The other day I’m sitting at the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (on S Lamar, but I cannot wait for the 38th & Lamar location to open–rumor has it August 8 is the day!!) with Alexandra from Alexandra’s Cookie Dreams and before we know it, our casual conversation turns into girl talk with 2 other random girls also hanging out at the coffee shop. It’s an odd experience, but cool.
We get on the topic of making friends in Austin. Both of the strangers (not me and Alexandra) say it’s hard to make friends in Austin. For the record, Alexandra and I met randomly at an event and have forged a friendship out of that, emailing regularly and meeting up every so often. She’s GREAT at keeping in touch. I don’t think she finds it hard to make friends, and I’ve often said Austin makes it easy to make friends. More on that in a minute.
So we started talking about HOW you make friends, and Alexandra declares that there are three groups of people who find it easy to make friends: people who are into live music, people who are into sports, and people who are hippie-ish or granola-y. I think this over. When I moved back to Austin (I’m a native but was away for school), I immediately sought out sports leagues, not only because I love sports, but also because I figured it’d be a great way to make friends (thank you, Austin Sports & Social Club, and I discuss this more here). I also went out quite a bit, but not to listen live music. And while I shop at Wheatsville, only eat free-range meat, recycle, and have a very active compost at the house, I don’t really consider myself a hippie. Nonetheless, I apparently had 1/3 of the advantages for making friends.
But I don’t think it’s just about what activities you do. It’s about the intention you approach anything in your life with. I moved home and said, “I have to make new friends now.” I didn’t hang out with my high school friends, and I looked at every event where there’d be new people as a chance to make friends. Always open-minded and open-hearted. It certainly wasn’t an immediate process, but I’m picky and I still found an amazing group of friends that continues to grow and expand to this day. I always credited my ability to find awesome new friends to Austin itself, for having a young, intelligent, diverse population of laid-back people. But if this isn’t true for 2/4 girls in the coffeeshop, where’s the disconnect?
So I’m curious … how did you make friends in Austin? If you’re from somewhere else or lived somewhere else, was it easier or harder to make friends? Where do you think we fall on the Easiness-of-Making-Friends Scale?