to a baby shower a month after I arrived.  I didn’t know the mum-to-be.  I went to the shower and had a blast. I met a lot of other women and the MTB and I got really close.  After the baby was born I would go over to hers once a week to see them.


• Get a job.  When I first got here I could not work.  I was on a visitors visa and seeing if Rich and I thought the relationship was going somewhere.  A year later I was married with FLR and eager to start working.  I applied for everything that interested me.  I didn’t hear back from a lot of places (I was applying for admin jobs and I had been a Fundraiser previously) When I did finally hear back (About a month) I took the first job offered to me, at a nearby university.  I made a core group of really good friends at this job.  One woman I met was at my induction.  She was in Alumni (I had worked with an alumni office in another position) and was doing a bit of fundraising for the first time. (I had been fundraising for 10 years, so I told her I would give her some advise) We chatted for most of the free time during the induction.  We exchanged emails and met for lunch a few days later.  She and her colleague would come meet us almost 4 days out of 5 every week for lunch.  We then started going out in the evenings.  I’m still really close to her as well as the other women in our group.


• Join a forum (;D) with people in similar situations to you.  OK, if you are reading this, you have already done just that.  If you are not a member of UKY, please join, we are always happy to welcome new people.  I joined UKY in November of 2003.  This is my first post http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?topic=2045.msg20182#msg20182. Kind of makes me giggle.  And then my second post: http://talk.uk-yankee.com/index.php?topic=2046.msg20184#msg20184  makes me giggle even more!!!!
Anyway, the fact is even then, my main reason for joining was to make friends.  Since I knew Mindy lived in the same town I began to stalk, pm her.  I begged asked her to meet me at least once a week.  Finally she caved agreed.  I’m so glad she did.  She finally saw that no, I was not crazy, just eager to meet new people.  Mindy is my best friend, I am so grateful to UKY for introducing us. 

I've met a lot of other people as well and would go into London to meet up with them.  One night I brought Rich with me.  We met up with Onetiger, Elizabeth and a few others.  Elizabeth cracked me up.  She had such a great sense of humour that drew me to her right away.  We had a lot in common and would pm a lot after meeting.  I remember the first time she came to our house.  She wanted to see the Oscars, but didn’t have Sky movies.  I offered to record it for her and she came over.  From then on she became one of my best friends.  Again, I thank this site, especially Leah. 

One thing to remember, and I can’t stress this enough, there are real people here on UKY, real people behind their user names.  Try and remember this and treat people as you would like to be treated.  It’s easy to type something out and press enter.  But the people you are saying these things to have feelings that get hurt.  Would you say it to them in real life?  

I could go on and on with stories about people I have met (And not actually met in "real life") people I trust, people who trust me, and are all just fantastic. 


• If you are a mom and/or dad join the NCT.  Rich and I did this and I made instant friends this way.  Not only that but we've added people to the group throughout this year. There are so many activities out there for moms and their kids.  Plenty of people have met friends at baby and toddler groups.  I meet moms at cafe’s all the time.  I happen to have a very friendly little boy.  He will go up to anyone and hug onto their legs.  It’s a bit much sometimes, but it’s always brought a smile to people’s faces, and usually leads to a conversation.


• Volunteering in the UK is vast and plenty.  I know my town has a volunteer office that you can call up for an appointment.  There are so many organizations out there that need people to volunteer a few hours of their time each week.  As a former fundraiser I can tell you that without the volunteers we had at my organization we would not have been able to do half the things we needed to.   Most of the volunteers we had were older (60+) and were quite close with each other.  I was invited out with them on occasion, I didn’t go often, but oh my, were they chatty and could gossip for hours.  I still email with a few of them.


• Joining some sort of group with people who have similar interests is also a good idea.  Chary once told me a story about how she wanted to join a book club in her Village.  The club was maxed already at 12 people so she decided to form her own club.  She went door to door and got together 14 women for her book club.  She is very good friends with most of them and they meet often. (For the club as well as outside the club)


I hope some of this is useful to people.  This is stuff that has worked for me and my friends and hopefully for you too.

Now turn off that TV/Computer or whatever, get up off the sofa, open the door and get out there.  There are people waiting to be you friend  ;D


Re: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2007, 10:18:07 PM »
Great post! Thank you!!


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Re: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2007, 11:37:18 PM »
Great guide Stacey!! They really do make a Dummies book for everything, don't they?!?!  :o

I'm going to order some of those books when I get my unused sick days bonus!
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 12:01:54 AM by scarlett516 »


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Re: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2007, 04:27:45 AM »
Very, very helpful information.  You put all of that together extremely well and I know I will refer back to your advice if I get to be in that situation.  Thanks, Stacey, for taking the time to share your experiences.
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”


Re: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2007, 05:28:17 AM »
Well done, Stacey!  :)

In my own circumstances, getting a job was the thing that did it for me.
Going out with my boyfriend's mates was just very same-y, and none of them had girlfriends or wives that wanted to come out, so it was always just me and a load of lads.  Fun at times, but... not always.

Once i got a job, i was able to meet loads of people, and then sort of pick & choose who i wanted to hang out with, and who interested me the most.

Stacey's comment below is too right:

Quote
Take people up on offers of getting together.  This is someone reaching out to you.  You might not like them, (Don’t go if they are absolutely awful) but meeting for one drink can’t hurt.

If you get an office job, you will probably find that your colleagues go to the pub at lunchtime or after work.  If they invite you... go!   If you say no, word will get round that you are unsociable, and people will then stop asking you to come out.  Go to the pub even if you dont drink alcohol ... you are in a foreign country where the pub is a huge part of the culture.   There are plenty of non-alcohol options, so just go with the flow and make some new friends.


Re: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2007, 07:48:32 AM »
Fantabulous Post, Stacey!  :)


Re: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2007, 07:52:01 AM »
Thank you guys ;D  I hope it's helpful.  These are mostly my experiences and I've been so lucky.

You are right Q-G, not everyone's SO's friends will be brilliant.  Believe me, there are some I want to stick things with :P  For the most part they are lovely.  I went to the pub so often for the first two years here I was friends with the bar staff at the local.  Friends are everywhere.



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Re: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2007, 07:58:10 AM »
I am so with Q-G's advice in this respect - if you get invited, GO.  When I got my first temp job here, I was invited out after work with a few of the ladies for a drink, and my first internal thoughts were, "Oh gee, it's such a long haul home, I'm tired,", etc.  I was working in the City of London and had a LONG haul with 2 changes out to Morden in Surrey and I was TIRED.

I went anyway, had a blast and even though I am no longer temping at this firm, I still hook up with some of them for drinks after work and one of the ladies has become one of my dearest friends here now.
If you don't know where you're going, it doesn't matter what road you take.


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Re: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2007, 10:07:55 AM »
Great post Stacey!

Another idea - join a club.  Are you into sports?  Want to learn a new one?  This is a sporting country and there are tons of clubs devoted to sport.  It was the best way I met new people over here. 


Re: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2007, 10:11:08 AM »
Great post Stacey!

Another idea - join a club.  Are you into sports?  Want to learn a new one?  This is a sporting country and there are tons of clubs devoted to sport.  It was the best way I met new people over here. 

I actually had that in there and took it out because I had not talked to you about it first and didn't want to use your name JIC ;D


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Re: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2007, 10:50:54 AM »
Actually, Liane could do a great Just Do It post on participating in sports in the UK!!
When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. ~ John Lennon


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Re: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2007, 08:36:30 PM »
I have actually also used a website called http://www.meetup.com, found groups in the London area that shared similar interests and have a small calendar of neat things to do.  I went to the first one last evening, a meet-up at a Lebanese restaurant in Clerkenwell to watch a showcase of belly dancers, and I had a blast.  Met some nice people, danced a little during the intermissions, found a couple of teachers in my area so I can start classes again.  I'm also involved in a group that likes going to musicals, another one that is interested in costuming and just sewing.  You put yourself out there, especially in groups that share a similar interest, and you're bound to meet some people you can enjoy spending time with outside of the shared interest as well.
If you don't know where you're going, it doesn't matter what road you take.


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Re: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2011, 11:05:05 AM »
In light of the homesickness and loneliness that a lot of people seem to be experiencing at the moment, I thought it wouldn't hurt to bump this thread! There's some really useful information here!  :)
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Re: How to meet people and make friends (In the UK or anywhere really)
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2011, 11:15:34 AM »
In light of the homesickness and loneliness that a lot of people seem to be experiencing at the moment, I thought it wouldn't hurt to bump this thread! There's some really useful information here!  :)

Good thinking!  :)


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