Friends can hold an incredibly close spot in our hearts; sometimes even becoming like family to us. Without friends to walk through life with, share our ups and downs, pains, and joy; our life experiences wouldn’t be nearly as meaningful.
So much emphasis is put on romantic relationships, but research shows that friends are more emotionally vital for our well being.
Time with friends can be some of the best moments of our lives. They are also there for us during the most critical times of our lives.
However, making friends is not always easy, especially in childhood and adolescence, periods that can be marked by shyness and insecurity. Even many adults have difficulty making new friends. It’s a good idea to challenge yourself to open up to the people around you.
Enjoy this simple advice to help you effortlessly make new friends.
1. Give attention to people
Do you have the habit of spending your breaks reading a book, listening to music on your headphones, or using the internet on your cell? As relaxing as this can be; it makes it difficult for your colleagues to get close to you.
Try to pay attention to people! The first step is detaching yourself, at least for a few minutes, from the distractions; and talking to your colleagues instead. You might be surprised! Make an effort to listen to what they are saying. By paying attention and interacting, you’ll get to know more about them. Remembering the little things they say lets them know you are interested.
After this initial contact, keep yourself more accessible to your colleagues, and they will start approaching you for conversation. Over time, you can become friends.
2. Show up
Just as Woody Allen said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up,” a big part of friendship is merely showing up. Whenever you have the chance to be with other people, take it. Go to the party. Stop by someone’s desk. It’s not necessary to make a significant effort; even a few minutes will pay off.
For example, if you are in school or work break, sit with others. It doesn’t have to be a full table, but try to choose one with a few people, that way you won’t feel stressed to make conversation; even just being there and listening makes you part of the group.
New friends won’t magically appear in your living room; you have to get out to meet them.
Volunteering, taking a class, walking the dog are all ways to meet people.
If you must stay home, then even social media could help you make friends. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are full of people who could also use a new friend.
3. Be nice
Try to be welcoming. Keep in mind that others make mistakes, as we all do. When someone mentions a blunder they made, let them know if you’ve done something similar, so they see that you are kind and understanding. They realize that you can relate to them and their faults, so you are probably a reasonable and friendly person that they can feel safe around.
By being humble, we can see people’s points of view, conveying an image of being welcoming with considerable kindness.
We don’t all reach agreement on the same thing, thank goodness, or we’d all be the same. When talking to people who do not think like you, try to be as kind as possible; maintaining respect, and not talking behind their backs.
We all want to be friends with people who won’t judge us or spread gossip about us, so we can prove to new potential friends that we respect everyone (including them) and won’t be betraying them when they turn their back.
4. Just Be Yourself
Don’t try to change yourself to make new friends.
You have a personality, and it’s not only okay to show it, but it’s also actually the best thing to do. People that are on your wavelength will be drawn to you. Your new potential friends need to see you as you are. If the image that you portray isn’t you, in the long run, your friendship won’t last. It will be exhausting for you trying to act a way that just really isn’t you, and they’ll feel cheated because that’s not the personality they were drawn to.
So, just be yourself; that way, new people that have like minds will be drawn to you. The closest and most genuine friendships begin with both of you enjoying and accepting each other for who you are.
5. Listen, Listen, Listen
Advice from some of the most excellent communicators is just this: listen! While you are conversing with someone, really pay attention to what that person is saying.
Why should you do this?
Listening intently to another shows that their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors matter, and you are interested in understanding them.
Sometimes you might worry so much in thinking about what to say next that you may end up missing what the other is even saying.
Truthfully, most people will love you if you will show interest in their words. Even if you say very little, but acknowledge that you heard them, they will think that you are such a nice person! Whenever you meet someone, listen to what they say, their history, tastes, and opinions. This is one of the shortest paths to a good friendship. Just try it for a day with everyone. This is one of the best and easiest things you can do to attract people to you.
6. Take the first step
If you find yourself with new people and you want to get to know them, someone has to make the first move.
If no one initiates the talk, take the first step to say hello. They will appreciate it.
You can start by sharing something about yourself or even the weather. Allowing the other person a chance to share things about themselves will probably be welcomed. Remember #5? People love to talk about themselves and know that someone’s listening.
7. Join a club to have fun and meet new people.
Others with shared interests have joined this club just like you. Having something in common opens the door for conversation and fun times while enjoying those interests.
8. Realize your fear is in your head
Some of us feel scared when it comes to talking to someone new because we are worried about making a good impression or keeping the conversation flowing.
The more we focus on it, the scarier it seems. This can develop into an irrational fear, which takes on a life of its own and blocks us from making new friends. It’s important to know that most of these fears are just in our heads. You may worry about the impression you’ll make and, the truth is they have the same concern. That person might be as scared as you are, or maybe even more.
9. Open your heart
It is essential to open your heart to the person. This connection between you and your new friend will only become truly real when your heart is open. You have to believe in the goodness in people, trust, and follow your heart. Try your best to trust and believe in them; it will encourage them to open up, and you can see them for who they are. Meaningful relationships can be missed if your heart is closed.
10. Spend Time with Your Friend’s Friends
If you have a few co-workers, acquaintances or classmates; try to hang out with them when their other friends are around. This is one of the easiest ways to meet new people. It is less awkward if you have someone to introduce you, and there are other people there talking. This situation gives you a conversation to be a part of, without any pressure.
11. Look Them Straight in the Eye
Looking someone in the eye (within reason) gives them a sense of confidence in you, that you’re not hiding anything. It also shows that you are not looking down on them, or up to them, but that you’re seeing them on the same level as you. Being on the same level means that friendship is entirely possible.
As you look them in the eye, be sure to portray open body language. Don’t cross your arms; it may seem like you’re closing off to them, even if subconsciously.
People want you to like them and not feel above or below them, just the way you want them to think of you. To come across as friendly and confident; look them straight in the eye when you are talking and offer them a warm and friendly smile.
12. Volunteer in Your Community
Volunteering is an opportunity to do good deeds and to meet new friends!
Of course, you’ll feel great about yourself and be an asset to your community. Perhaps even more importantly; you’ll also be around people who chose to volunteer for the same mission that you’ve chosen. Immediately you have something in common. Whenever you are around people who think like you, the odds of making new friends goes up exponentially.
13. Now that you have new friends – Be reliable
When you say you’ll do something, do it. Your new friends will value and respect you more if they know that they can count on you. People who value a reliable friend are the type of friend that will be there for you in return. Make an effort to be there and to be punctual; proving to them that their friendship is meaningful. You and your new friend will forge a stronger bond.
14. Know the importance of friendships
Friends can help cure loneliness and bring about a lot more fun and exciting times.
Now that you have great friends let them know that they mean a lot to you. Buy them a coffee, laugh at their funny stories, call them when they’re going through hard times, get out with them, and have fun!
Your new friends have brought a lot of positive things into your life, and the longer the friendship grows, the more you’ll come to feel the importance of the delightful friends in your life.
The Benefits of Friendships
- Improve your mood.
- Create more fun moments.
- Give you a sense of security.
- Help you to reach your goals.
- Reduce your stress and depression.
- Support you through tough times.
- Stand beside you as you age together.
- Make you laugh.
- Boost your self-worth.
You deserve to enjoy all of these terrific benefits and more. It’s time to make some new friends and enjoy your life – you’ve earned it!
What Shouldn’t You Do To Your Friends?
- Only Talk About Yourself
Friendship goes both ways. Your friends should want to know what’s going on in your world but don’t rehash what’s been happening in it for the umpteenth time.
First meetings with your new friends are exciting, and you need to be careful about what you talk about. Refrain from gossiping because gossiping will give the impression that you will speak the same way about them when you are with someone else.
- Only Hang Out When It’s Convenient
Your friendship will not last long if you do not ever invite your friend to go out. Even if your schedule’s all booked, you should find some time to call and go out even for a quick coffee run.
- Judge Them
Even if your friend tells you something you do not like, do not judge them.
We all make mistakes. A good friend will help you move on and not criticize your actions. Friends stand beside us when others give up on us.
- Interrupt You
Careful listening shows someone that you value what they’re saying; butting in with advice before you know the whole story? Not helpful.
Sometimes it can feel natural, and other times it can be harder. Whatever it may be, do not get discouraged. Be confident and positive, and you will attract new friends keep them for life!