How to Make Friends
Now whether you suffer from shyness or maybe you just don’t know how to get started and meet people – learning how to make friends can sometimes seem a little daunting. But really it’s not that hard to make a friend if you know where to look and what to do.
To get started we’ll look at where to meet people and then what to do when you get talking to people. We’ll go from first contact to proper friendship and you can apply these techniques practically anywhere no matter how socially comfortable you are. We focus mainly on doing this from a shy persons standpoint (seeing as Over Shyness is about overcoming shyness after all) but the extroverts who just have trouble meeting people can use these techniques just the same.
Places to Make Friends
It’s hard to make a friend if you’re not getting out and meeting people you can be social with but actually this can be one of the easier parts to solve. It can range pretty heavily from meeting people as you walk along the street to joining a group or activity and meeting people from there. Normally if you’re having an issue making friends then knowing the right places to make friends can really be half the battle.
All you need to do in this position is throw yourself into something new. You can walk into a local hangout and just sit down, or join an activity and just see what happens. Really this will come down to how socially confident you are. If you feel comfortable getting out on your own and talking to strangers then it’s just a matter of actually getting out as much as you can. It’s a numbers game – go to enough things and you’ll just end up talking to people. But if you don’t feel comfortable doing this then don’t worry.
If you really don’t feel comfortable talking to people at all then you might want to consider looking at how to overcome shyness before getting started on something like this. You don’t want to force yourself into situations which makes you panic and worsens your shyness. You’re probably going to have to break your comfort zone a bit if you’re having troubles meeting people. But if you feel you’re shy, but confident enough to start trying to meet people then I have a perfect suggestion for you.
Join something new. Simple, I know. But hear me out for a moment.
There are plenty of social activities you can choose from which not only means that you’re going to meet people. But you might also find something you really like doing and it gives you an instant conversation stater because you’re both trying something new. It’s easy to start something like this as working together once a week at the class and expanding on that to friends outside of the class (we’ll look more at this in a minute). And keep in mind that if you do become friends with them – that might also expose you to their friends.
I like to choose activities which involve a social element. I tend to find places like the gym as quite anti social and a lot of people don’t talk, but a class which involves working other people means it’s easy to talk to people and can be a lot of fun. Try to find something which meets at least once a week and don’t keep yourself limited to one class. You can find listings online pretty easily on websites like CraigsList and there’s usually posters and leaflets about things going on on a board or window somewhere. Even the most boring places have something going on, it’s just a matter of looking.
It could be a class, a club, a sports team. Don’t be let down if you find one you don’t like – just keep going to things until you find something (and people) you like. If you really can’t find anything? Try starting something yourself. It can be as simple as putting a sign up looking for someone to jog with or as complex as renting a hall and starting a club.
This is the ideal way I suggest to make friends. But if that doesn’t do it for you I do have a few other suggestions you could consider.
- Friends of existing friends or family
- Volunteering (this is a great one)
How to Make Friends Online
This might seem a little odd to some people (especially since the internet is being blamed for people becoming anti-social) but actually online can be a great place to make friends. You can use a website like Meetup to join (or start) a club or group and see what’s going on around you. It’s a great system for meeting like minding people and finding some fun things to do. You can also use dating sites for the same thing if you specify you’re looking for friends on your profile. Now keep in mind that not everywhere you go is going to be ideal. You’re going to find activities and people you don’t like. But just keep at it and keep going to different things, don’t pin your hopes on just one event.
Now that we’ve looked at where to make friends – lets look at what to do when you’ve met someone you’re getting along with.
Talking to People
When you’re ready to try and ‘cross the line’ and ask them to do something outside of the activity then keep it something easy. This is the most important step and this is what will change your relationship from ‘the person they know in the class’ to actual friendship. You can meet people within classes and groups and that’s great – but if you want to move it further than that then you need to make the effort. Sometimes you will be the one being asked – which is great – but don’t sit around and wait for that to happen.Now the first rule I want to stress straight away is don’t try to force it. If you do that things can start to get a little awkward and you can come on a little strong. Plus you don’t always get a good picture of someone right away – you really want to make sure you’re going to get along before you start pushing for a friendship. It might happen on the first time you see them, it might take some time. Just keep your cool and settle for interactions within the activity to begin with.
This step can be pretty hard for people who have a problem with shyness. It’s why I suggest looking at improving your shyness before you reach this step but even the shyer people out there will meet people they just click with. I just think people that work that way – sometimes no matter how shy you are you just meet people who you get on really well with. I do have a few tips to help you get into this stage though.
- Get contact info early. A class can be a great excuse to swap phone numbers, email addresses or Facebook friends. Don’t push for it but you can keep it as easy as “hey would you like to swap numbers so we can let the other know if we’re running late for class next week?”
- Don’t wait for other people to make plans. Ask if they’d like to do something and if they do have a reasonable when and where and check if that suits them.
- Be nice to everyone and accept every invitation. This simple bit of advice can change everything for you.
Making Better Friends
Once you’ve met people and started to meet them outside of the original setting etc… you want to grow on this. Now there’s no real set rules on growing a friendship since if you’ve come this far it’ll just happen naturally. But you do need to keep in touch and continue to make an effort.
Even as you continue to meet more people you need to continue to make time for the people you meet. You need to work around each others schedules and not fall into the trap of just letting a budding friendship fizzle for an imagined slight.
That said – if it’s reaching the point where a friendship is too one sided then I’d suggest not putting everything you have into it. It’s important to tell the difference between someone who is just too shy to ask you to do something, and someone who’s not worth your time. You’re going to have to judge this for yourself and it doesn’t involve being rude to them but just not trying to force something which isn’t there. One of the important parts to learning how to make friends is learning which friends are worth keeping.
Really everything you need to start making friends is right here. If you follow it and keep what I’ve told you in mind then you’ll be making friends pretty quickly. After this – making friends is really just rinse and repeat. With every step it’s going to become easier and easier until you build a social life around you as big was you want it to be. Making friends is really just a numbers game, get out there and meet people until you click – it’s as simple as that.
Improving your social life isn't that hard but you need to keep at it. Rather than just fill your head with motivational rubbish I want to give you real usefull information you can use to transform your social life.
Not only do I have years of expirence helping others overcome their shyness but I've done it myself. And a lot of the things I cover in the newsletter are things which "outsiders" don't even know exist...
- Always know what to say in a conversation (a real organic conversation not memorised subjects).
- Real life case studies and examples of real people overcoming shyness.
- Learn to grow your own social life around you from scratch.