In NYC, and feeling very alone. What can I do to make new friends?
August 8, 2008 9:54 PM   Subscribe

In NYC, and feeling very alone. What can I do to make new friends?

I know this topic has been touched on before, but I am feeling a little helpless. I have lived here for two years now but I still feel like I have not found my niche. I appreciate the suggestions made in previous posts, but I feel like I don't fit into the crowds for the suggested activities. Basically, I am 25 y/o dude looking to have fun on the weekends. Unfortunately my work schedule doesn't allow me to get much during the week. What do you do to branch out and meet new people?
posted by helios410 to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
starting today i stopped waiting to make friends and stopped hoping i would. i decided that i liked to be around people, even if they weren't talking to me. i went to the bar and i took knitting. i watched people. i drank a couple beers. and i came home smiling. maybe some day outings like that will end in a friendship, but i made all my best friends when i didn't think i needed any, so i'm trying like hell to live my life in a way that makes me happy. hopefully that'll stomp the loneliness.

more than that - what do you like to do? any hobbies? videogames, woodworking, jazz music? there are groups for any and everything in new york. find one and figure out how to go alone and not feel weird. or figure out how to go alone even if you do feel weird. grow your own passions and chances are you'll find people who share them - for instance, in the bar tonight a big, broad cowboy in wranglers and a $70 hat told me that his grandmother taught him to knit when he was 16. he and i won't be friends, i'm guessing, but we both shared something in that moment that we wouldn't have been able to share with anyone else at that time. that's something that makes me feel good.
posted by nadawi at 10:09 PM on August 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Go find them.

Find something you like to do or somewhere you like to go and talk to people while you're there. It doesn't have to mean much in the grand scheme of things. But it will help with the socializing skills.

Also, look for people playing sports for fun. Kickball, touch football, that sort of deal. Then ask if you can play. From my experience people playing for fun won't mind you joining in unless the group is already abnormally large, and even not then in a nice number of cases.
posted by theichibun at 10:46 PM on August 8, 2008

Just go to the local watering hole. Bartenders make good first contacts. Look for a place that has people in your age group without overly loud music. Depending on where you live and work you should be able to find at least a few humans who want to talk and maybe hangout. Or go to a Metafilter meetup. We'll hang out with you.
posted by vrakatar at 10:51 PM on August 8, 2008

Start a language course in french. Relatively cheap, and treat it as a socialialisation opportunity. You get to talk to people too.
posted by ChabonJabon at 12:57 AM on August 9, 2008 and a new yorker story on the site.
posted by krautland at 2:02 AM on August 9, 2008

I live in London, and having been left by my own ,by my husband made me feel lonely and depressed for long time. Then I asked myself the same question that you, and my life is fullfiled and better now.

1- Buy a book called eternal echoes Jhon O'donohue ( Exploring our hunger to belong) This may help you to discover happines in a solitude time.

2- Write an advertising on a website like in the friends section saying you want to meet people for friendship. read some adds so you can have abetter idea what to write.

3- Join yourself in to a free club of any sport .

4 - Type on google, free events NCY , lectures debates, and go to each of them. I have found friends when goin to.

5- Talk to people , in the street in the bus, etc be kind and initiate conversation. Is the best way to find people to talk to. Nobody is going to come to you to ask you be their friend. You have to do efforts.

Good Luck,
posted by zulo at 4:10 AM on August 9, 2008

Write an advertising on a website like in the friends section saying you want to meet people for friendship.

Because I checked: "" is the UK version of
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:43 AM on August 9, 2008

Joining something and hanging out at the bar are the two ways people here make friends, I've found. I've lived in NYC for 8 years now, and all the friends I've made come down to those two options.
posted by dame at 10:23 AM on August 9, 2008

I saw this post and remembered reading something interesting about a study on friendships in the book "The Tipping Point" -- so I went ahead and cracked it open. Quoth Malcolm Gladwell, "We don't seek out friends... We associate with the people who occupy the same small, physical spaces that we do."

You say you that you don't fit into the crowds, and that you're looking for friends to have fun on the weekends. Try it backwards. Don't go looking for friends or to fit into crowds, go looking for fun instead. The friends will come automatically.

I don't know what your idea of fun is, but since you're limited to your weekends you're going have to focus your plan. Try making a list of people you admire (maybe people who've got the type of social life you admire), pinpoint exactly what they're doing differently from you, and then get out there and do those things.

P.S. You need never be lonely if you help the lonely. There are people all around you who could benefit from sharing your wisdom, your attention, your help. Give a little of yourself just to give! It's not all about partying and having fun :)
posted by Theloupgarou at 1:11 PM on August 9, 2008

I'm kind of in the same boat right now because of my work schedule and because my current friends don't really like going out. I actually force myself to do certain things that will at the very least get me out of the house like I make sure I sit in a cafe a couple of times a week, I take a salsa class every week, I go to quiz nights when they coincide with my work schedule, I go see bands I like etc. Basically I do things that really interest me because then I will meet people who like the same things I do....yeah, really logical. It's hard at times because I usually end up going alone but I have learned that that is only pathetic if you sit there and focus on how pathetic you feel and starting looking pathetic. Making friends seems to be about talking to people which isn't always a natural talent but it IS something you can learn and I am a case in point. You don't have to come up with scintillating conversation, even the weather will do, but just talk to people. You can even make it a point to ask someone the time or the name of the opening band or if this is the first time taking a salsa class, whatever. I remember reading something about Princess Diana who felt that she was very shy so when she would arrive at a party feeling ill at ease she would find the person who looked most ill at ease and go talk to them.

In NYC the weekends are not really designed for casual hanging out and meeting people as you get a lot of people coming into the city to party hard. Try going out on a Sunday night instead, try some stuff in the outer boroughs, especially Brooklyn, where things are a little more laid back. Find quirky things like movies at McCarren Park (there are a ton of free movie things in the city during the summer) or the Sat. dance party at P.S.1 in Long Island City. Attend any of the free concerts in the park (Central Park or Prospect Park) or the River to River festival, Siren Festival (past) etc. I don't know what your work schedule is, but since I work weeknights I sometimes take a half day off and go out on a weeknight (I tend to like the kinds of things that happen on weeknights in NYC and you get less of the B&T crowd). Sundays often are less B&Tish so it's a little more relaxing and easier to meet people. Essentially, don't go to the "scene to be seen" places, but find some out of the way things and things that interest will be in your element with others who are also in their element and then just let that common resonance work its magic.

Ok, I am off to go practice what I preach (and read the other suggestions)!
posted by kenzi23 at 9:39 PM on August 9, 2008

Become a NYCares volunteer- lots of opportunities to meet people!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:46 PM on August 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Try the NYCSSC. Fall leagues start up in September/October.
posted by Citrus at 9:49 AM on August 11, 2008

Seconding They seem to have a fair number of random and interesting groups. I went on a bike ride with the Cycling & Food group last month, and it was quite nice.

Also, I don't know your work situation, but is there anyone there who seems interesting to hang out with? One acquaintance of mine at work went on a rollerblading tour of Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn last week, and I'm planning on going with him on the same thing next week. (The acquaintance is French, and apparently all the rollerbladers who showed up without helmets were French, which he seemed proud of.)

In general, I'm in the same boat as you, FWIW. Good luck! Please follow up if you find anything interesting.
posted by A dead Quaker at 5:58 PM on August 15, 2008

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