Research and personal experience dictates that as we grow older it gets harder and harder to make friends. This may seem ludicrous if you look back into your childhood when making friends was the easiest thing possible. Basic requirements to become friends seemed to be living in the same neighbourhood or sharing the same passion for a stray dog or cat or just taking interest in the same game.
But things may get more challenging as we reach adult life. It can be quite hard to make friends in Melbourne which is quite surprising given that approximately 100,611 people call Melbourne home. Reticent people, migrants, international students, men and women of all age can be faced with the difficulty of venturing outside their comfort zone and actually make friends.
Here are some popular and common ways of meeting people and make friends.
1. Work – The most common way of making friends is through work. In all honesty, you see your work colleagues at least 8 hours a day for at least 5 days a week. This can encourage familiarity and appreciation for each other. It is not unusual to catch lunch or grab a coffee together. Occasional catch ups can slowly lead to invites to casual things like shopping, drinking, visiting expos and so forth. And eventually landing you in the friend zone. Further, making work buddies can make work a lot more enjoyable or in the very least more bearable.
2. Parties and BBQs – Parties and BBQs are great ways to meet people. The best part is you may have mutual friends who can help in breaking the ice and therefore, aid in engaging in interesting conversations. Of course, you would have to put all your shyness aside in order to mingle with the guests and slowly, even before you know it you will be chatting with several people and discovering mutual interests, which can lead to forming lasting friendships.
3. Local clubs – Local clubs like martial arts clubs, bush walking clubs, lawn bowling clubs, any kind of sports club are wonderful ways to broaden your horizon and meet and greet new people. Since you share the same interests and passion, it will not take time before you start making buddies in these clubs.
4. Toastmasters – Toastmasters is an international organisation which promotes public speaking as a way to enhance confidence and self –esteem. Boasting numerous clubs around Melbourne, Toastmasters is easy to join with membership costing around $65 for 6 months. You will mingle with like-minded people sharing a common goal to develop public speaking and communication skills. And this can lead to the path of friendship.
5. Charitable organisations – Taking interest in various volunteering organisations is another delightful way to meet people. Give back to the society by devoting few hours of your life every week or month for a philanthropic cause. Look into Red Cross, legal centres, opportunity shops and even festivals to volunteer your time and energy for a charitable cause. Not only will you experience a warm glow in your heart but will also wind up making friends with other volunteers.
6. Short courses – Consider enrolling in something you are keen about. It can be anything, ranging from yoga, knitting, writing, bookkeeping to beauty therapy, candle making and photography, the options are endless. Short courses are ample and registration is not overly expensive. As an added benefit you will meet people with whom you have things in common.
7. Places of worship – Turning towards your faith and visiting places of worship can work like a charm in making friends. Sharing the same religion or faith will act as an impetus in stopping you from being a wallflower and actually open up to making acquaintances who can later become friends.
8. Library – If you are a book worm then frequenting the local libraries may aid you in not only procuring knowledge but also meeting like-minded book lovers. Further, libraries often host book clubs involving monthly or bi-monthly gatherings of book lovers which will enable you to cherry pick future friends.
9. Neighbours – Consider inviting your neighbour to a BBQ, a game of footy or even general chitchat. Being neighbourly can pay off in a big way as general chitchat can contribute to delightful friendships. Not only will you acquire new friends but will also benefit from some watchful eyes which will look after your abode when you are away on holidays. A win-win situation for all.
10. Meetup – Meetup is an online site which covers all Australian cities including Melbourne. This website offers a forum for like-minded people to organise meetups to engage in a mutually agreeable activity at a preconceived venue at an appointed time. You can partake in any of the existing meetup groups or simply create your own meetup group. There are meetup groups on a diverse range of things including Melbourne Young Professionals, The Melbourne Happy Hour Commandos, The Melbourne Girls Friendship Group and so forth.
Having a positive attitude, being open to new possibilities, being honest, actually liking the people you hang out with and being respectful are some handy tips in transforming into a people magnet. Best of luck with your endeavours in this beautiful city.