In the beginning of my volunteering year I had many acquaintances. The organization where I am working at, is organizing different kinds of youth exchange programs about non-formal education. So mostly every month we had a new project, which includes meeting many new people and, participants from different parts of the world. I enjoyed that process, but at the same time I was on needles. I wanted to communicate with them, but it was a bit difficult for me. To be engaged in a new environment only after several days of your arriving, seems not easy. But I tried.
Maybe the density of events helped me to overcome these difficulties and helped me to engage to a new environment easily. During these projects, my task was to interview them, to communicate. And when I started the conversation, I realized, how it helped me (even small) to improve my language skills and to get rid of the complexes with one step. Just imagine the upcoming result,: that you can have if you try to find new people and start conversations with them.
So why I am saying this?
Quite often there are some situations when you are talking with somebody and want to find the opportunity to split up from him/her. You may think, that it is not because of your shamefulness but because of your interlocutor’s less open mindset. Well. But if the situation is continuing, you have to know the main reason of it, because such unsuccessful examples can’t help you to move forward. So could we say, that it is cause of our comfort zone. That we don’t want to leave our comfort zone and to embrace new challenges in our life, just being in a new environment, where everybody speaks in a different language. At the same time you are considering a fact, that you came to a new country not only for getting the experience, or doing your volunteering just by sitting at the office the front of the computer every day, but also to make a lot of friends as much as possible. How it is going on? Making a new friendship in your own country doesn’t demand lot’s of effort. But being in a foreign country and trying to make a new friendship or acquaintance seems a bit hard. If you haven’t such kind of difficulties I am happy for you.
But if you are not super active or neither an extrovert person, you probably prefer to find people, who are from your home country, who are speaking the same language, mostly have the same mentality. But you are a volunteer who has more opportunities to overcome this challenge and get to know new people from different cultures.
Let’s figure out, how we can refuse such kind of fears and how we can easily make new friends, to start a new conversation with them, who have different temperaments, cultures. So here I will share some tools with you, that allows me to open up and get to know others easily. I haven’t used all of them yet, but I would like to. I hope that, until end of my volunteering year I will share with great results by following these steps. Maybe this will help you too:))
1. Ask question
2. Get out of your comfort zone
3. Get active and reach out to friend of friend
4. Read the same things
5. Trust your friendship
6.Commit to one-on-one
7. Make an effort with co-workers
8. Go to cultural events, make pictures
9. Go explore
10.Take a continuing education class.
Here are the links, from where I found the tools.