Have you heard of the people living in the Italian island of Sardinia?
They have extraordinarily high life expectancies, which initially puzzled scientists.
Later, they found the answer for their longevity – strong social connections.
Even if you don’t want to live to over a 100 years old like the Sardinians, I think you would agree that having a social life is important. This is because being socially active improves your general well-being and happiness.
One way to enhance your social life is to make friends and meet new people in Singapore.
However, making new friends in Singapore is not that easy. Singaporeans tend to keep to themselves and usually are not open to speaking with strangers. This is far cry from countries such as the United States of America. People there would greet you in the lift even when they don’t know you. They would make small talk as if they had known you their entire lives.
Therefore, if you want to meet new people in Singapore, you have to put in a little more effort. You have to continually put yourself out there and make the first move to talk to people. While not everyone will be receptive, you will eventually find people who are. When that happens, you may forge friendships that may even last a lifetime.
1. Join Interest Groups
You can join various interest groups to meet people and make new friends in Singapore. Through this, you can interact with like-minded individuals who share common interests. A popular platform to use is Meetup.com. This a free website that allows members to find specific interest groups and participate in their in-person activities. For example, if you like playing tennis, you can sign up for tennis rally sessions with new people. Not only do you get to keep fit, you may also be able to make friends with other tennis enthusiasts.
A point of caveat though. There will be some groups on Meetup.com that try to charge you money for courses or products. You should avoid these types of groups. Instead, look out for interest groups where the organisers genuinely want to expand the community and bring people together.
2. Expand your Professional Network
Expanding your professional network is another way to meet new people in Singapore. By seeking out people in the same industry, you would be able to find people who can relate to your experiences better. This in turn may allow for more meaningful conversations.
Nonetheless, not all professional networking sessions result in friendships. Some individuals network simply to progress in their career and do not mix business with personal. In any case, it would still be in your interests to connect with such persons. Expanding your professional circle will help in your career, particularly if you wish to transition into a new job role.
Alternatively, you can also look to meet people from other professions as well. Coming from a different industry, they may be able to provide you with unique perspectives on issues and life. Ultimately, you can possibly make friends from this mutual exchange and discussion.
How to start?
Well, one way is to make use of social networking apps. A great way to meet new people professionally is via LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, you can look for people who have interesting careers or are in the same industry as you. You may then decide to message them and see if they are keen to meet in person for a conversation.
You can also use Lunch Kaki, which seeks to increase your network of friends over a simple lunch. The app has interesting features such as finding people available in a certain time span. Additionally, you can create group activities of up to 20 people in one venue.
3. Meet New People through Classes
Want to make friends in Singapore while picking up an entirely new skill or language? You can enrol for classes to do just that. If you’re interested in cooking classes, there are a wide variety of cooking schools to choose from. If you’re keen on learning a new language, there are numerous language institutions out there such as Alliance Francaise for French, Singapore Chinese Chamber Institute of Business for Chinese and Bunka Language School for Japanese.
There are several ways to make new friends during these classes. For instance, you can arrive earlier to the classes to talk to your classmates before lessons begin. Additionally, you can set up whatsapp or facebook groups to facilitate meetups for you and your classmates outside of class. As you and classmates develop skills and progress together over the course of the classes, all of you may develop a strong friendships with one another.
Volunteering is another good way to meet people and make new friends in Singapore. There’s something about volunteering that makes people friendlier and more open to strangers. It may very well be that volunteering puts people in a more understanding and compassionate state of mind. Thus, people are more willing to actively talk to new individuals while volunteering. Volunteering activities include helping out at an old folk’s home, academic mentoring, donation drives and so on. Through these activities, you naturally have an opportunity to engage with others in conversation.
What’s more, you get to help needy Singaporeans and make our society a better place to live in. Even if you don’t make new friends with the volunteers, you could even establish bonds with the elderly or the disadvantaged youth. You’d be surprised how much you can learn from the old and the young. The elderly carry with them years of experience, while the young can show us how to live life uninhibited by societal expectations and norms.
5. Meet New People at Places You Frequent
You can make friends at places you usually hang out in. This differs from person to person and depends on your likes and personality. If you’re one who frequently goes clubbing or drinking, then hitting the clubs and bars may the best places for you to meet new people in Singapore. Making new friends can be as easy as striking up conversations with people queueing up to enter the club or sharing drinks with people.
What if you are not into the whole nightlife scene?
There are other places you can go to meet people. For example, if you are religious and often go to the church, you can help to organise church activities and go for church camps. You can then interact with people who hold the same religious beliefs and develop friendships from there.
6. Make New Friends at Work
An obvious but commonly untapped place to meet people and make new friends in Singapore is your workplace.
It’s where you spend the most of your waking life in. Yet, many of us don’t put in any effort in getting to know our colleagues on a personal level. You could always seek out colleagues that you see often but rarely talk to. If you’re in a big organisation, you could even ask colleagues out from different departments. From them, you can learn more about their job scope and gain a better understanding of how the different departments work together in the company. Having more friends in your workplace also helps you stay updated with company-wide issues and developments.
7. Reconnect with Old Acquaintances
Sometimes, improving your social life doesn’t require to look outside your current network. You can reconnect with old acquaintances whom you lost touch with over the years. Although strictly speaking you aren’t meeting new people, this is still a good way of widening your circle of friends.
Losing contact with an acquaintance or friend happens to all of us. Maybe both of you used to be good friends but moved on after entering different schools. Or maybe you are facebook friends with someone you don’t know very well but seems interesting.
But the good news? All it takes to reconnect with them is a simple message to ask them how they’re doing. Soon enough, you may find yourselves reliving old times and hanging out as best buds. They even may introduce you to their friends as well, thereby further enlarging your social circle.
There are also budding apps that bring you and your existing friends closer together. For instance, SUP is a mobile app that connects you with friends nearby for an impromptu activity such as lunch, movies or games. By doing activities together, this app allows you to strengthen your bonds with people in your current social network.
At the heart of it, meeting people and making new friends in Singapore is about a state of mind. If you are truly serious about making more friends, you have to proactively take the first step to seek out like-minded individuals. You also have to be unafraid of striking up conversations with strangers and initiating meetups.
In fact, if you follow the 7 strategies above, you will be surprised at the amount of new people you can meet along the way.