Moving to a new place can be difficult. You have to learn how to adapt to a new culture and learn new skills in order to thrive in this new area. One thing that can be particularly hard for foreign-trained healthcare professionals is making friends, especially when you are an introvert.
Here are five ways you can make friends quickly and easily.
1. You don’t have to go out all the time.
Don’t feel like you have to go out all the time in order to make friends. You might meet someone while you are just having lunch or snack. You might go to a fun event and meet someone there. However, there is no reason to have to go out to bars, festivals, and other events if you do not feel like going. You can stay home and watch TV and relax, and when you feel like going out, you can meet people where you are. Do not force yourself to go out constantly.
2. Be yourself.
One of the most important aspects of making friends is remembering to be yourself! When you are yourself, you will attract people who share similar interests. It will feel good to meet like-minded people, and if they are your real friends, they will accept you as you are. There is no need to change for anyone in order to feel accepted!
3. Connect on social media
Did you meet a cool friend at an event or at work? Try adding them on social media like Facebook and Instagram. You can like each other’s posts, learn about events that they might be going to, and share photos! This is a great way to stay in touch even once an assignment ends and your contract is up.
4. Focus on quality, not quantity
While you might feel pressure to make new friends, remember, it is better to have a couple of true friends than a big group of people who are not really there for you. It’s okay if you only have two or three friends you can count on! In the end, you know they are a shoulder to lean on and that is what matters.
5. Engage in company events.
A good way to meet other people is to go to an event hosted by your company or agency. If your department or facility has an event, like a birthday celebration, baby shower, or another event, try and make an appearance and engage in other nurses. This is an easier way for introverts to make friends because these other foreign-trained healthcare professionals are people you work with, and hence you already know you have something in common.