If you’re wondering how to make friends, you’ve probably already said to yourself ” I don’t have many friends “, ” I have trouble making friends ” or ” I suffer from affective loneliness ”. Whether you are 15, 30, or 50 years old, loneliness affects many people. And whether you’ve been living in the same place for years or moving to a new city, in United State or abroad, it’s always easy to meet new people. But then, what to do when you have no friends? How to approach people when you are introverted and succeed in creating contact with strangers without having the fear of being rejected? We will see the role and the importance of friendship in people’s lives, and give you all the keys to help you build relationships and create valuable companies.
Why is it important to have friends?
It is important to have friends because the friendly bond that is created between two people allows us to assert ourselves. We become aware that apart from the family and any romantic relationship, we count for someone and that this same person also counts for us. We can talk to each other freely, confide in each other, reassure each other, and encourage each other and this brings us a form of inner security and self-confidence.
However, be careful not to fall into emotional dependence and to seek friends at all costs. This is one reason why, while living without friends suits some, others suffer from this loneliness. However, there are necessary moments when one needs to be alone to refocus and take stock of yourself. Take the opportunity to identify what you are missing:
- A confidant to whom to entrust the slightest doubt, the slightest secret?
- Moments of laughter and complicity?
- A person with whom to rise, grow, share all kinds of cultural, sporting, and intellectual activities?
- A group of friends to go out in the evening, at the weekend, or to go to brunch?
Socializing takes some effort and making new friends can be a long process. Also, before putting our advice into practice, try to understand the reasons why you have few or no friends. You will save time!
- You are shy? introvert?
- Have you just changed class or school and you don’t know anyone?
- Have your childhood friends all moved away?
- Have your interests changed and are you bored with your current friends?
- Have you been transferred to a new city?
- You do not go out because you work from home or you are unemployed?
- Do you simply want to expand your network of contacts and have more friends?
5 tips for making friends
Have you ever discovered that someone you thought was haughty or aloof at first is actually lovely and warm? It’s all about appearance and posture. You’re not going to find friends by having a closed face. Smile, stand up straight, and look people in the eye. You will give the impression of being an approachable person, to whom we can go, with whom we want to sympathize and spend time.
Pay attention and listen to what you are being told. Check-in on people who have confided in you, before or after an important deadline for them. It is a responsibility to have friends: support them in difficult times, congratulate them on happy events, and offer them your help whenever possible. In short, avoid one-sided friendships. If someone values you and your time, reciprocate.
Adopt positive language, towards yourself and towards others. Don’t put yourself down. While remaining humble, present your qualities and what you like, rather than your faults and what you hate. A person who is confident and fulfilled, or who at least tries to be, is much more attractive. Likewise, try to speak well of others, rather than criticizing them. It is never pleasant to evolve alongside a person who only sees the negative and who denigrates others. Not to mention that your contact could be made to think that you are saying as badly about him, once your back is turned. On the contrary, do not hesitate to give compliments, be kind and positive.
Don’t hide your vulnerability
Vulnerability is power. It’s been shown that sharing personal experiences, even with people you’ve just met, can create bonds as strong as lifelong friendships. And indeed, the strongest bond that can form between two people is trust: when we expose our fears or our doubts, we thus offer our trust.
Memorize a few catchphrases
Are you sickly shy and terrified of talking to someone? But then, how to find friends if you do not communicate? Learn a few phrases to start the conversation.
Physical proximity works regardless of what we may have in common: this is called the “exposure effect”, which has been studied at length. It is fundamental to solidifying a friendship: the more contact you have with a person, the better you will know their personality, and the better the trust you will have in each other. That’s why it’s so common to be friends with your neighbors or co-workers, or with your classmates when you’re at school. Just seeing someone often can make you like them more. So the best places to make friends are the ones you frequent the most.
Where to make friends
Making friends in elementary school, middle school, high school, or college can sometimes be complicated, especially if you are reserved. When we arrive in a new school or quite simply when our friends from the previous year are no longer in the same section, we can ask ourselves on the eve of the start of the school year, how to make friends in your class. Whether you are a student or a parent, here are some tips to ensure that your back to school or that of your child is no longer a source of stress.
- Identify people who seem to be alone. These students may be even more shy than you, and if you don’t take the first step, they probably won’t dare to come to you either. So try to establish contact with them by engaging in conversation, for example in the canteen, in the yard or the library.
- Join your school sports club. Even if you are not a great sportsman, the simple fact of being part of a collective sports team such as basketball, football, or handball will allow you to meet the other members of the team, to spend good moments together, and to sympathize.
- The same is true for artistic disciplines: if you play a musical instrument or sing, maybe there is a college orchestra or a university choir. or even, if you have a better command of pencils and brushes, plastic arts, photography lessons … the ideal way to cure your shyness is, of course, the theatre!
- Participate in extra-curricular events: outings to the swimming pool, excursions, fairs, class trips, end-of-year shows… Do not hesitate to ask your teachers, your guidance counselor, your lecturers, what are the different activities offered by your establishment to find what suits you best.
Sympathizing at work with colleagues is necessary from every point of view: we feel integrated, we know that we can count on the support of certain people in the event of a hard blow, and above all, Listening and talking can boost your productivity and creativity. Whether you’re a young adult taking on your first job, changing roles within the same company, or moving to a new company, here are some tips for making a good impression on your colleagues, and moving quickly. from “office relationship” to “ budding friendship ” status.
- Take the time to get to know your work colleagues: during favorable moments such as coffee break, lunch, after work, ask your colleagues questions about their functions within the company, their background, their hobbies, etc… without being too intrusive.
- Get out of the work environment: if you feel that the dialogue is established over the days, even weeks, do not hesitate to suggest that they go for a drink one evening after leaving the office, to invite them to your house for dinner or to offer them an entertaining activity in the evening or on the weekend: escape room, concert, cinema… the objective being to get them out of their comfort zone, to get out of the routine to better discover them.
Be careful all the same not to do too much either, at the risk of looking like an opportunist who wants to be noticed and earn points, or to say too much about your private life at the risk that, if the relationship friendly degrades at some point personal information is revealed to cause harm to you. And if, however, your colleagues don’t take the bait or you don’t want to mix professional and private life, discover all the opportunities that abound in your city.
In a new town
How to make friends in a new city? Whether you are still a student, already working, retired, or simply looking for new friends, it is not only at school or in the workplace that we can meet new people. Some even seek to sympathize with new faces outside of an already established group of friends or the sometimes closed circle of colleagues. But then, how to meet friends close to home?
- Joining a cultural association, for example, is an excellent idea if you are a fan of ceramics, painting, or dancing. Learn a foreign language. Take art history classes. Perhaps you can even offer artistic workshops, or even language courses if you are a foreigner or bilingual?
- Join a sports club and take part in a few games of tennis, fitness classes, yoga lessons or hiking. Sharing common tastes and passions creates affinities.
- Be active in a charity and volunteering organization: uniting for a cause allows you to share the same values as the people you meet, and therefore to discuss more easily the actions implemented and to come, on the tasks to be carried out…
- Discover good local addresses: if you are more into going out, look at the program of bars and cultural places in your city: the presentation of an artist in a café, the inauguration of a museum, the opening of an exhibition or a guided tour of a city district are all opportunities to make friends close to home. For example, try to choose a café with a style or musical program that appeals to you. If the specialty of the place is jazz and you are fond of this music, you will come back more easily and will be able to create contact with the regulars of the place, in particular by exchanging your knowledge and jazzistic points of view.
- Develop your professional network: if you are self-employed or want to embark on a new project, why not work in a coworking space or go to the “Special entrepreneurs” events?
And if you already know every nook and cranny of your city, the addresses not to be missed in terms of shopping, restaurants, concerts, or even its little historical secrets, suggest thematic outings to newcomers yourself!
Now that the question of where to make friends has been answered, are you ready to take the plunge…but you don’t have enough time to cover all the events in town? Unless you’re still too shy to go alone to an event? Don’t panic, the Internet and social networks are your best allies! You will find many sites to make friends in one click.
Make friends on the internet
Making friends on the Internet might seem absurd to you since you are looking to meet real people. However, moving smoothly from virtual to reality can be the golden solution to expanding your friendly network! It seems surreal to you and you wonder how to make friends on the internet.
Friendly dating sites
There is a multitude of friendly dating sites on the internet. Socializing from a distance is an ideal technique for people who are a little geographically isolated, who lack time, or for shy people who lose their means during a one-on-one. Free sites for some, paying for others, you just have to fill in your location, your tastes, and hobbies in order to be put in touch with people who have the same affinities as you… Thanks to online chat, you can chat and get to know each other remotely. The opportunity to discover new virtual friends at first, that you can decide to meet later during activities offered on the site. Try to target friendship sites only, if you are not looking for more!
Facebook, Instagram… go through social networks, subscribe to groups and pages of all types within your city, your department, your region, depending on your situation and your centers of interest. You will certainly find profiles of interesting people to know and to who you can send a Facebook friend request, and a multitude of events to attend.
In conclusion, whatever the environment in which you evolve, go ahead! Be open, and receptive, identify your passions, create a first contact, listen to your intuition, redouble your imagination. And above all, be real from your first meeting and know how to respect each other’s limits.