How to meet new people? General
Loneliness is not uncommon. In fact, according to the Community Life Survey from 2016 to 2017 5% of adults in England reported feeling lonely ‘often’ or ‘always’. There are many factors that can contribute to feelings of loneliness. These include age, sex, marital status, income, health, disability status, caring responsibilities and where you live.
How to meet new people
When it comes to overcoming loneliness and isolation, the best thing you can do is reach out to friends, family and your wider community. In this article, we have put together a guide to help you meet new people and widen your social circle for a more balanced (and happy!) life.
Talk to your neighbours
One of the easiest ways to meet new people is to talk to your neighbours. This is a great place to start if you suffer with social anxiety which may deter you from taking on more intense social situations.
Sometimes, friendships can be found on your doorstep – and it all starts with a conversation. If you find the prospect of talking to someone you don’t know overwhelming, start small. Say hello in passing and build up to longer conversations.
If you have a disability or illness that makes leaving the house difficult, take a look at local neighbourhood groups on Facebook, or other social media platforms. By being active in these types of groups you’ll be the first to hear of any community events or initiatives you could get involved with, and build relationships with individuals who are local to you.
Join a club or group
If you have a passion or a hobby, chances are there is a local club or group related to it that you can join. Often, these types of groups are advertised online or in community spaces, so keep an eye out and don’t be afraid to ask around.
If you feel nervous about attending, many events like these also have a person you can reach out to who will keep you company or ‘buddy’ you up with someone who can show you the ropes.
If you are struggling to find community groups in your area, check out websites like Meetup, your local council, or even your nearest library. When you start looking, you’ll be surprised at how much there is that you can get involved with!
Attend a community coffee morning
With loneliness on the rise, there are more and more community initiatives popping up to help people connect with others. Take a look at the local churches and community centres in your area and see if they have a coffee morning or similar regular event you can attend.
This is a fantastic idea if you are nervous about meeting new people, as everyone else in attendance will be there to meet new people too!
Joining a gym, or attending fitness classes, is a great way to meet new people and get fit. But if your budget doesn’t stretch to a membership, have a look for a local ramblers club or similar.
Many cities and towns across the UK also have free weekly Parkruns, which are usually held on a Saturday morning, with many attendees heading to the local cafe afterwards for a chat. What’s more, you can walk the 5k courses at your own pace if you can’t or don’t want to run.
Go to a baby & toddler group
Caring for a new baby or toddler can be lonely, especially if you have no close family nearby. For this reason, baby and toddler groups are a fantastic way to get out and about with your little one and make new friends.
If you don’t know where to start in finding your nearest baby and toddler group, ask your health visitor or check out your local Children’s Centre of library.
Become a volunteer
Volunteering is great for a number of reasons. Firstly, it allows you to use your skills and personality to give something back to the local community. Secondly, it helps you to gain work experience, get a reference and learn new things. Lastly (but not least) it gives you the opportunity to meet new people and socialise on a regular basis.
Try something new
Fancy learning a language? How about trying your hand at sewing? Learning something new can be a fun and stimulating experience, even as an adult! What’s more, attending adult courses can help you connect with new people and make new friends.
Local colleges often hold a wide-ranging curriculum of courses for adults that hone skills, help you learn new things, and widen your social circle. Alternatively, head over to our training page to see a list of available courses from Building Better Opportunities.
Attend cultural events
Art galleries, museums and other local places of interest are often free to attend. These are great places to meet other people, too.
Keep an eye out for any free events happening at these kinds of places, too. Not only are they great ways to learn new things and get involved, but you’re also most likely to meet people too.
Do you need support?
At Building Better Opportunities, we are committed to helping individuals in South Staffordshire and Stafford achieve balance in their lives. If you would like free help and support in building your confidence and meeting new people, get in touch with us today.
We can connect you to a wide range of organisations throughout the region as well as confidence-building courses and training. To find out more, find your nearest drop-in session today or fill out the enquiry form below to request a callback.