Steal from Friends
I realize this technique was frowned upon in the fifth grade. You would surely earn a reputation as a friend-stealer if you tried this too many times. But many (NOT ALL) people in their 30s, 40s, 50s (skip two decades for the boomers, just kidding) and 80s have loosened up a bit. I have found this to be a very efficient method of making friends, because someone has already done your dirty work–the interview process–and weeded out the toxic folks. For example, when Eric and I landed in Annapolis ten year ago I knew no one but my husband and his mom. My sister-in-law, Julie, lived in Arlington, Virginia and came up sometimes on the weekends.
I’d tag along with her to many of her social events. Julie became a very good friend of mine. We have several common interests and I respect her very much. It was no coincidence, then, that I also liked her friends. So I “adopted” them. Of course, I asked her … “Do you mind if I ask you best friend, Vange, to lunch? I really liked her!” Within a year, Eric and I were hanging out with his sister’s friends and their husbands more than his sister was (and this was okay by her). We were even included in the very elite “game night group,” a cult who gathers to drink, gossip, and eat dessert.