Making New Friends

Many of us struggle with the thought of making new friends when we leave home or move to a new place.  Here are some pointers to help you on your way!

Be yourself Real friends will like you for who you are, not who you try to be! If you put on an act when you first meet, then you will have to go on playing a part.  Given time the other person will realise you were acting and be very disappointed.  It may well mean you then lose a devloping friendship

Spend more time around with other people You are not going to meet people sitting at home reading a book or, dare I say it, sitting in front of a computer. Go to places where you can meet other people – even a trip to the supermarket can bring you into contact with others.

Join an organisation with common interests You don't have to have a lot of common interests with people in order to make friends with them. But finding a common interest can be a way to make friends.  You can use the internet or your local library to find groups you might be interested in, who meet near you!  Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and My Space can help you meet new people and learn more about the people you meet. If you are interested in sports – join a team or a supporters’ club.  

Volunteer Volunteering is a great way to meet others.  Working together you can build a bond with others!  This is great for people who feel shy because in helping others you can forget yourself.  Find a cause you really believe in and show your enthusiasm – but only if it is sincere!

Talk to people Joining clubs and volunteering will only work if you open your mouth! Don’t be picky, start up conversations with as many of the people you meet as possible – from the newspaper seller to the person in front of you in the lunch queue at work!  You will make a lot of new acquaintances and, with a little bit of luck, some really good friends! Starting a conversation is easy. You can comment on that good old favourite, the weather, or ask their advice on what to choose – people love to be asked for advice.  You can talk about something you saw on television!  But try to avoid discussing politics or religion until you know someone well enough to know if you might cause them offense! Keep your conversation light, cheerful and positive!  Don’t moan, nothing puts people off more!

Make Eye Contact and Smile People really respond to smiles. They make them feel good and it will make you happy too.  See my previous post!

End with who you are At the end of the conversation introduce yourself.  You can just say ‘Oh by the way my name is ...!  Most people will respond with their names!  It will then be your job to make sure you remember their name when next you meet, together with things you discussed. That makes them feel valued.  If you keep a notebook, don’t let them see you making notes.

Arrange to see them again No I don’t mean a date!  You can mention that you are here most days, or you come here on Tuesday etc, and ask when they come.  This can then lead to agreeing to meeting here – or somewhere else - next time!  If you show an interest they will help you with this one once you have taken the plunge!

Good Luck- I’m sure you are going to make lots of new friends if you follow my tips above! 


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