How f*cking hard is it to make new friends? I mean, other than college where a lifelong friendship can be forged over your love of Dave Matthews and cheap beer, making new friends could be really intimidating. Watching my child walk away from the playground with his head hung low is a reminder of that. Friends with teenagers talk about it and say the same thing. And most adults would agree. Walking up to a group of kids at the playground isn’t any easier than walking up to a group of grown ups at a party. And just because you grow up doesn’t mean you grow out of the discomfort of putting yourself out there.
Buuuuuut, part of the sweetness of Drinking the Whole Bottle and savoring every drop is having people to share it with, so here are a few ideas you could use to make getting to know people easier.
1. Invite people over for a potluck DINNER
Potlucks are some of my favorite get togethers. Not only does it involve food – and who doesn’t love socializing around food – but it’s less clean up for you and comes with an instant list of questions and conversation starters:
Mmmm… this is delicious. What is this? Did you make it? How did you make it? Can I have the recipe?
(👆🏼 Write those down.)
2. Start a book club
I’ve gone to book clubs where everyone reads the same book and discusses it. I’ve also been to book clubs where people get together and discuss what books they read that month – a quick synopsis and whether or not they’d recommend it. At both types of book club, I sit in the circle and drink wine. The truth is, mama ain’t getting through a lot of books these days but I don’t mind sipping on some Sauvignon and making a list of books I might read when my kids go to college as long as I get some time to hang with people.
3. Organize a clothing swap brunch
I LOVE CLOTHING SWAPS… especially with mimosas! Like book club, there are many ways to organize a clothing swap. I prefer the “bring shit you don’t want, lay it out, and start digging through clothes” formula but some are more organized with rules and order. Regardless of how you set it up, I love the experience of “shopping” with friends – especially living abroad where I don’t really go shopping. And the best part… it’s free. I come home drunk off mimosas, with a bag of free shit, and hours of giggles, chit chat, and telling each other how fabulous we look in each others’ clothes.
4. …Or just brunch
Not into a clothing swap? Just organize a brunch and, similar to potluck dinner, have everyone bring something. Delicious and simple.
5. Have some friends over for game night
I went away last weekend with a group of friends and after the kids went to bed, we played Head’s Up. Nothing bonds people quite like playing games. It’s competitive and team building. It is guaranteed to make you laugh and work together or at the very least, it creates a story. “Remember that time…”
Other games to play:
– Cards Against Humanity (or if you don’t want to scare people off too soon, you could start with Apples to Apples)
6. Movie Night
Husband and I had a projector when we lived in Santo Domingo and it was our fave thing we owned (other than the Christmas tree). A few times we planned a rooftop movie night with a big group and other times we’d invite over a couple of people, order food, drink some wine and watch a movie. It was a chill way to hang out without forcing conversation.
Bonus: Theme nights are great! Is it Halloween? Watch something Halloween-ish. (I’d say scary but I can’t do scary.) Christmastime??? Oh the possiblitites!
7. Football Sunday & BBQ
Dude. This one is so easy. Repeat after me, “Hey. We’re watching football and grilling and drinking beers. Come over. Bring something to grill.” That’s it. Everyone likes at least one of those things if not a combination. Me? I could care less about football but grilled foods and beer?! Expect me at kickoff.
I mean, obviously. Does anyone say no to coming over for wine? And if they do, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life anyway. Wine is one of the great equalizers. People loosen up, chill out, share more, and laugh louder. It’s just fact.
The most important things to remember through all of this is 1) opening yourself up to new people is hard – even for people like me who have an easy time telling my life story to anyone who will listen. And 2… at the cost of sounding like your mom (turns out she is always right), BE YOURSELF. People will love you for who you are and if they don’t, they aren’t meant to be your tribe anyway.
–>What tips would you offer to make new friends? <–