As you may already know, building the right support system in a new city is hard. Depending on where you live it could potentially be even harder. For me, moving to LA was hard but I did have a bit of a cushion. I had a very good friend who had been living here and was pretty well established and allowed me to crash on his couch for a little over a month and a half until I was able to get on my feet. Now not everyone is that lucky. For those of us that are not, here are a few tips in meeting friends, maintaining friendships and building a strong support system in a new city.
Tip #1 Don’t rush!
We get it, you really want to make new friends and get out there in them streets but listen, everyone isn’t good for you, especially in a new environment. Take your time, feel people out, recognize the real and the fake. Meet in neutral locations like restaurants for brunch, coffee shops, the mall, things like that to feel someone out versus bringing them to your home or going to theirs.
Tip #2 Go with your gut
If these new people you meet from your new job, school or just in your neighborhood seem to be too good to be true or you’re feeling like the friendship is moving a little to fast, pump your breaks. Evaluate them a bit, think about what’s going on. Remember they are still somewhat of a stranger to you. It’s important to be cautious if you value your level of friendship towards others.
Tip #3 Link with like-minded individuals
One thing I tried to do when I first moved to LA is surround myself with people who were either in similar situations like my own (being new here), positively motivated, grounded and focused. If you know you moved to your new city to stay on the straight and narrow why surround yourself with a clique full of meth heads? Think about it.
Tip #4 Don’t be a thirsty opportunist
Living in LA there’s one thing that I notice a lot here that I simply can’t stand, being a thirsty opportunist or like we say back home a “get-wit”. This is someone who is only around people simply for some sort of come up or benefit. They really don’t care about you, don’t care about your ups, or your downs, they just want to know when they can get on and what can you do for them. These people are everywhere. If something great has happened in your life and it doesn’t involve them and they aren’t happy for you, that could be a sign.
Tip #5 Show up!
We are all pretty guilty of this. Your friends throw an event, your new buddy is performing, this cutie invites you to taco Tuesday and you say yes to all parties and show up to none. This is not a good look. Some people take it extremely personal and never invite you anywhere. Some forgive you but place you in “friend time out,” (unbeknownst to you mind you) while some brush it off and just return the rude favor when you throw an event. Try to be as transparent with your new/existing friends as possible. They will respect you more for this and hold you in a high regaurd. Those friends will recognize that and respect you even more just for showing up and doing what you say you will do.
These are just a few tips that have helped us at some point and we hope will help you. Just remember, the type of friend you are to people is the type of friends you will attract! Have a dope week!