Find a hobby, join a group
If you already have a hobby you enjoy, like bowling or reading, then you will for sure find someone who enjoys the same hobby. Find some groups online, or simply include it in a conversation with someone! If you don’t have a hobby, then join some sort of support or dog-walking group. You will definitely make some new friends with similar interests.
Schedule a happy hour with coworkers
Do you like the people you work with? If so, meet up with them! Schedule a happy hour with your coworkers at a certain time of the day or week, and you could all go to lunch or attend some out-of-town training together! This is the perfect way to make new friends, and to also enjoy your time at work more.
Get out and meet some of your neighbors
Have you met your neighbors? What about the people 3 doors down? Meeting your neighbors can be a fun way to fill up your calendar, and also have friends right on your doorstep! Don’t know how to make friends with them? Take your dog or kids for a walk past their house, smile and wave and try strike up a conversation!
Have a positive attitude
The one thing you do have to remember when making friends is that you need to have a positive attitude! If you convince yourself that the friendship won’t work out, then the whole ‘friend-making’ process will go nowhere. And plus, nobody wants to be friends with a negative person!
Expand your horizons
Don’t just stick within your comfort zone. Try and look at the world from a different perspective. Once you do this, so many more opportunities will come your way, and with them will come a whole new array of people to befriend!
Identify your potential friends
Not everyone you meet will become your bestie. Be aware of who you are naturally becoming friends with, try not to force a friendship – some people just aren’t your people! However, still set aside any judgements you may have beforehand and take risks to meet new people.
Do not ignore invitations
You don’t have to be the one to make all the plans, but you should be the one to actually turn up! Accepting peoples invitations not only increases your social circle, but makes people want to re-invite you to places at a later date! It’s an amazing opportunity so grab it and make the most of it!
Make maximum use of social media
Social media is a super easy and simple way to connect with people and make new friends. There are groups and pages where to can find people with a similar interest to you. Simply search it on Facebook! You can also chat over DMs, or share a post you like, and so much more!
Start doing things you enjoy
You may thinking – how on earth will this help? If you start putting time aside to do the things you like, your more likely to come across other people that enjoy those things too! It’s a great and simple way to find new friends, and whats more – your doing something you love whilst finding them!
Maintain these friends
If you are at the second stage of making friends (you’ve met them and want to continue seeing them), then you need to ensure you keep the contact regular. Schedule in a phone call once a week, or try meet up with them whenever you have free time. If you don’t keep up the regular communication, then the friendship may eventually fizzle out.
Whether it’s Girl Scouts, a local charitable thrift store, a soup kitchen, maintaining footpaths or trails in a national park, there’s sure to be a voluntary opportunity to match your interests and skills. Volunteering your services in some way is not only an altruistic thing to do, it’s also a great way to meet likeminded people who may become your friends.
Look up old friends
Do you ever look back on old friendships and wish you’d stayed in touch? Sometimes, as the saying goes, friendships do have a season and do naturally run their course. Other times, however, life events and changing circumstances, pull people apart – and these are the friendships that you may be able to nurture back to full strength.
It’s natural to feel drawn to someone who looks friendly and welcoming. And a big part of looking friendly and welcoming is smiling. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone, especially those who are shy or introverted. However, if you can smile just a little more, you may find that more people approach you for a chat. One those people might turn into a new friend.
Making new friends as an adult is much easier if you are interested in other people and, crucially, let them know that you’re interested in them. Watch out if you’re the sort of person who naturally dominates a question. Instead, try to pause regularly to give the other person space to talk, and respond to what they say.
Learn a new language
Learning a new language has several advantages. It’s great for keeping your mental acuity sharp. It makes traveling much more pleasurable. Then, of course, if you pick an in-person, group lesson, it also introduces you to a whole circle of potential new friends. And, because so much of learning a language involves practising speaking it, you’re likely to spend considerable time talking to your classmates.
One of the best ways to meet like-minded people is to travel to new places. Group trips that welcome solo travelers can be particularly fruitful. However, independent traveling also presents opportunities, especially if you’re gregarious and find it easy to chat to those you meet at a hotel bar, in a hostel or even waiting in line at an airport check-in.
Get a dog
A dog is an instant conversation starter. It automatically gives you something in common with every other dog-walker that you meet on your daily walks. Not everyone will be someone you want to turn into a friend but, chances are, you and your dog will both make new friends.
Find a new job
It can be easy to stay in your comfort zone and remain in a familiar job. However, moving jobs offers more than merely the prospect of professional advancement or more money. It’s also an ideal opportunity to meet new co-workers, who may eventually become friends.
Check out your local library
Where they still exist, libraries are excellent meeting places. Some have cafes where you can enjoy a bookish chat over a cup of coffee. Others – and probably most libraries – are also a hub for all kinds of social groups. Along with your next book, why not check out the noticeboard at your local library to see what’s going on.
Think older and younger
As a child, it’s natural to have a friendship circle that consists mostly of people your own age. As an adult, however, there are huge potential advantages in looking for new friendships among both older and younger people. First, it widens the friendship pool. Secondly, older friends help remind you of what there is to look forward to, while younger friends help keep you young.
If you’re feeling desperate to make new friends, it might be tempting to latch on to anyone who seems friendly. However, always stay true to your own morals and beliefs. Compromising these essential parts of yourself to try and fit in with a new group or align yourself with a particular person is not a good route to making long-lasting new friendships.
Make eye contact
It doesn’t come naturally to everyone – and can be all but impossible for some. However, if you can possibly manage it, making occasional eye contact during a conversation can be a real game-changer. Particularly in the early stages of getting to know someone, eye contact is a strong sign that you’re interested in them and what they have to say.
Take up yoga
There’s no end of classes you can take up in an effort to meet new people. However, yoga or its close cousin, pilates, has particular benefits. Classes often focus as much on relaxation and well-being as on physical strength and suppleness – and this helps put you in a positive frame of mind when it comes to making new friends.
No one likes to be gossiped about. Moreover, most people are wary of getting too close to someone who gossips about others. If you recognize yourself in this description, think hard about how it could be impacting your ability to make and keep new friends.
Join in work social functions
Perhaps you groan each time an invitation to a work social function pings into your inbox. Perhaps you make your excuses and doing anything possible to avoid going. However, these events can be an opportunity to spend time with co-workers in a different environment. Moreover, sometimes, different environments allow us to see people differently and, in particular, to see someone as a possible new friend.
You might think you know exactly what you’re looking for in a new friend and what type of person you’re likely to find those qualities in. However, leave room to surprise yourself. It’s unlikely that you’d enjoy being pigeon-holed and pigeon-holing other people may mean you dismiss a wonderful potential new friend.
Think about how you treat people
The Biblical proverb of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is very pertinent when it comes to making new friends. Put simply, if you want people to treat you well, to like you and to view you as a potential friend, you need to behave in the same way towards them.
Like plants, new friendships rarely grow overnight. They also need the right conditions and careful nurturing to help them grow. If you’re impatient, you risk stifling or killing off the friendship before it’s properly established. Conversely, patience should help it root deeply and last longer.
Judgmental, critical people are a turn-off. This is particularly true in the earliest stages of forming a new relationship, whether that’s a romantic one or platonic. Cutting your losses is easier the earlier it’s done. Make it less likely that this will happen to your by curbing any tendencies towards criticism and judgmentalism.
Online meetup apps
Online dating isn’t only for meeting potential romantic hook-ups or partners. Online “dating” for meeting new friends is gaining traction in many places around the world. If it appeals to you, consider looking for a site or app that focuses on your local area and, perhaps also, on one of your existing interests.
Network with existing friends and family
One of the top ways for making new friends is to utilize existing networks of family and friends. First, it’s convenient and you’re likely to have relatively easy access. Secondly, you may find you have more in common with friends of friends than with random people.
Watch how others do it
Some people are naturally gregarious. If you’re not, there’s lots to learn from watching these people. You’ll probably pick up a variety of tips, from body language and smiles to what they say and how they say it. Even if you only incorporate a little of what you learn into your own behavior, it may still help you make new friends.
Learn to “work a room”
Some professionals may receive training in how to “work a room”. Essentially, this means they learn how to approach someone they haven’t met before and to chat to them. It’s a skill that can be just as useful for someone’s private life and, particularly, for making friends. If this appeals, in-person training and virtual tutorials are readily available.
A true friendship is a two-way street. This is as true at the outset of a friendship as it is later on. Asking questions about someone – what they like, where they work, where they bought their dress, what their dog’s called, and so on – shows you’re interested in them. It’s also a great way to get the conversational ball rolling.
Seek professional support
If you struggle with how to behave or what to say, or regard yourself as incorrigibly shy, seeking appropriate professional support may help. This might mean finding a good therapist. Alternatively, it could mean taking a tip from the businesses and employers who also do this for their employees, and finding a life coach to help you with social skills.
Don’t be too quick to react harshly if a friend behaves in a way that you don’t like. Everyone makes mistakes or occasionally says things they regret. Allowing someone the space to do this is a sign of maturity. Not only will it help you maintain existing friendships, your thoughtfulness will also make you more attractive to potential new friends.
Remember that most people have the potential to be faithful towards more than one friend. Allowing the green-eyed monster out to play when one of your friends makes a new friend threatens your existing friendship. Moreover, it shuts the door on the possibility of your friend’s new friend also becoming your new friend.
Utilize dating connections
It might seem counterintuitive but, if you’re also in the dating game, don’t rule out finding friends there. You might not feel a romantic spark with someone but they could make the perfect new friend. Of course, not everyone on dating apps is also looking for new friends but, if you hit it off platonically, you might change someone’s mind.
Go to church
If you’re religious, churches – or other places of worship – are usually excellent places to meet people and make new friends. Innately welcoming by nature, you’re likely to find fellowship lunches, study groups, coffee mornings and so on to help you get to know fellow members of your new congregation.
Create a life you love
It might sound like a cliché but if you create a life you love, you’re more likely to find others who want to share it – whether platonically or romantically. It’s natural for people to be attracted to someone who is happy in themselves and with what they do, and who projects that feeling out into the world.