How to make friends with the locals

I thought I would write some ideas about how to make friends with the locals. I often hear from Americans that the British are not that friendly and they struggle to make friends while they are here. I completely understand and I have spent many years trying to figure this out myself so I will tell you what has worked for me. I will break this down between those that have children and those that don't because there are different places to meet people. I also think that making friends here helps with people settling better. I find it handy that I have some people like Jane, Mr B and various other friends to ask why things are the way that they are.

Note: a lot of this is trial and error. I think that American military create faster friendships because of the nature of the military business. But you have to remember that the locals have more time to get to know people. Do not let this put you off. Knowing this can help you when you feel like you are struggling.

Those with children: You are in a good place to meet other mummies but you have to be persistent. That is you cannot show up to one group and chat a bit and never come back. They will not invite you to do something the first time. 

Look up the local churches, children centres, libraries for baby and children meetups. These are usually inexpensive like £1 a meeting or even free. Make room in your schedule to go to one, two or more of these. The more you attend, the better. If they see your face all over the place and consistently, they are more likely to talk to you and that will increase your chances of making friends. 

So with Bug, I have been to baby massage. Some of those mummies I have also seen at a baby group I go to on Tuesdays. Then I also run into them at the monthly weigh-ins for the babies. This has helped me get invited to several coffee mornings and a mummies night out at the local pub. I have made sure that I am able to attend these because if you turn them down more than once without a reasonable excuse- you will never be invited again!

Those without children: Remember I lived most of my time here without Bug than I have with her. It may seem hard to make adult friends but this doesn't have to be true. With children, you have something in common with people you would never talk to otherwise. So you kind of at an advantage here. You need to join groups with shared interests. Are you interested in running, your church, crocheting, reading? You get the drift. I often think that this is a better way to get to know people because it is something that you are interested in.

So before Bug, I was really into running, long distance walking and saving the planet. So I found groups that reflected this. In fact, I started running with four girls in the morning before work and various events. I have met some great friends that I long distance walk with. I also joined a reading group that really challenged how I viewed the world and its resources. So definitely try this avenue. If you have a shared interest this will provide a foundation to build your friendship on.

I hope you found these ideas helpful.