How to Meet New People and Make New Friends

I remember many years ago, a woman told me how she is often bored because she doesn’t have a lot of friends. She was living in a city with over 3.000.000 people. I was shocked. I was wondering: “How can you live surrounded by so many people and not have enough friends to spend some quality time with?

Since then, this scene has repeated itself many times, with many other persons. After a while, I realized how common this phenomenon was and it no longer shocked me.

I began thinking how I could assist others to meet new people and make new friends; thus my current profession plus a marginal obsession for social dynamics and improving people skills.

The Loneliness Paradox

Most of us walk on the streets every day passing by hundreds of other people. And yet many of us lack a good social circle, both in terms of quality and quantity.

It’s obviously not a problem of options. As a person who at one point consciously increased their sociability factor, I can tell you that there are not only a lot of people, but also many cool people out there, eager to meet new people and make new friends. It is a problem of confidence, strategy, people skills, or any combination of the three.

The good news is that you can develop any of these and get the kind of social life you want. In this article I will give you the fundamental points to developing your social circle and enriching your social life.

Meeting New People

One great way to meet new people is, in my view, taking on social activities. These activities can include sports, classes, hobbies, volunteer work etc. There are dozens of examples of specific social activities, which is exactly why I think it’s pointless for me to give you a few.

The point is to use social activities to get in environments where there are other people and by the nature of the activity you interact with them. At the same time, you want to get involved in activities which you believe you might enjoy; not just any social activity.

The other great way to meet new people that I know is getting your current friends to introduce you to some of their other friends. Of course, this doesn’t apply if your current friends are in a faraway town or if they don’t have any other friends, but it does apply in any other scenario.

I often tell my friends to give me a call whenever they’re going out with a group of cool people or to a fun party. I’ve repeated this to a few of them so many times that now they are in the habit of thinking about me whenever they go out. It helps if at one point, you can return your friends the favor, but in my experience, it’s not a must.

Making New Friends

Keep in mind that interacting with a new person does not automatically make that person a friend. Friendships happen when two people feel connected in some way. They discover they have things in common, they like each other or they got used with being part of each other’s lives.

Once you’ve met new people, you will need to keep the ball rolling in order to develop friendships. Two things come to mind on how to do this.

The first thing is to be very sociable. When interacting with somebody: talk about yourself and open up, ask the other person questions, listen actively, make jokes and focus on positive topics. Apparently simple actions like these and mixing them the right way are a reflection of good skills with people and the very fabric of making friends.

The second thing is to take the initiative and ask people out. If you interact with a person and you’re getting along well, that’s more than a good reason to initiate future interactions.

So if for example, you meet a person in your photography class you enjoy interacting with them, give them a call sometimes and ask them to join you for coffee, or something similar. As the interactions get rolling, if you get along even better, a friendship develops.

On paper/ your monitor, it may appear very easy to meet new people and make new friends. The trick is to skillfully apply ideas like the ones above. And the emphasis is not initially on the word ‘skillfully’, but on the word ‘apply’. Most people I know with poor social lives essentially need to get off their asses more.

One of the reasons I teach people skills is because I have seen and I have experienced for myself how fulfilling a rich social life can be. We live now in a world with more social opportunities than ever. I’m convinced it’s a worthwhile task to make good use of them.

Image courtesy of MorBCN

Comments

  1. Hi Eduard,

    I too had to gradually coax myself out of my comfortable shell. I wasn’t a particularly gregarious person but with time and effort I came to enjoy being sociable.

    You get more out of life when you have more like-minded people to share it with.

    Thanks for sharing the actionable tips.

    Ryan Biddulph

  2. “Keep in mind that interacting with a new person does not automatically make that person a friend. Friendships happen when two people feel connected in some way.” Nice one.

    This is first time I read your blog, and truly feel connected some way :). Nice article!

  3. Hi Eduard,

    Love this blog post! It so simple to expand your social world…yet at the same time it’s quite hard.

    You have to get out of your comfort zone and basically either:
    do different things or do things differently! Magic formula!

    • Hi Kat,

      I have the same feeling. Developing your social circle is simple and hard at the same time. Actually, it’s simple, until you start doing it consciously, and later it gets simple again.

  4. Being talkative is a great way to meet people. Also a smile breaks the ice and just being in the moment is essential powerful as well. Nice post ed!

  5. Hey Eduard,

    Great idea for a post! I can definitely relate! It’s been hard for me to find quality friends… quality being the key word here! Great post man!

    Ian

    • Hi Ian,

      Thanks! I had this post on my mind for a few months before I actually wrote it. People ask me all the time how they can meet new people and make new friends. So…

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