If you are relatively new to this country, you may not know too many people yet. Not to worry. The holidays can be a good time to meet more people and get to know them better. Here are some tips on how to make new friends during the holidays.
Whether you are working or not, there are good opportunities to make new friends at this time of year. If you are working, most likely there is a company party, or at least one for your department. Go to as many of the interesting ones as you can. You don’t need to talk to everyone at the party. Just choose 2 or 3 people you want to know better. Choose quality, not quantity. If you are building your circle of friends, choose those whose company you enjoy.
Once, at a Christmas party a friend invited me to, I only know one person–the friend who brought me. However, I met one woman who has travelled quite a bit, and she has fascinating stories to tell. I listened to her stories most of the evening. And by the end of the party, she was telling people how interesting I was when I only spoke 10 sentences to her! It turns out it really is not necessary to be interesting. You only need to be a good listener! 🙂
This woman enjoyed talking to me so much that she asked to stay in touch. And we did for many years. So, if you find yourself in a party where you don’t know anyone, just zoom in to one person that you think you might enjoy talking with, and just stay with that one conversation until you want to move on to the next.
And if you are attending a company party, you can use the opportunity to both meet personal friends and professional ones. Because it’s a holiday party, people will talk more about their personal life. That is a good thing. It’s always nice to have co-workers who are also friends. And a bonus is: often professional opportunities come through people who already know you and like you.
So, if you are feeling left out because this is your first holiday season away from your family, create your own opportunities to make new friends by attending parties you are invited to. And even if there is no invitation, there are often meetup groups you’ve joined that do celebrate the holiday season with special events.
I hope these tips help you expand your friendship circle in both your personal life and at work. Networking really is easier than it sounds. It’s just choosing to talk with those whose company you would enjoy.
If you find this blog helpful, here is one on Does it take a long time to make friends in a new country?
The article How to make friends with your neighbors also offers helpful ideas to expand your circle of friends in your new community.
Estrella Chan coaches immigrants and international professionals in English fluency, interview skills, and public speaking. To schedule a session with her, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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