It’s a typical Sabbath morning and you’re off to church. As your family pulls into the parking lot, you see a girl, about your age, that you don’t recognize.
After casually walking through the large glass doors, your friends swamp you and immediately engage in conversation.
Out of the corner of your eye, you notice the new girl standing by the water fountain, casting glances at your group. You know you should invite her to join you, but don’t want to be awkward about it. What’s a girl to do?
Have you ever found yourself in this situation? I know I have- plenty of times. Being the new girl, on more than one occasion, has caused me to realize that friendly people are truly a blessing!
No one wants to join a group only to have no one welcome them or introduce themselves.
That’s why, this summer, you are going to be the girl who takes the big leap. That’s right. Because I know how hard this can be, I’ll help get you started.
Here are 5 tips to making the new girl feel welcome.
1. Make the first move- introduce yourself.
This is huge! It’s one thing to casually run into the new girl and make some small talk. It’s quite another to go out of your way and introduce yourself.
A friend told me about something called the “5-second rule”. You can use it in countless situations, but we’ll stick to the formula for meeting someone new. Here’s how it works.
- Come up with the idea to meet the new girl.
- Introduce yourself within 5 seconds.
Easy, right? The point is, the more you think about doing something, the more excuses you’ll come up with. By applying the 5-second rule, you don’t make backing out an option, therefore, pushing you to get out of your comfort zone and be a friend.
2. Engage in conversation- ask questions!
Few things are more awkward than introducing yourself to someone and then having dead silence come between you two. How can you void this dilemma? Start talking!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to have a few silences here and there, just as long as your doing your best to be friendly and engage in conversation.
Here are a few conversation starters that have worked wonders for me:
“What church did you go to before this one?” (Continue to talk about church or ask how long she’s been a Christian).
“What are your top 3 favorite things to do?”
“Do you play any instruments?” (If she does, ask which ones and how long she’s been playing).
“What school do you go to? Do you like it there?”
“Is there anything you’d like me to pray for?” (This one can seem a bit forward if you’re meeting someone for the first time, so play it by ear).
3. Invite her to join your group
Imagine you’re the new girl. You walk in and another girl comes up, introduces herself, and strikes up a conversation. A few minutes later, she politely excuses herself and joins her group of friends for the remainder of the time.
Now, I’m not saying she necessarily did anything wrong. After all, she’s not obligated to spend the whole day with you. However, it would’ve been nice if she at least introduced you to some of her friends, right?
It’s not easy being new, especially when everyone else already has their own little groups.
Try inviting her into your group or introducing her to some of your friends. It’s okay if she says declines, but at least you offered. Sometimes, that’s all it takes for someone to realize that you care.
If you’re sitting down for potluck after church, invite her to sit with you. That shows that you want to include her and make her feel welcome.
4. Be extra smiley!
I remember when I started sports at a new school. There was one person who always smiled at me whenever I passed by. Not a creepy smile, but a real, genuine one. Even though I didn’t really know anyone at that new place, I felt like I was welcome.
Something as simple as a smile can make a big differnece! When you walk by the new girl or glance at her during church, give her a kind smile. It’s always nice to know that someone cares enough to make you feel welcome.
5. Compliment her.
The final tip on making the new girl feel welcome is to compliment her.
It doesn’t even have to be about her looks or that super cute dress she’s wearing (though, those can be nice too!). Try complimenting her on her actions.
Maybe you noticed her helping her mom with her younger siblings. Or maybe you saw her taking notes during the sermon, which inspired you to do the same.
Compliments on appearance are great and all, but compliments on character mean so much more.
At one time or another, we’ve all been the “new girl”.
Sometimes, people are kind and inclusive. Other times, we’re left feeling a bit lonely and unwelcome.
This summer, here will more than likely be a “new girl” in your life. This time, you can be the one to make her feel welcome.
What are your thoughts? Share them in the comment section below!
I’d love to hear your experience when you try out these tips!