After college, I moved to Philadelphia on my own to start a new job. When I got there, I quickly realized that the adult life is quite different from college in many ways, but perhaps, the biggest way is how challenging it is to make friends.
In college, people similar to you in age surround you in your dorm, in class and when you go out. These people are all looking to form friendships, as well. After college, however, you work in a cubicle all day and then go home to your lonely apartment.
As cheesy as those ice breakers may have seemed in college, you have to admit they kind of worked. Maybe you and the girl two doors down bonded over how stupid it was to have to participate, but regardless, it worked in some sense.
I’ve never been a homebody. I like to go out and have fun, and after moving out on my own, I soon realized that to find friends in my new home, I would have to try a bit harder.
The first thing I learned was that no one would hold out his or her hand and invite me along. This is not meant to be negative, but realistically, as adults, we all have our own crap going on.
In order to beat the odds and make some friends at work, I used just one sentence to break the ice. If I heard that people planned to go out to happy hour or on an outing on a Saturday, I'd say, “That sounds fun, would you care if I came with you?”
Personally, I’d rather invite myself somewhere and get rejected than sit home alone and watch Netflix. It's important to note that of all the times I've asked to piggyback on someone else’s plans, I have been turned down only a handful of times. Most times, I go and have a lot of fun.
When you are trying to put yourself out there, it’s easy to believe that people don’t want you there just because they didn’t invite you. However, while forming new friendships, people may assume you are not interested in the same things they are.
Also, if someone participated in his or her usual activities with the same group of friends, he or she probably won't take the time to think about you.
This is very good news, though, because it will make you realize that people are not rejecting you when they don’t invite you somewhere — they just aren’t necessarily considering you.
It’s tough to move somewhere without a group of friends awaiting you. It’s lonely and it takes some time. Given how tough it is, the last thing you may want to do is invite yourself out with people. However, if the alternative is sitting home alone by yourself, why not take a chance?
I have friends who let this rule them. They feel “rude” if they even think about inviting themselves somewhere. I know so many people who have complained to me at one point or another about not being invited somewhere, and it just always makes me wonder why they don’t speak up.
There’s another reason why this trick works so well. If you are trying to make friends, you may be tempted to ask people to hang out with you and do things you like to do.
However, if a person has the chance to hang out with people he or she knows, or a person he or she hardly knows, the obvious choice is to stick to tried and true friends. It’s just more comfortable that way.
If you invite yourself, you are taking the pressure off the other person, as well. He or she will still feel comfortable with you around because the regular social group will be there, too. Pretty soon, you might just find yourself being invited out with your new group of friends.
Don’t sit back and let people have all of the fun without you — speak up! I bet people will admire your confidence more than they will think about you being rude.