|NYC is made up of a blur of people –credit|
According to statistics, New York City now has a population of 8.337 million people. Despite so many people, it can be tricky to make new friends here. I heard someone once call it “harder than dating,” grave words given the complex romance game in this city. For an introvert in NYC like me, who prefers a quiet night at home to a crazy chaotic one out and about, it can be even more challenging to meet others.
In a huge city like New York, people can hide and resurface without anyone knowing about it. I had always done the same as a “floater” within many different social circles. Here in NYC, however, I discovered even more intense floaters who took this touch-and-go, keep-at-a-distance friend philosophy to the extreme. They had me beat at my trademark social strategy!
After moving to New York, I worried that I would never find my own group of friends. If they stayed at home most of the time, just like me, how would we ever find each other? I have now lived in NYC for seven years, and it has taken me over five to curate a solid group of girlfriends. My several attempts at forging and maintaining friendships (many of which ended in failure), allowed me to discover what worked for my delicate introverted personality. Below are five key points of advice on how to live and love life and thrive as an introvert in NYC.
|There has to be a friend in here somewhere? –credit|
1. Just like dating, put yourself out there, but in the right places.
Whenever I wanted to check something out, I went for it even if I had no one to join me. I just made sure to do more activities that fostered interacting with others. Instead of going to museums, for example, like well-intentioned folks suggested, I went to museum exhibit openings, or student shows at places like Pratt Institute, with more of a cocktail hour vibe than a chilly, stoic gallery atmosphere.
2. Continue to do things on your own, but add variety.
I often take myself on mini adventures to places most people hate going alone, like weekend brunch or spots like the LIC Food & Flea. To push myself even further, I started also doing other solo activities like the Bryant Park summer movie Mondays, and once, I even attended the Governor’s Ball.
|Dates with yourself are a nice escape from the NYC craziness. –credit|
The more different things I tried, the more I learned about myself, what I loved and what I loathed (like bowling and too-trendy restaurants). But I survived. Even an unsuccessful night of meeting other women served as a personal victory just by going through with it. I could have donned sweatpants and parked my butt on the couch all night, but instead I kept at my new goal of making new friends.
5. Risk being awkward, because, (spoiler alert), we are all a little awkward.
If you meet a cool person, Facebook or text him or her. If you want to get on someone’s social calendar, you have to first get on the radar. Unless he or she is a total Queen Bee or a Top Dog (which you don’t need –– see bullet point four), your new acquaintance will be psyched that you reached out and cut all the preliminary crap. It doesn’t mean you have to do a weekend in Connecticut together anytime soon, but it means that it could happen if you wanted it to.
|Continue the search and be yourself, even if you’re awkward. –credit|