Struggling to Make Friends in London?
Well you’ve come to the right place. Because we know that London can sometimes feel like the loneliest place in the world – even though you’re surrounded by millions of other people.
The thing is, many of us simply don’t have that many opportunities to strike up friendships. You might only work with a very small number of people (you may even work alone).
Or perhaps the people you come in contact with at work is only on a one off basis. In many cases, it can also be difficult to strike up a conversation with work colleagues on any subject other than work.
Of course, you might not even be at work. Perhaps you’ve moved to London with your spouse – and he or she is out all day, leaving you at home to twiddle your thumbs.
It sounds a great lifestyle – but in reality, being the one stuck indoors with no friends isn’t such a great life choice…
So how can you change your lot? What can you do to ensure that you actually get out there and make some friends?
Well, here’s our guide to making friends in London.
Join a Class
This is a great way to meet people with similar interests to you. You can learn how to paint, dance, or perhaps take an English speaking class if English isn’t your first language.
There are classes in virtually any subject you can think of.
There are many different providers of such classes. How To Academy is one, or check out Gum Tree for various different options going on in your area.
Hot Courses is another option, and says that it is the number one choice for discovering classes in pretty much any field you can think of.
Join a Club or Group
There are quite a few different places where you can join various different clubs – and for those of you who’re shy, joining up online can be a great ice breaker, and you’ll even get to interact with people before you meet them face to face.
Two of the largest communities are City Socializer and Meet Up. Here you can search by area and/or subject to find others who are already getting together to do the things they love.
Go to Church
For those who like to worship, then joining your local church can be a great way of making new friends. Pretty much every religion you can think of has churches or places of worship in London.
Find ones closest to you on Wikipedia’s web page, or another option to try is A Church Near You.
Volunteering is not only a fab way to meet people, but you also get to feel good about yourself as you’re giving back to the local community.
And you can volunteer in so many different sectors! If you’re an animal lover, then look at volunteer options at the RSPCA or check out the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home website.
For other volunteering options, Volunteering Matters is a great place to begin your search. There’s so much to choose from here, from helping out families, older people, those with disabilities, the environment… The list is endless.
Accept all Invitations
You might not feel like it all the time, but if you’re struggling to meet people, then never turn down an invitation.
You might not be up for that cosmetics party that a work colleague invites you to, but actually, you’ll probably enjoy it once you get there.
And when it comes to being invited places, especially from people at work, it doesn’t take many times of you saying no before people simply stop including you…
Forget Social Media
Sites such as Facebook are a great way to keep in touch with people you already know, but one thing we’re all guilty of is spending too much time communicating in this manner, and forgetting to actually get out and meet people.
If you find you’re in this category (come on, how much time to you REALLY spend on Facebook?), then maybe it’s time to ditch the online addiction and instead get out and meet people in one of the ways mentioned above.
Change Your Living Situation
If you live alone, and this especially applies to younger people who might have moved to London to study or take a new job, then meeting potential new friends can seem almost impossible.
Perhaps you need to re-think your living situation. For first year uni students, perhaps see if it’s possible to move into halls of residence, or check out the noticeboard to see if anyone’s looking for a house share.
Get a room mate, or move into somewhere new with someone who’s looking for a flat share. Websites such as Easy Room Mate and Spare Room are chocca block with people looking for just that.
Once you’re living with someone else it becomes much easier, as you’re going to talk to the person you’re living with – and they might just have a circle of friends who will include you.
Learn the Art of the Compliment
If you’re super shy, it can be really hard to force yourself into situations where you have to speak to new people. In such a case, learning how to give a (not too over the top) compliment can be all you need to break the ice.
Comments such as, “that’s a nice bag, where did you get it?” – or (for the guys), “nice car!” – can be all you need to start a conversation.
And believe us, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Let’s be honest, the worst that can happen is you get ignored – and if someone is rude enough to do that, then they’re not worthy of being your friend anyway…
It can be really hard being in a city such as London without any friends to share it with, but keep at it!
There are so many people out there, and a lot of them are in exactly the same situation as you are. Never give up on trying to make friends.
One day, we’re pretty sure you’ll wake up and realise that your efforts have all been worth it. You’ll have friends – and not just virtual ones – and it’ll be thanks to your continued efforts that you’ve managed it. Good luck…