When you are younger friendship seemed to come naturally. You sat next to each other every day in math class, you both wore a green shirt to school, you’re a similar age to a co worker in the office or you latch on to the friends of your chosen partner. As we grow up and go through life it becomes harder to make lasting connections with people. Your life can turn into a sea of acquaintances in the blink of an eye. No matter how many pottery classes you take, gym classes you join or volunteer session you do it can be very hard to make lasting friendships with people.
Don’t stress! There are lots of ways to make new friends in our age by following a few simple steps and keeping a positive mind in your mission to find new friends.
Tip 1) Initial contact is the most important step! Although it may seem weird to say to someone of the same sex would you like to go for coffee sometime. If you add that you are new in town and don’t know people or that your best gal pal moved away and you are looking for some more female time to talk about the latest Brad Pitt movie can help to ease the situation.
Tip 2) Smile! We’ve all heard it and we all know it but we all too often forget that a smile to a stranger is the best way to appear friendly and approachable.
Tip 3) Be a Yes person! Much like the movie of the same name, start saying yes to invites you get, classes you get invited to or after work get together. Although you may not initially feel comfortable getting out of the house and off the couch watching TV is the best way to meet new people you wouldn’t normally meet. Make a point of saying more ‘Yes’ than ‘no’ when it comes to social invites.
Tip 4) Go virtual! There are lots of website outs there that allow you to log and connect with others. Try joining an online forum or searching for websites that allow you to make friends locally.
Tip 5) Once you have met someone interesting it takes time and patience to get that person to become a friend. The best way to do this is to listen and ask questions. Remember that most people favorite subject is themselves. Try and focus the conversation or discussion constantly back to the person. Ask them about the jewelery they are wearing. When they mention something in passing, go back and focus on it. “When i traveled to Africa… ” “You’ve been to Africa? What was that like?” Take a genuine interest in the other person and you will never run out of things to talk about.
Tip 6) Be Patient! Studies have shown that it takes at least 6 meetings with a person before you will develop friendly feelings with them. Pick a new movie and invite the friend along, ask them to dinner after class the following week etc. Don’t expect your friendship to blossom over night.
With a little bit of time, smiles and activity you are sure to meet and make some new friends in your life.