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10 Tips For Making Friends in the United States
By Joshua Wood, LPC
Expats in the U.S. sometimes find it hard to make friends. While it can be challenging, the United States offers quite a few ways to make the process of making friends easier than one might think.
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Becoming a regular at your local coffee house and small local shops will make you a familiar face to not only the staff but those who are regulars, as well. Although this takes time, a rapport with everyone can be built naturally. It may begin with a discussion of the day's weather, but eventually, as each of you becomes more at ease, you can discuss subjects closer to you. If you wish to go no further, you can simply stop where you are with a person. This helps in both large and small communities, where you need to begin with just one friend and build from there.
Good advice in this article, but I have to say that I think Americans are very hard to become friends with. Yes, they are friendly and courteous. I know, I'm one of them. Making superficial friendships, chatting in coffee shops, meeting people in bars and restaurants, etc is relatively easy. But in general, americans do not open up their lives to admit foreigners in. Many, not all, are insular and not as accepting as, say, latins. If you work, then that is an advantage and you are more likely to develop good friendships. Otherwise it's difficult.
Jackietrehorn's comment points to the great differences you'll find from one region to the next and between different types of communities within the U.S. Some areas are populated by groups that have been there for generations; these will be more difficult to break into as an American from outside the region, let alone an expat. On the other hand, some communities are made up largely by people who have chosen to leave their home towns for a change, whether for better weather, more economic opportunities, education, a more open political climate, whatever. Such communities are by nature more open, as everyone came from somewhere else and they make an effort to meet others. Often these towns or cities have universities or are resorts, so if you can choose where you live, looking in places like these may help you find friendlier people.