Summer is finally here. You’ve prepared an itinerary of activities, venues you’re going to hit and places you are going to travel. Right as you’re packing your bags and headed out to the door, you realize you don’t have friends (or maybe even a partner) around to go with you. Maybe you moved recently, or maybe you and your friend group suddenly split up. Now you have to start building a new circle back up from scratch.

There’s nothing more anxiety inducing (for some of us) than putting yourself out there again, forcing yourself to meet new people, especially in the summertime. You’re stepping out of your comfort zone away from people who’ve known you forever. It feels risky but it is a necessary means of branching into new circles. So, how do you move past the nerves and manage your anxiety at the next cookout? Here are a four summer tips for anyone struggling to manage it out here solo.

No one says they have “too many friends”
And if they do, they’re lying, and you might not want to be friends with them anyway. So go ahead, walk up to that coworker you’ve been meaning to chat with, or that person you keep bumping into on your commute.

You’re your own worst critic
When approaching new people, being critical of yourself can be a natural reaction. ‘They’re not going to like me because…” or, “I knew I shouldn’t have worn…” Understand most people don’t see you the same way. Push past that negative voice in your head.

Be vulnerable
Terrifying, we get it. But most people appreciate honesty. If you approach new people prepared to be open and honest about your story with—‘hey I just moved here from…’ you give people the ability to identify with your story. It can even be a great conversation starter.

Level your expectations
New, positive, and healthy relationships don’t happen overnight. Be patient with yourself and others.

Kamron Taylor
Author: Kamron Taylor