When you develop a new interest it can be difficult to find people to explore that interest with you. I like to use the example of bouldering, because it’s one of my favorite things to do.
A few years ago, I moved back from the U.S. to Amsterdam, and I wanted to make some friends with whom to go climbing. Problem is, none of my close friends in The Netherlands were into climbing. (Those same friends still aren’t, although by now I’ve made new friends who are.)
How, I wondered, could I meet people I clicked with, who were also into climbing?
It turns out I made it much harder than it needed to be. See, throughout your life, you’ve met many people. You might have or have had:
- Friends in primary school
- Friends of the family
- Friends in the neighborhood where you lived as a kid
- Friends in high school
- Friends in sports clubs
- Friends in university
- Friends at various companies where you worked
These are all people you already know. You already know whether they click with you. So, reach out to them and ask whether any of them share your new interest. Who cares if you haven’t spoken with them in years?
I ended up going to the boulder gym several times a week for more than a year before I made some climbing friends. But guess what? Someone who did the same high school scholarship program as I did climbs at the same climbing gym. I ran into him one time.
If I had posted on social media to ask which of my friends is into climbing or bouldering, he might have reached out and we could have gone climbing together. I would have had a friend to go climbing with much sooner.
Use your existing network, people.