Make no mistake about it: knowing how to meet people is a skill that will, depending on your case, either save or enrich your social life. Like most of us, you may live in a huge human settlement, but that doesn’t necessarily make meeting new people easy.
The essential benefit of knowing how to meet people effectively is that it gives you a lot more social options. Thus, you don’t have to settle for a crummy bunch of friends or to fool yourself that playing a MMORPG equals having a social life.
Meet People Proactively
Wouldn’t you love having a way to meet new people with barely any effort, from the comfort of your own home, and build fulfilling relationships? Well, I have news for you:
There isn’t any! You’re daydreaming!
The essential trait to master in learning how to meet people effectively is a proactive attitude. It means taking responsibility for your social life and acting in the outside world in order to meet people, instead of waiting for them to act and meet you.
I know that meeting people online is taking ground, and there are specific ways you can meet people successfully online. But that doesn’t mean that overall, it’s an effective method. It’s mostly proof that we’re looking for quick fixes.
Overall, if you want to make friends and enhance your social life, you’ll have to:
- Get out of the house more;
- Go to places where there are other folks who are eager to interact socially;
- Start conversations, be friendly and outgoing;
- Make conversation with people face to face.
Where to Meet People
Fortunately, there’s a plethora of methods and places to meet new people. Unfortunately, not all of them are that effective.
I’ve tested quite a few of them and my communication coaching clients have tested even more of them. Condensing these experiences, I believe there are at least three ways to meet people that are worth using:
1. Classes and trainings. Whatever it is that you fancy learning, there are probably a lot of people in your vicinity who want to learn it as well: from cooking to photography, from communication skills to playing the harmonica.
Taking a class or going to a training program on a topic that interests you is one of the best ways to meet new people. I personally use this method all the time and many of my best friends I’ve met in various classes and trainings.
2. Sports and physical activities. Every year I see more and more nuts (aaa… people) jogging passed me on the street; and many of them are in pairs. In general, exercising is becoming increasingly popular and it’s taking on an increasingly social form.
So the answer to the question “how to meet people?” might be for you to take on a sport that’s social in nature (translation: it involves more than one person). Think tennis, basketball, hiking, running, dancing, etc. There are organized groups, associations, and local communities in many sports, and they’re usually looking for new members.
3. Volunteer work. This is an excellent way to meet like-minded people who believe in the same causes you do. Most of the people who do volunteer work are not there just to make a contribution, but also to socialize.
Think about the things you would like to volunteer for and start searching for groups or organizations in your area that do those kinds of deeds. Get in touch with them and start getting involved in their events and activities.
Find Out What Works For You
Besides the ways to meet people that tend to work for nearly everyone, there are even more ways that work for particular types of individuals.
Learning how to meet people in church and applying it might be great for you if you’re a highly religious person. Learning how to meet people in bars and clubs might be great for you if you’re not a highly religious person.
What I encourage my coaching clients to do and I encourage you as well is to test it out. Experiment with various methods of meeting new people and be willing to get out of your comfort zone.
Eventually, you’ll find those ways to meet people that best fit your personality and you can focus on them. Learning how to meet people may also require you to make some adjustments to your personality and improve your people skills, but it will be worth it.
What you don’t want to do is act as if what works for others to meet people won’t work for you without giving it a shot, and to settle for a minutely exciting social life.
You live in a world with more possibilities for meeting new people and having great relationships than ever. The only person that could possibly stand in your way is you.
Image courtesy of CraigMarston