Finding friends in the no-fun city?
April 19, 2007 8:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm currently living in the Mt. Pleasant area of Vancouver. I'm a 30ish male. I took a week of vacation and the highlight of today was paying off my library fines. I would like to get a bit more of a social life....

I would like to find some events or locations to hang out with some nice people. I do like this area and some of my neighbors look like they'd be cool and we might have common interests (photography, arts, design, video games - typical art nerd type things), but I've never been an outgoing type of person, so I have not really found a way to just approach a group at a coffee house, etc. I'm not looking just for this area though - anywhere within Vancouver would be fine for me.

A bit of personal background: I've always only had a few friends, but have moved around for the last couple of years and they are now scattered across Canada.

If I had to criticize my own social persona I would say that I am naturally introverted but have an involuntary instinct to crack jokes in social situations to conceal nervousness. I try to curb that behavior because it makes me feel like I'm faking the interaction and it can probably come across as annoying, but it's still there about 1/2 the time. Any additional advice about overcoming that instinct would also be appreciated as well.
posted by concreteforest to Human Relations (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
In terms of approaching a group at coffee house - try arriving a bit late so the hall is more or less filled up, and then approaching a group and asking if they would mind you sitting with them - and then just going along from there. If you go to the same place for coffee house, it wouldn't be bad to find someone you've seen before and going "Hey, I remember you coming last coffee house, do you come here a lot?" etc.

Jokes aren't bad. Depending on the nature of them, you might get a few raised eyebrows - but even then, the worst you're likely to get is "he was nice, if a bit odd." - and the best is that you'll make a group of potential friends laugh. The loss-win ratio is pretty good, IMO. Be tasteful, but try to feel out the group dynamic before you go about it. Whether a group of friends is liberal, uptight, batshitinsane or prettyaverage is pretty obvious after a few minutes of casual chatting.
posted by Phire at 10:34 PM on April 19, 2007

Best answer: Congratulations! You live in an awesome area!

Your first port of call should be Blim, which is full of art-nerdy classes and fun stuff to do like screen printing workshops, circuit bending, all that kind of stuff.

There's a load of interesting coffee shops and general hang-outs on Main St. I don't live in the area, but I work nearby, although admittedly I've never managed to strike up much of a conversation in one other than one centering around my Englishness ( It does help for casual conversation ). I also work at a video games company, and yes, you're right, a lot of people in that area do fall into the art nerd/design nerd/music nerd sort of categories.

They also have interesting classes at Radha, a vegan restaurant with very lovely food, and extremely friendly staff.

Another thing I've thought about doing personally is taking one of the acting/performance/stand-up-comedy classes at Langara Community College, which sounds like a a good way to meet people as well as just have a good time.

All the people I met at the last MeFi meetup in Van were interesting, friendly folk. Maybe time for another one?

Anyway, my email is in my profile. Say hi if you want, you sound like a decent chap...
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:23 PM on April 19, 2007

There's a Free Geek chapter just starting up in Vancouver. You're in a friendly part of town for that sort of thing. The last meeting was at Main & 4th.
posted by PercussivePaul at 12:18 AM on April 20, 2007

Hey, concreteforest, you're me.

Go to Find a subject you're interested in. Show up for a meet. Or just Google (name of hobby) club Vancouver and see what pops up.

I searched out the local Scrabble club, just to name one example, and have been attending regularly for much of the last year. I hang with many of these folks socially out-of-club now. Poker night's at my place this Saturday night, matter of fact. I knew none of these folks eight months ago.

I'm a misanthropic introvert in his mid-30s who recently moved to town. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

E-mail's in my profile if you want to say 'hi'.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:37 AM on April 20, 2007

May I also say that you are welcome to drop me a line. And put your co-ordinates in your profile, I want to see how close you are.
This thread is crying out for an East Van meetup. I would suggest one if my weekend plans weren't up in the air.
posted by PercussivePaul at 1:33 AM on April 20, 2007

This may not be as helpful to you as it was to me when I moved to Vancouver, since you seem to have lived there for some time, but you may very well find something of interest browsing through the Vancouver LJ community. Generally it's full of random questions like "where do I get a haircut?" and "where's a good place to buy some shoes," but it's also pretty good for event listings and generally getting to know your city better.

Otherwise, general rules for social interaction apply. You say you like the people in your area but you're afraid to approach groups at coffee houses and the like? Try getting to know your neighbours first. If they're about the same age and interested in some of the same things you are then you should be able to find some new friends before too long, and depending on your disposition approaching individuals may be a lot easier than big groups.
posted by chrominance at 2:14 AM on April 20, 2007

V. Belated entrance to this thread, but DUDE, you live so close to me! If you ever check back here, feel free to toss me a note sometime if you're looking for a fellow awkward type to attend oddball main st. activities with. Cheers!
posted by stray at 7:02 PM on August 30, 2007

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