Many people experience a common social problem: they do not know exactly how to make friends and arrange their social life.
There are several reasons why you may find yourself in this situation
- You have moved to a new city, and so far your circle of acquaintances is very narrow.
- You have been in a relationship with a girl for a long time and allowed your social life to go blank.
- Your old friends left your life naturally (switched to a new job, became busy with their family, etc.), but you did not find a replacement for them.
- A significant part of your environment did not become overnight, as did many who graduated from an educational institution and stopped living in the city of education.
- You feel that your personality level has become much higher than the level of your current friends, and you want to “upgrade” your environment.
- Previously, it was enough for you to have one friend, but now you are determined to expand your circle of friends.
- You never knew how to make friends, and you always wanted to improve your social life.
- Significant changes have taken place in your life, for example, you decide not to drink alcohol anymore, and you need to change your environment, because once people close to your interests no longer suit you.
How to find friends?
Step 1. Identify Potential Friends
To expand your circle of friends, you must first identify possible candidates. There are two main ways to do this.
Identify your current contacts
This does not apply to you if you have just moved to a new area in which you don’t know anyone.
As a rule, you already have a certain level of social connections.
You don’t have to go outside and meet ten strangers. It is often easier to turn existing contacts of unfamiliar people into full friends than to involve completely new faces in your life.
Most likely in your environment, there are already several people you know that can become a closer part of your new social circle.
These are people like:
- Friends you encounter every day, for example, on the way to work, shopping, etc.
- Your colleagues or fellow students with whom you managed to establish contact.
- Friends of friends you’ve met before.
- The initiators of friendship with you, whose proposal you once reacted indifferently.
- People with whom you often meet, but so far you have been separated by a social distance.
- Friends with whom you once lost contact, but you can bring everything back to normal.
- Acquaintances with whom you have not previously communicated due to a significant age difference.
Meet new people
Enhanced development of your current social ties can be a fairly long process.
But sometimes you are at that point in your life when you need to meet completely new people.
For many people, a significant barrier to expanding their social circle is the lack of direct access to potential new friends.
The most obvious sources of making new contacts are:
- Visiting various interest communities where you will surely meet many people who already have something in common with you. It is best if the community’s activities are related to communication. This also includes visiting various courses, trainings, lectures, reading rooms, sports sections, dance schools, etc.
- Meet people through your school or work. By observing the same people every day, you can gradually get to know them better without falling under social pressure.
- Develop relationships with your friends’ friends.
Meeting new people will surely require additional efforts from you so that you can break out of everyday life.
The most effective way to find friends is to lead a full, interesting, eventful life, a side effect of which will be the intersection of your life path with a lot of new people.
When new people begin to appear near you, you should start communicating with them and try to get to know them better.
Not everyone with whom you enter into communication will become your friends, but involving enough people in your circle of contacts will allow you to establish friendly relations with some of them.
Anyway, why should you try to be friends with everyone?
- Environment unites you
Easier to find friends among the people you meet in school, at work or in some community of interest. This is similar to the context that allows you to start a friendship. That’s why you can’t just meet the man, approaching him on the street. You need the context that you have in common.
- The right situation
This means that you and another person have the time, energy and desire to invest in new friendships. It also means that you both have the opportunity to develop friendships. If someone of you plans to move to another city, what’s the point in trying to grow your friendship?
- Successful communication
It is Your first communication is very important, as it determines the level of comfort and trust, allowing that each of you can be for another company. It also performs other functions such as relaxation, entertainment and the creation of understanding.
- You have to be sociable and helpful
To find friends, you need to keep the conversation going and to show interest in the person and the topics discussed. If any of you give terse answers and little interest in other people’s opinions, behavior and mood, then you will have a solid foundation for the development of friendship.
- In common with another person
One of the most important prerequisites for making friends is the presence of common interests and similarities of opinions, hobbies, habits, or occupations. The more in common you find with another person, the easier it will be for you to establish friendships with him.
- Basic trust to each other
This means that you and other people with whom you met are involved in the process of disclosure of personal information to each other. You start with a very neutral personal information, and then deepen, as there is a growing level of trust.
Step 2. Invite potential friends to do something together
As soon as you meet people you are interested in talking to, invite them to see each other again outside your meeting place. This is the most important step you should take to make friends.
You can meet a huge number of people, but if you don’t take any action to develop an acquaintance, these people will remain just temporary passengers on the train of your life.
This seems obvious, but lonely people often fall into a similar trap.
Perhaps someone constantly tells them funny stories at work or starts a conversation at the university, but they do not take steps to offer to meet in a different environment and develop communication.
At first, it will be unusual to try to take the initiative, because there is always the possibility of receiving failures, but it is quite easy to get used to them.
Depending on the conditions of acquaintance, you can quickly start transferring new people to the status of friends, or you will have to wait a while, for example, a few weeks.
Make a habit of exchanging contacts
Sharing contacts with people is a very good habit.
You may meet an interesting person, but you will never know when you see him next time.
So exchange phone numbers or become friends on social networks.
Thus, if the opportunity arises or the need to get together, you can easily contact them.
In addition, if your new acquaintances have your contact information, they, in turn, will also be able to invite you to some event.
Don’t reject offers
Of course, your own plans are of great importance, but if someone suggests spending time with you, try to accept the offer.
This does not mean that you need to constantly agree. For example, if the proposed activity is outside the zone of your comfort, or you have an exam on the scheduled day, in which case your refusal will become completely appropriate.
However, if you are just a little unsure, better agree. Why give up the opportunity to get out of the house with a company of people?
When you have more friends and various competing options, you can become pickier.
If you are a more shy or lonely person, you tend to draw conclusions that the meeting will not be so fun, and you should not go.
Try to drive away these thoughts and get out anyway. You are often not sure how pleasant something can be until you see it with your own eyes.
Sometimes you will have to inconvenience yourself for the sake of your social life.
You may be invited to a movie you are not interested in, or someone may call you to meet on Friday night when you are going to bed.
You often have to compromise, but the prospect of a rich social life is worth these minor inconveniences.
You should also consider this. Many people will stop inviting you if you constantly refuse.
Your friends may have nothing against you, but the next time an event is scheduled, the thought arises: “He always refuses my invitations, so there is no point in calling him this time.”
Step 3. Maintain and develop friendships
It’s not so difficult to chat with someone once in a lifetime or do it from time to time.
Nevertheless, in order to establish closer friendships, you need to maintain constant communication, spend time together, share emotions and get to know each other at a deeper level.
You will not be able to find a friend in each person, but over time you will be able to build close relationships with some people.
Once you have one or two friends, consider that you have laid the foundation for expanding your social ties.
If you are not very sociable in nature, one or two good friends can be all that you need to be completely satisfied with the society around you.
But sooner or later you will meet your friend’s friends with whom you can also establish friendships.
Thanks to friends, it will be easier for you to meet completely new people because together with your company you can attend various events and expand the circle of your friends.
Step 4. Behave correctly with friends
Be positive and don’t sow negative
Although it is natural to share your problems, if you constantly complain and generally have a negative attitude towards others and to life in general, then people will get tired of your whining and negativity.
Everyone has enough problems in life, and no one needs the extra tons of unpleasant experiences that you decided to bestow on others.
Nevertheless, a good friend will always listen to you when you need it, so do not accept the voiced information as “never complain to anyone”.
Learn to enjoy life, be full of energy and share more positive emotions.
Become an attentive listener
Make no mistake when you consciously turn communication into your solo performance.
If your interlocutor wants to speak out, be sure to listen carefully to him.
Do interesting things
If you are excited about life, have interesting hobbies, improve, create, research, get new experiences, meet new people, you can become a magnet for others, and your life itself will reach a new level.
Don’t smile constantly or at the wrong time. In other cases, your sincere smile will make you a more attractive and charismatic personality.
And although it’s great to have a lot of energy, people who are too dramatic and causelessly impulsive can push other people away from themselves.
Therefore, learn to respond to most problems calmly, trying not to increase their scale to the level of universal tragedy.
Be yourself, don’t brag
Don’t try to impress people all the time. If you are confident in yourself, you do not need it at all.
Don’t try to seem better than you really are, especially when your behavior is shown.
Be confident and satisfied with yourself
Be satisfied with who you are, and even your shortcomings. People do not like other people with low self-esteem.
Learn to see in yourself the positive aspects, your sincere heart and your perfect nature. Let this be the story that you will tell yourself.
Step 5. Follow the steps above more often
If you have made two friends in your circle of communication and settled on what has been achieved, it is unlikely that your social ties will continue to expand on their own.
After you constantly use new ways to meet people and attend various events, you will have a bunch of friends and acquaintances.
You don’t have to have an infinite number of friends. Many people are completely happy, maintaining only a few very close friendships.
However, if the current state of affairs does not suit you, you know how to find friends.
You have to make an effort
Your personal initiative is the most important principle in building friendships.
The big mistake is to be in a state of passive expectation and hope for a whiff of fate. Of course, it’s great if this happens, but you should not rely heavily on it.
If you are wondering how to make friends, the first thing you will have to do is make enough effort to do this.
If you want to have fun on the weekend, don’t think that everything will work out by itself. Contact your friends and decide to do something together, or find out what they will do and join them.
Finding friends is really easy
If you don’t have sufficient experience in establishing new contacts, this process may seem more complicated and lengthy to you than it actually is.
Often all you have to do to make friends is meet people and spend some time with them.
You don’t need to know them for several months before you become friends.
Of course, if you just met someone, at first your relationship will be somewhat superficial, but not so much time will pass, and you can safely consider yourself friends.
Don’t be too picky at the beginning
If you are single, your initial goal should be to create at least some kind of social life. Undoubtedly, avoid really negative and superfluous personalities for your fate.
But if you meet an interesting person who at first does not seem like an ideal candidate for the role of a true friend, give him a chance. The benefits of communication, unlike loneliness, should outweigh the fact of non-ideality.
In addition, if you are just starting to form your social circle, you probably do not fully understand what you want to see in other people.
If you more or less get along with someone, establish a closer relationship with them, and only later decide if you should become friends.
Even if at the very beginning a new company led your mind into a dead end of bewilderment, over time everything can change.
Lonely people tend to be more negative about others. And if you notice in yourself a similar attitude towards others, it is important for you to make efforts to consciously change your behavior.
Sometimes you join a company or meet your friend’s friends and hope to meet a lot of great new people.
But once in a new society, you begin to feel at ease. It may seem to you that you are unable to establish communication with someone, or as if you are being ignored.
Make a few more attempts, make a few more meetings, because when you first meet, there are natural social restrictions and some enslavement. Over time, the warmth of friendly relations will warm the ice of misunderstanding at the first stage of communication.
If someone refuses your offer because he is busy, don’t worry. Please try again another time.
Don’t conclude that you are being neglected. The very fact of the initiative shown will work for you in the future, when your friend may need a company.
When you meet new friends, you must really realize your importance in their lives, and you should consider that you cannot become friends in the blink of an eye.
They probably already have their own social circle, and their world will not end unless you become part of this environment.
Therefore, be neutral about their behavior and reaction to the proposal to spend time together, because people can really be busy.
Just keep meeting other people and expand your social connections.
Often you can quickly adjust your social life, for example, if you just moved to a new city to go to university, or you joined a football team. In other cases, it will take longer to find friends.
It will take some time to find the right people for you. After this, it may take several months before you feel that you have a friend.
But don’t forget that friendship is part of interpersonal relationships that are not always amenable to rules and logic, so go to your goal, but don’t discount spontaneity.
In conclusion. About friendship
The benefits of having friends
- Mood improvement
Free time spent with happy and positive friends helps to improve your mood and even appearance.
- Assistance in achieving goals
Encouraging your ideas from friends helps increase your willpower and increase your chances of success.
- Decrease the likelihood of stress and depression
Having an active social life strengthens your immune system and, eliminating isolation from the outside world, eliminates depression factors.
- Support in difficult times
Friends can help you deal with a serious illness, loss of work or parting with a loved one, as well as any other life problems, especially if you just need to share your feelings with someone.
- Increase self-esteem
A sense of need for you from your friends increases your self-esteem and adds meaningfulness to your life.
To understand that a person is worthy of your friendship, ask yourself questions:
- Do I feel better after spending time with this person?
- I want to share my thoughts with him?
- In his company, do I feel safe, free and relaxed, or do I feel that I need to monitor my words and actions?
- Does he support me and treat me with respect?
- Can I trust him?
To find out that a person has an interest in friendship with you, ask yourself:
- He asks you questions about you as if he would like to know you better?
- Does he tell you about himself, besides conducting superficial conversations?
- Does he give you all his attention when you see him?
- Was he interested in exchanging contact information or making plans for joint leisure or collaboration?