Before we jump into it, I must point out that I am an “extroverted introvert.” Putting myself out there, using my voice, and learning how to meet new people — for me — is a choice. It is not something that comes naturally to me. I decide to take these steps to meet new people that I’m sharing today.
I decide to because we choose to either be the victims or the heroines in our own lives. Will we be victims to our thoughts, feelings, or fears? Or will we be heroines making brave decisions that will get us over fear and into the lives we truly want?
I will choose “the heroine mentality” over residing myself as a victim every time. I may need a reminder every now and then, but I will always make choices that make me the heroine in my own life.
So, in the weeks leading up to leaving my lovely D.C. home to live abroad in London for a quarter of the year, I decided to be very excited to meet knew people! This postured me brilliantly, and I have met people so easily — unlike any other season in my life!
Whether you’re traveling somewhere, living abroad, or just want to meet more people in your own city, here are the steps I’ve taken to create an ever-growing community here in London already!
As soon as I touched down in London, I felt more open and bolder than I ever have before. (No lie, I got a man’s phone number before I even left the airport. Watch the recap on Instagram under my “London Life” highlight!) I caught myself thinking, “I’m new here! No one knows me here! I have freedom and nothing to lose!” I felt very confident to strike up conversations with strangers. But that reasoning to be bold is so silly! Hear me out: I only know like 50 people at home in D.C. Even though it’s my home, I don’t really have a reputation to lose in the grand scheme of things if I try to talk to someone in the Starbucks line and they ignore me. The risks (awkwardness) and rewards (a new friend or more-than-a-friend) are exactly the same whether you’re in the comfort of your home or exploring a new city! So, go for it no matter where you are in the world!
Yes, make eye contact with people and smile, even if just for a moment. You won’t self-combust. It doesn’t make you look weird. It makes you look like you actually have social skills. Nine out of ten times, they will just smile back and move on. But posturing yourself in this way opens doors and is just a good practice to be open to whatever life has for you.
*Googles, “how to retrain my RBF”…*
When I’m not engaging with someone, I have major RBF. There are times I’ll be properly happy but catch a look of myself in a reflection and think, “Girl, look happier!” My RBF is intimidating. If I want to attract and connect with other human beings, I check in regularly to make sure I don’t look like Stranger Thing’s Eleven in Season 1. (It’s bad. But adjustable!)
This goes back to point No. 01. Whether it’s a compliment on another woman’s outfit, a comment on the weather to a neighbor, or an innocent flirtatious joke to that cute someone, you’ve got nothing to lose and only everything to gain!
It blows my mind that there’s still a stigma around meeting people on apps in (almost) 2020. Let’s just keep it real: everyone uses them, and those who don’t are the exception, not the rule. Here’s another truth: however you decide to use them is up to you! Getting drinks? Finding the love of your life? Connecting with likeminded people? Searching for a date to an event coming up? It’s 100% up to you! Remember who you are, stay safe, and use the technology that’s been handed to you on a free silver platter. (Do a google search for popular apps in your city/country! I love that Bumble allows you to meet dates or just friends!)
Trust me, you’re a big girl, you don’t need someone to fall back on at a social event. Just be social. Often bringing someone limits you from meeting new people anyway. For example, I picked up a ticket to our U.S. Marines Ball here in London and figured out the date part second. All I knew was that I should be in the room. (That’s happening next month, BTW — and I’m so pumped!) Not in the mood to go out and talk to people? Do it anyway because you don’t know how many invitations or opportunities you’ll get! I’ve learned never to think I’m above an event. If I want to meet people, I have got to do the work. (And let’s be honest, sometimes it does feel like work!)
This means put yourself out there left and right, with no expectations of a return. It’s a numbers game. The more you do it, the more benefits you will reap. It’s important to keep those expectations low (without being pessimistic) to avoid becoming discouraged. If striking up conversation or going to an event doesn’t pan out, it has very little to do with you and everything to do with the other persons’ priorities at the moment. Just put yourself out there and be pleasantly surprised with what you get back!
Check out my London Update No. 02 video here for more examples of how I’ve met new people + personal updates on my adventures here living in London:
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Cheers to you, my friend and fell heroine. Congratulations to you for deciding to take the brave and fulfilling steps! x