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27 Fun Ways to Make New Friends & Mistakes to Avoid + the Best Social Apps

Learning how to make friends will greatly influence your life and make everything better. Friendship is a support crutch and a fountain of fun! 

How to Make New Friends

Life is all about memories. More than what you achieve in life, how you remember the journey can make your life feel more meaningful and fun. Who you share those memories with is important, but first, you need to know how to make friends to accompany you along the way.

When you have great friends to laugh with, the world can feel like a much better place. But at the same time, when you’re all alone, even your biggest achievements can feel rather small.

Opening up and showing your true personality to someone isn’t as easy as it sounds. But to make the best friends, you need to be brave and go for it. [Read: The real reason why your friends are drifting away from you]

It’s finding the right friends that counts

If you’re feeling lonely or feel like you have friends that don’t get along with you and your ideas, don’t give up. There are so many people out there who’d love to be your friend, just as long as you look in the right places.

Do you feel like no matter where you look, you still find yourself feeling lonely?

Well, that’s all about to change right now. Use these tips and you’ll be able to create a memorable life that’s full of fun and happy times. [Read: Signs you have bad friends around you]

1. Be cheerful

No one likes a mopey person. If you want to meet new friends, you need to appear cheerful and happy all the time. Happy people always attract other happy people.

That means not walking around like you’ve got dung under your nose. You’ll end up making people stay away from talking to you, either because you seem too mean or too intimidating.

2. Don’t be negative

When you feel negative about yourself or your life, you’d spread an aura of negativity around you. Try to look at the bright side of every situation and stop thinking the world is against you.

Dare to look on the bright side of life, it’s worth it, we promise! [Read: Is your negative thinking ruining your life?]

3. Be your authentic self

Everybody hates a wannabe. If you’re funny, be funny. If you’re the quiet type, stay quiet and talk when you’re being spoken to. Don’t change who you are just to fit in. You’ll seem like a phony.

And why should you change yourself anyway? You’re wonderful just as you are and potential friends will see that if you give them the chance.

4. Be open to continuing conversations

Don’t give closed answers with no options to continue the conversation.

If someone asks you something, end the line with your answer and say something like “…what do you think?” or something else that gives the other person a chance to continue the same conversation for longer. [Read: Drawing a blank? Try these 25 good conversation starters]

5. Be confident about who you are

No one likes nervous nelly. It’s completely acceptable to feel lonely. Just don’t let that make you feel like an underachiever. Just because you haven’t met the right friends yet doesn’t make you a bad person.

Start learning to love yourself and everything will fall into place.

6. Make a great first impression

First impressions are everything. A clean, well-dressed person who looks great makes a perfect first impression. But of course, it’s also about your body language.

Avoid standing with your arms over your body and don’t fidget when someone talks to you. Do your best to make eye contact, even if it feels a little awkward at first. The more you do this, the more approachable and engaging you’ll seem. [Read: 25 tips to look really cute at first sight]

7. Go to school

That doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and enroll at a university, but you can always take a night course that you’re interested in. Maybe you want to learn how to program computers or you want to finish your college degree.

Night classes are a great way to meet other working people who are interested in the same subjects. [Read: How to make real friends outside of your social networks]

8. Volunteer

If you want to know how to make new friends, volunteering is a great place to start. Not only will you be using your time to help someone or something else, but you’ll also open yourself to meeting new people.

Volunteering is a great way to network and meet people who share a similar outlook on life. Which, may we say, is pretty important in a friendship.

9. Let your pet help you out

If you have a dog, you’ll never be happier that you have it. Pets are an amazing way to make friends. Take your dog to a dog park or go to a pet convention. You’ll meet other animal enthusiasts, and you’ll be able to chat with other owners and maybe arrange to walk together.

10. If you have a child, go to playgroups

Kids go on playdates and, of course, you’ll need to meet the other parents. What a great way to meet people who share a similar lifestyle as you. Not only that, your child will be able to play while you get a dose of socialization. [Read: 84 intellectual, deep conversation starters and topics to bond with anyone]

11. Make use of social media

This is the 21st century’s prime strategy for how to make new friends as an adult. You may be using your Instagram or Twitter to post your thoughts and images, but have you ever used it to meet new people?

Become more social on social media, and you may walk away from it with a couple of friends. [Read: 18 insightful reasons you don’t have any friends]

12. Meet friends of friends

Maybe your friends know people in your area. This is much easier than meeting people in school or at a cafe. Basically, you have that middle person who can easily set you up with someone they know. Since they know them, there’s also a higher chance that you’ll like them.

13. Don’t hide away at home

If you want to know how to make new friends, don’t stay home! Duh. You won’t make friends by sitting on the couch at home unless it’s the pizza delivery guy. But, we’re not going to let that happen.

You have to leave the house. We know, it’s terrifying, but if you don’t step outside of your comfort zone, you won’t be able to make friends. [Read: Quick tips to add more people to your social circle]

14. Focus on activities you like

Kayaking? Singing? Basketball? Whatever it is you enjoy doing, sign up for it. You’ll not only get to do something you love, but you’ll be able to meet people who also share the same interests as you, which is huge.

It doesn’t matter if the activity itself is social *for example, if you enjoy painting,* you’ll still be able to socialize with others in your class afterward.

15. Become a regular

Do you have a favorite cafe or bar? Become a regular. You’ll get to know the staff, and plus, you’ll meet other regulars. It’s a great way to make friends and create a place that is comfortable for you. There’s a reason why people become regulars… it feels like home. [Read: How to find like-minded people who think just like you]

16. Eat with your colleagues

If you’ve moved to a new job in a new city, you’ll want to go for lunch or happy hour with your colleagues. It’s a new environment, so you’ll want to meet the people that’ll be able to help you out and support you in and out of the office.

Plus, your colleagues have friends too, so you’ll probably get invited to some parties and meet new people through them.

17. Get back in touch

Do you remember that friend from high school who moved into the city you’re now in? Why not try and find them on Facebook and send them a message?

Sure, you guys went down different paths, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t reconnect. Who knows what’s going on in their life, and maybe you two will end up rekindling the friendship. [Read: Good friends are like stars – 18 ways to build lasting friendships]

18. Don’t be too pushy

If you really like someone you just met, ask them to hang out. However, don’t be too pushy and creepy. You don’t want to look desperate. People don’t like overly eager people, it gives them a clingy vibe.

So, take a breath and just play it cool. Learning how to make new friends as an adult involves knowing the right boundaries to maintain. [Read: Effective ways to stop being needy and insecure]

19. Ask your family

We know it’s kind of weird to ask your parents to set you up with someone, but they may know someone in your area. Beyond that, your other family members may know other people.

It’s not weird… you need friends! So do what you gotta do.

20. Be open

Making friends isn’t easy, but if you want to develop a true friendship, you’ll need to be open. It was so much easier in school, right? But, it’s a give-and-take relationship, so you’ll need to open up to people you’re interested in.

21. Don’t actually focus on making friends

Go to classes and do things that you’re interested in. However, don’t solely do it just to make friends. You’ll make friends regardless, so choose something that you’re actually interested in and focus on that. The rest will come. [Read: How to be funny and make everyone love your company]

22. Put down the phone and have conversations

These days, we’re all completely absorbed in our phones, whether on social media, online generally, or talking to people on messenger apps. But that’s not going to help you meet new people!

Put down your phone and actually have real, in-person conversations. You’ll be thankful you made the effort!

23. Go on vacation alone

It sounds terrifying, but it’s actually a really great way to meet new, like-minded people!

Why not go on a backpacking vacation around your countryside? You’ll find several other people who would be spending a few days with you. It’ll give you enough time to bond with others even if you’re a rather shy person. [Read: Do guys like shy girls and find them attractive?]

24. Find circumstances

It’s easier to talk to someone on a one-on-one basis when you’re stuck in a shared situation like while waiting in a queue, at a receptionist desk, or even while watching a game at a bar. Use those situations to start a conversation. [Read: 15 easy conversation starters you can use with a guy]

25. Eat alone in a public place

If you don’t have too many friends around, well, you are probably going to be having your lunch alone. But don’t sit at a corner table where no one can see you. Sit down right in the middle of a huge table that has space for many others.

By doing that, you’re creating circumstances to talk to others who may eventually share your table with you.

26. Be more warm in your workplace

A workplace provides a lot of opportunities to make new friends. If your own colleagues are cold towards you, fret not. Be warm and try to find ways to speak to people from other departments.

Perhaps, there may be many others who may love your company. [Read: How to be nice – 20 easy tips to make everyone love being around you]

27. Trust your instincts if someone is giving you a bad vibe

Sometimes you just need to trust your gut. If you’re talking to someone and you’re getting dodgy vibes from them, be polite, make your excuses, and leave.

Apps to make friends

Technology is a wonderful thing and if you’re not having much luck finding new people on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, why not try some apps that are designed to match friends?

Check out the list below and download a few. You never know, you might meet your new best friend tomorrow! [Read: How to make friends in a new city – 15 ways to feel at home again]

1. Yubo

2. LMK

3. Bumble BFF


5. Hey! VINA

6. Ablo

7. Bloom

8. Peanut


10. Meetup

11. Friended

12. Twitch

13. Skout

14. Nextdoor [Read: Great relationship apps you need to get today]

How to know when you’re friends with someone

You’ve tried some of the points on our list and now you’re chatting away with someone. But how do you know when you’ve moved from casual acquaintances to real-life friendships?

The time it takes to become friends with someone varies. Don’t assume that you’re BFFs with someone just because you’ve had two conversations and texted once or twice. It takes time to build that kind of bond.

But if you notice any of the following points, you’re on the right track. [Read: Long distance friendship – what makes it work and 15 ways to stay connected]

1. They take the texting/calling initiative

If it’s not always you calling and texting and the other person takes the initiative to do this on a regular basis, you’re probably on your way to becoming friends.

2. You feel comfortable with them

If you feel able to be yourself without any issues, that’s a great sign. It means the other person is engaging with you on a deep level and you’re comfortable in their presence. That’s exactly what a friendship involves!

3. You’re not hesitant to share or do something in front of them

If you don’t worry about what the other person thinks when you say or do something, it means you’ve reached that wonderful level of comfort that all good friendships have.

You’re not hesitant and wondering if you should share something or do something. [Read: Signs you’re getting too comfortable with each other]

4. You show empathy toward one another

If you both show empathy toward one another and neither judge nor push the needs of the other aside, that’s a great nod toward a growing friendship.

How to become a better you who’s loved by all

In your efforts to learn how to make new friends, you need to try and correct your flaws. There must be a reason why friends stay away from you. Perhaps you say the wrong thing or behave differently at times.

Use these tips to overcome your flaws and become a better you. [Read: How to improve yourself – 16 powerful secrets of self-improvement]

1. Why have you had a hard time meeting friends so far?

Ask yourself this question and see if you can answer yourself convincingly. And no, saying “I don’t know” is not an answer!

2. How do people respond when you try to make conversation?

Try to recollect their behavior. When you talk to someone, do they appear uneasy or awkward, or do they end up looking around the room when you speak? If so, you’re coming across as a bore! [Read: Ways to be charming and liked by everyone]

3. Do your friends drift away over time?

If this is the case, you may come off as a great person to begin with, but the things you do once the friendship is forged may make your friends want to stay away from you.

4. Do you feel awkward when you spend time with friends?

If you do, big chances are, they’re feeling really awkward to be around you too!

5. Get yourself a role model

It’s time to fix yourself up. Don’t change who you are, but try to find small ways to become a better you with the help of a role model. [Read: How to use a role model to become a better guy]

6. Speak to close friends and family

Ask them for a frank opinion about your behavior. Don’t stop them midway or argue with them when they criticize you. Hear them out completely.

You may not realize it, but you may have a lot of flaws that you didn’t know about.

7. Don’t be disheartened

You can’t get along with everyone. Some people may like loudmouths while others prefer people who are stuck up and snotty.

If you’ve genuinely understood and corrected your flaws and are still unable to meet the right friends, perhaps you’re looking in the wrong places. [Read: How to deal with rejection from friends and pick yourself back up]

Things you shouldn’t do with a new friend

Making a new friend is only half the battle won. You need to build a friendship on a solid foundation. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind once you get to know someone better.

1. Don’t stalk your new friend

Don’t get overfriendly right at the beginning. If both of you hit it off instantly, good for you. But during all other times, give enough space or your new friend will end up getting annoyed with your sticky attitude.

2. Don’t impose on them

Return a call for every call of your friend. Don’t overdo it. If a new friend is ignoring you, give them more space.

Call a few times if you really like someone, but if they hang up quickly or don’t bother returning the favor, take the hint. [Read: How to know when to give someone space]

3. Don’t create an awkward situation

Don’t bring up conversations that’ll leave everyone around uncomfortable.

“Why are you avoiding me? How much do you earn?” These are never good questions, no matter how long you’ve known a friend.

4. Don’t push things – phase the friendship

Don’t get too close too soon, or expect everyone to warm up immediately towards you. A friendship is like an onion. It has to be peeled layer by layer.

5. Don’t abandon old friends for new ones

Friends aren’t things you throw away when you get bored. The idea here is to grow your friendship circle, not replace and recycle.

6. Don’t panic if you have the odd conflict

You’re bound to have the odd disagreement and even argument with someone you’re close to or have known for a while, so don’t worry when this happens. It’s how you communicate and overcome it that matters. [Read: 24 honest ways to make up with a friend if you don’t want to lose them]

Remember, you’re lonely, but you’re not the only one

The more we make this world a smaller place with social networks and online friends, the more we become lonely in real life.

Even people with a lot of friends or connections in the online world could be spending miserably lonely Sunday afternoons by themselves. The facade that’s portrayed by popular people may be a far cry from their real lonely world.

Make an effort to meet someone. They may want to meet you too. They may just have no idea about making the first move. [Read: How to be nice and loved by all instantly]

And when you find someone you can get along with, chances are, they’ll be really excited to meet you too. So stay positive, go out there and let the world see you for the great company you really are.

[Read: How to be graceful and elegant when you’re around others]

Still wondering how to make new friends? Step out of your little, lonely world and look around. There’s a whole world of people waiting excitedly to meet a special someone just like you!

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...