How to Easily Make Friends and Build a Social Life – A Simple Guide
Making friends can be hard. You don’t know where to start to form new friendships. When you watch groups of people have fun, it feels they speak a secret language.
There is a step-by-step method revealed in this guide to easily make friends. People “naturally” great at making friends unknowingly follow it. The difference between you and them is their parents, their teachers, their way of living early in life created these habits. You just have to learn these ways to make friends.
It can be frustrating now, but it no longer has to be hard to make friends. Shy and lonely people have learned how using the below guide. Follow these 5 simple steps and I guarantee within 2 weeks you’ll make new friends.
Step 1. The Effortless Place to Make Friends (How to Easily Make Friends)
A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.Wilfred Peterson, author of the 1949 The Art of Getting Along
Draw from two groups of people to make friends:
- people you already know
- people you are yet to meet
The first place out of habit we look at when making friends are people we don’t know. That’s a mistake because you’ll discover how to easily make friends with people you see, don’t talk to, or avoid.
List everyone you currently know who could be a friend that you want to befriend. It’s not about getting people to like you, but getting to know people you like.
These people could be classmates, work colleagues, neighbors, acquaintances, friends of people you know, or friends with whom you lost contact. Cousins or friends of siblings are candidates. This is your first list of potential friends. It’s important you write down their names or where you see them (if you don’t know their names) so you can use the advice in this guide.
Next we look at people you’re yet to meet. If you move to a new place and don’t know anyone, your challenge is having no people you know. You need to meet new people.
If you’re lonely, your daily routine stops you meeting new people. You eat breakfast by yourself, go to work to see nobody new, then come home to hangout with yourself. To meet new friends, you have to change your routine. Do you understand? Friends won’t fall from the sky – you have to get out there then make the effort to meet them.
It’s not about getting people to like you, but getting to know people you like.
Meeting new people can be scary yet there are ways to do it. As bonus motivation for you, I’ve found from coaching shy guys, when they use this guide, they often get new exciting work, do activities they’ve wanted for years, and enjoy life more.
What do you mostly do during the day? Do you go to school, have a job, or play a sport? Look at these groups for potential friends.
My favorite method to find potential friends is through hobbies and interests. When I review my life, three quarters of my friends came through this way. Activities like cricket or interest groups like bronies (men who love ponies) are instant sources of friends because of the chat and enjoyment you get from a fun gathering.
What are your hobbies or interests? Also what regular activity would you like to try? Add these interests as reservoirs for friends.
You can also use these free sites to discover what is happening in your area. Events that snag your interest are great places to meet people. Events in your major city cater to new people who want to make friends, meet for a coffee, and chat – that’s easier if you lack the confidence than putting your foot in an existing social circle.
Some people default to bars at night to make new friends. The confidence and friendliness that comes from alcohol often disappears the next day, and you realize your new friend is not who you hoped. Unless you make friends with someone at a bar while each of you are not drunk, the relationship is unlikely to grow. Another problem when making friends at some bars is the loud music that stops good conversation. I don’t recommend bars for new sources of friends.
Step 2. How to Start a Conversation with Common Ground and Already Feel Like Friends
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’C.S. Lewis, Novelist
When you’re shy meeting someone new, it’s hard to think of what to say. Once you discover an interest or experience you have in common, conversation flows a lot easier instead of awkward small-talk. Friends have commonalities whether it be the same school, a fun hobby, or the love of a sport.
Imagine you’ve been invited to a mutual friend’s party, and you don’t know how to start talking to other people. Ask how they know the host or “What brought you to the party?” can work as conversation starters.
Situations where the surroundings naturally break the ice are good for starting conversations when you know nothing about the person. For example, at an art exhibition assume people have opinions about the art, and that your views are something to share. Ask what they think of a certain painting.
Orientation sessions for a new job, training sessions, courses, or parties where others have come alone are all good places to find common ground. You already share being at the event.
Look for little signs of someone’s personality; a shirt with a band name, a wristband for a certain cause, a book in their bag. You might locate a commonality.
Groups and events related an interest or hobby of yours are good to find people who share things with you. You gather for a mutual love whether it be a hobby, writer, political stance, or type of music. You know what you have in common. Ask how long they’ve been a fan or what is their favorite Pokemon card (…Pokemon is cool, man!)
Sometimes you need to talk with the person for a few minutes before you discover what you have in common. A good introduction by a third party should connect you two with a commonality. If nobody is around, touch on various topics until you find something you share. Talk about what you suspect the person is interested in from your observations or intuition – you might have similar jobs, be from the same place, or share an opinion on an important topic.
If nothing strikes you as an obvious conversation starter in a situation where conversation normally flows, bring that to light. Laughing and admitting you can’t think of a thing to say and that you’re awful at small-talk makes for conversation. Your self-deprecating humor is confidence and endearing. Some people will be relieved then admit they feel the same. Your openness alone breaks ice to get another person talking.
Here’s a similar tactic. Not knowing anybody is itself something to talk about, “I don’t know anyone here so I thought I’d come chat.” There’s always something to start a conversation. Always.
Step 3. How to Confidently Meet People You Don’t Know
One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.Morris West, Australian author of The Clowns of God
Do you think you cannot make friends until you “overcome” anxiety, become confident, and develop an extroverted personality? You don’t need this belief.
Social anxiety is about yourself – you thinking how you come across to others instead of getting involved in the conversation. Try a new perception the next time you meet someone: focus on people you meet (something external). Devote to learning all about another person’s career or background. Not only will your social anxiety just “be” instead of you fighting it, people will warm to you when you show interest.
Let go that you need to be ‘cured’ of anxiety before you can make friends.
Therapists are realizing that labeling social anxiety as a problem then battling it intensifies anxiety. Your effort spent fighting anxiety puts more focus onto it, leading you further into despair.
Feel anxiety without judging it as good or bad. Let go that you need to be “cured” of anxiety before you can make friends. Read the “cure” for social anxiety disorder to learn more about this strategy.
One therapeutic method to help with fear and anxiety is exposure therapy. This process slowly introduces the thing you’re anxious about into your life. Inner confidence comes from competence, so proving to yourself you are capable of talking to people lets you live with anxiety.
Someone with a fear of snakes can start by thinking of a snake for a few seconds before building to looking at a picture of one. Over time, this might bump up to watching a video then looking at a live snake in a zoo. Small steps is reassuring progress.
If you’re anxious about meeting new people, set yourself small actions to follow. Your first step could be to sit in a place full of people, to say hello to your neighbor, or to make eye contact with someone in your class. Day two can be harder; ask a shop assistant how she’s doing, let a salesperson at the mall talk to you. Write a list of goals. Gently push yourself to higher limits.
One technique to help you accept anxiety is to re-name what you fear. Instead of thinking “Oh, no, that’s my social anxiety”, name it something else. Think of it not as a debilitating thing, but as your “fuel” or your “internal Anthony Robbins” that pushes you to do more.
Step 4. Simple Ways to Follow Up – Starting to Build a Social Life
It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.Jim Rohn, motivational expert
Unless you contact your new friend, your friendship will die. Your weak friendship is capped by the frequency you run into each other. You need a plan to get contact details then see each other in the near future. Once you talk outside the usual situation, you grow friendship.
If your request to follow up goes like, “We should hang out again sometime. What’s your number?” you’ll get the number then struggle to meet again. After testing particularly with women, I discovered you need a valuable reason to see the person and make a plan then. Everyone loves a fun justification to meetup like a game, festival, or sporting event to hang out. The shared plan gives you reason to get contact details then follow up.
Another “excuse” to see each other again is providing value. Friends give value to one another. Value is distributed in a variety of ways with knowledge, connections, and good times. Read, observe, talk, and teach to build knowledge. Follow this guide and Big Talk to quickly and effortlessly expand your social circle so you can connect friends or play matchmaker. Know how to make others feel happy and yourself feel great.
Look for opportunities, hints, or desires in conversation to meet again. Whiff at the reason to meetup soon, “I’d love to go see that movie.” By the end of the conversation, you can ask, “I want to see the movie. When would you like to see it?”… “Give me your phone number and we can sort out a time.”
Once you talk outside the usual situation, you grow your friendship.
Imagine you’re at a social group for new people in your city. This is a perfect opportunity to keep in contact. Other people are as lonely as you. Ask if they’ve found an interesting restaurant, park, or bar. If so, ask if they’d show you sometime. Be ready to mention an interesting place you’ve heard of and ask them to check it out with you sometime.
You learned how to know of events and groups in your area. Whenever you meet somebody who might be interested, ask if they’ve heard of it. People appreciate being told about what’s going on, and “Have you heard about the zombie walk happening next week? Oh, give me your number, I’ll send you the details when I know!” is an easy way to get in contact.
A phone number exchange is the best way to follow up. It can be scary asking for a person’s phone number, but the worst that could happen is they say no.
Aside from exchanging numbers in conversation, a generic full-back is if you talk about any good books or websites, promise to send them a link to it. Another way to keep in touch today is adding colleagues and classmates on Facebook. Browse their profile for possible conversation topics, send them a private message to spark their interest, and show you’re a person worth meeting before inviting them to an event. Friendships frozen to Facebook die without attention.
Even when you exchange details, you plan a get-together, and the person flakes, try again. Who knows the true reason they flaked. People commit to things without thinking through whether they can make it. Other times a flake can be from the person not feeling comfortable enough with you in conversation before you made the plan. Try steps 1-4 on someone else.
Step 5. How to Grow Your Social Circle
Marge: Are you really going to ignore Grampa for the rest of your life?
Homer: Of course not, Marge. Just for the rest of his life.
Bonus Tips to Build a Social Circle
- See everyone as a potential friend. Keep biases aside. You become friendly and make more friends.
- Accept more invites. Notice your instincts to decline. I only regret saying yes once every five times. I continue to be surprised over unexpected fun and experiences.
- Follow social etiquette rules. It’s not about being stuck up or a goodie.
- Host something once a month. Get your friends to invite others.
- Attend a new event this week to start making friends and build a social life.
The final step of how to easily make friends is to strengthen the relationship. To make a friendship grow, you need to see the person or talk to them every month. Falling out of contact for long periods of time only works in well-established friendships.
Small talk does not cut it for friendship. The conversation needs to move to something deeper, something more meaningful to either of you if you want to connect. Talk about your feelings, opinions, past experiences, and even problems. Ask about theirs too.
Your social circle can grow with a couple of regular friends. Get your friends to invite friends you haven’t met to events. Chances are their friends are similar in personality and interests so you’re more likely to make friends with them compared to others you don’t know.
Some friendships take a year to grow, while others develop in a week. It depends on compatibility. The more people you meet and talk to, the more likely you are to find people you get on with well.
I hope you found this guide to make friends and build a social life helpful. Please share the guide by clicking your favorite social media button below.
I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below.
Joshua Uebergang aka "Tower of Power"
Joshua Uebergang, aka "Tower of Power", teaches social skills to help shy guys build friends and influence people. Visit his blog and sign-up free to get communication techniques, relationship-boosting strategies, and life-building tips by email, along with blog updates, and more! Go now to http://www.towerofpower.com.au/free/