I just moved to Washington and I don’t know anyone in town. I do not have the best social skills, but I am interested in developing them to connect with others. What do you suggest I do to break out of my shell and meet new people?
New in Town
Dear New in Town,
First, I want to compliment you on being interested in meeting new people in your new town. Your desire to connect with others is a good first step in developing your social skills. To begin, I suggest starting the process of connecting with others by saying hello to everyone in your neighborhood when you pass them by. Then after doing so on a regular basis (e.g. 2-4 weeks), begin to take it a step further and stop and engage in a small conversation with your neighbors around basic topics (the weather, where someone works, how long they have lived in the neighborhood, if they have children or pets, recommendations for services, etc.). Also, consider joining the Facebook page for your neighborhood to learn about community events and group activities that are happening near you. Finally, consider volunteering, as this gets you out of your home and into an activity that benefits both you and others (search ‘volunteer/Issaquah’ for opportunities or check in with the Highlands Council staff at Blakely Hall). Good luck, you can do this!
Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.
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