“How do I find people who are more like me?”
That’s something I asked myself for years. I didn’t want to hang out with just anyone. I wanted to be around people where I could stay true to myself.
Finding people has been extra complicated for me as I’m not into clubs and parties. (And I don’t drink much alcohol). I just don’t like it that much -I rather sit in a more calm place, discussing something interesting with a close friend over a coffee.
If you’re an introvert like me and have ended up in a position where you currently have no friends, I’ve written a 6-step guide that you should read here.
Clubs and big parties are great to become a more recognized face in town or say hi to a bunch of people.
But luckily for anyone who’s not super extroverted, these aren’t the places to make close friends anyway. To make close friends with someone you need to make personal conversation, something that clubs and parties aren’t designed for.
Except for not partying, there were several reasons I had a hard time finding people who were more like me.
- The town I lived in was too small
- People around me were shallow and uninteresting or didn’t want to hang out
- My personality was too different from others
At least that’s what I THOUGHT were the reasons.
The coming weeks I’ll show you how I built a close circle of friends who shared my interests, my personality, and my values. (Even though I started off feeling like I just never fitted in.)
Way too late I realized that there were lots of people like me around me. The problem was that I didn’t understand how to find them, bond with them and turn them into my friends.
But I don’t blame my old self:
The most common advice you get if you want to find people who are more like you is “Go to Meetup.com and join meetups there”.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been on that site – and still never actually joined one of those events. It was way out of my comfort zone. And since I’ve never made friends that way, I don’t expect you to do it either.
There are so much better ways to find people who are more like you.
“But I live in a really small town / people around me are too generic / I don’t like what everyone else likes”.
I grew up in Ljungby, an industrial town of 10 000 residents, by some called “The city that always sleeps”.
But if I search for “Ljungby” on Facebook and then sort by “Groups”, the number of results that come up is surprisingly big for such a small town.
- Facebook Groups in Ljungby with at least 10 members:
- Sports (Dozens of groups)
- Animals: Dog walking, horses, fishing, ornithologists etc
- Gaming: Warhammer, Diablo, Tibia and a few more
- A chess club
- An art club
- A book club
- Some kind of creative workshop
- Christianity (Dozens of groups)
- A few groups on culture and music
- Several politics groups
- And finally, even one small group for Bee-keepers
And some googling revealed a bunch of interesting study circles and classes as well.
Even for a weird guy like me who don’t like sports or most other things normal people enjoy, I could, if I’d decided to stay in Ljungby, find groups of people doing something I actually liked.
(I would probably have joined the chess club and a philosophy study circle)
Going to places where people share your interests is a powerful way to find people who are more like you. Now years later, it’s clear to me that almost all my best friends are those I found through mutual interests.
Perhaps your interests are even nerdier than mine, or perhaps you live in an even ghostlier town than I did. The point is that even if it doesn’t feel that way now, there are more people like you than you might think.
Lesson learned 1: If you want to find people who are more like you, look for places where people share your interests.
Lesson learned 2: Meetup.com can be intimidating. Join interesting-looking Facebook groups instead. That way you can be part of the online conversation for weeks or MONTHS before you decide to join them in real life. Imagine how much more natural it would feel to join a group of people you’ve spoken with for weeks or months online.
Have you met like-minded through a group or a club or a class? What happened? Let me know in the comments below!