Life of an Indian Immigrant in the USA | Making Friends

I have been an ambivert, so it has not been challenging for me to make friends – ever! But yes, I find it difficult now. I don’t know who is the culprit for that – my age or the US, in general.

The uglier and wiser side of the twenties is not the time when you can make new friends. Yes, you can have loads of acquaintances, but “friends” is not just a word – it’s an emotion. Of course, I am not talking about those childhood friendships. Adult friendships are different.

Right now, you are already very selective about the people whom you let in your life. And everyone you meet is also like that – careful about their choice of people. Had I been in college, I think things would have been different.

But that is not the reason entirely. I made some terrific friends when I moved from Delhi to Hyderabad two years ago. Yes, we all were reserved and happy in our own spaces, but things eventually work out.

But things are entirely different in the US. Americans are pretty friendly. They aren’t rude to put it in a better way. However, you can not hold a long conversation with them. It takes time to get acquainted. But to have them hang out with you, it’s a task – a tough one. Sometimes, you get cold vibes from them, and I would like to assume it has nothing to do with my ethnicity. But it’s okay, I guess. Everyone is careful, as I said.

However, one thing is pretty interesting here. People tend to and prefer to stay within their communities which are primarily defined by a common race (or colour). Unless you have been friends since childhood or from school/college, you will not find adults of different ethnicities hanging out a lot. Here, even the housing societies are ‘Indian or Asian or Mexican or African American’.

I live in a culturally diverse community, but I haven’t made friends as such. In India, the close neighbourhood culture is dominant, I believe, and it’s a good thing. It’s absent here, and I miss it! Even neighbours don’t talk much here. Families are extremely reserved in nature.

I had put Halloween candies outside my house last year. No one took them! That is the level of isolation I am talking about. But I am not complaining much. Probably, I enjoy the seclusion – blame it on the age!

You might say that I should make friends within my own community. Blame me for being highly opinionated in this regard but the Indians abroad are not as cool as Indians in India. I have had a lot of difficulty in finding Indians here who won’t stop comparing the dollar rates(that is really annoying) or stop criticizing India openly – about everything. I am not a big fan of it.

Missing home, for real!

  1. It can be a challenge even when you’re from the US. I think it gets harder as we get older too. There are also regional differences. New England where I’m from has a reputation for being a little stand offish but since I grew up here I don’t notice it as much. I think it would be better if our social groups were more diverse. It would lead to better understanding and empathy but unfortunately we seem to be getting even more siloed. Good luck! Weekends In Maine

  2. The last para is what some other NRIs have expressed.
    Don’t feel too homesick. You can always call up friends and family in India thanks to communication channels.
    Stay safe.

  3. Oh…dear..I have felt it too initially, but it was fine after a while…and Indians in USA will be different from Indians in India!! 🙂 That is just the way we are…anyways, hope you find warm and good friends…

  4. So yes racism in the US is for real. I had read it a couple of times, but your post makes me believe this now. And I got you when you say that Indian Abroad are not as cool as they are thought to be. Anyway, hope you make some good friends soon and have a blast with them.

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