Aside from family, there is one other group of people you need in your life for happiness and fulfillment—friends. Forget relationships, you need your squad around you! If you’re finding your squad numbers down into the lower single figures, the good news is that you can learn how to make more friends and bump up your numbers a little!
The problem is, as we move through life, we lose friends. We drift away from those we never thought we’d lose touch with. Before you know it, your squad is dwindling. Don’t worry, this is totally normal!
While it can be a shock at first, it’s actually part and parcel of the grand old process of growing up! For most of us, this happens far later in life than puberty, which is why it comes as such a shock!
The essential key in making new friends is your ability to take yourself out of your comfort zone and explore places you might never have been, and speak to people you would never usually speak to. You never know, that person sat in the coffee shop looking miserable might actually be a total rave to be around! [Read: How to make new friends as an adult the right way]
How to make more friends in less time than you think
So, how to make more friends? Check out these 10 easy steps.
#1 Ask friends if they have any mutual friends you can meet. You might worry about coming over as desperate by asking your current friends if they have any friends you can meet up with, but it’s about how you word it!
Mention that you want to expand your circle and explore new interests, and there’s sure to be someone who knows another person into the same things as you. Remember, if they’re a good friend, they’re not going to ask why you want to expand your squad anyway! [Read: Good friends are like stars – 18 ways to build lasting friendships]
#2 Don’t be afraid to talk first. How to make more friends? Talk and seem approachable! If you’re in a coffee shop and someone next to you is alone, pluck up the courage to make the first move and start the conversation. Most of the time, the other person is waiting for you to break the ice because they’re too scared to do it themselves. Go on, be brave!
You never know who you might meet this way. Even if they don’t seem that interesting after you’ve had a quick chat, at least you tried! The more you do it, the more your confidence will grow, which is never a bad thing in my opinion! [Read: How to talk to anyone and master the real art of a conversationalist]
#3 Be open-minded. Just because someone doesn’t seem to be your ‘type of person,’ that shouldn’t stop you having a conversation! Don’t be closed-minded. Have a conversation and see if there’s any type of common interest. Even if there isn’t, you might learn something from this person or find a new interest.
By sticking to the same types of people, you’ll never expand your squad. Life will get a little boring. The best friendship squads cover a range of different personality types and quirks. Look at the gang from Friends. You’ve got the neurotic one, the hippy one, the funny one, the charming one, the geeky one, and the cheerleader. They gel together perfectly! [Read: How you can stop being a selfish person]
#4 Become engrossed in your hobbies. The more time you spend on your hobbies and interests, the more you get out and do things with them which may leave you open to meeting other people.
For instance, if you’re into comedy, perhaps you’ll find the confidence to go to an open mic night. From there, you’ll meet other budding comedians or fans in the audience. Maybe you’ll take up cookery and head to a cooking class, where you’ll meet other foodie fans.
#5 Never say “no” to an invitation. Okay, maybe never is a stretch. But do your best to avoid saying no. By accepting invitations, you’re opening up the possibility of meeting new people and a boost to your social life in general.
So, the next time a friend invites you to a co-worker’s leaving party because they don’t want to go alone, go for it! Been asked out to a local bar by a friend, but you don’t feel like it? Drag yourself off the sofa and go! You can easily meet potential new friends in places you might not realize, such as waiting for a drink at the bar.
#6 Don’t become a social media hermit. How many friends do you have on your social media compared to the number of actual friends you have in real life? Most people notice a huge difference! If you have people on there that you don’t see generally, why not arrange to meet up? See if you can turn your virtual friendship into a real-life one instead.
You probably became friends with this person in the first place because you knew each other in the past, or you have common interests, which are both precursors to great friendships! [Read: What makes a good friend? How to hone your friendship skills]
#7 Try volunteering at local events. Not only will you get a feel-good boost and load up your karma points by doing a good deed. You will also meet lots of new people who are interested in the same cause as you.
There will be other volunteers there. Perhaps their reason for attending is the same as yours, to meet new people! Even if you don’t meet a potential new buddy, you did a good deed. Who knows, next time you might expand your squad by double the numbers, thanks to the karma points you collected. This is one of the best ways when learning how to make more friends, for sure!
#8 Try friendship websites. The online meet up world isn’t only for dating. You’ll find lots of local apps now for friendship meets up too. Sign up and find out if there are any meet up events going on in your local area. This is a great way to meet people who are looking for the exact same thing as you, without the awkwardness of them getting the wrong idea and thinking you want something else entirely *cringe!*.
#9 Be the one to suggest a coffee chat. Be the one to make the first move and initiate a conversation with someone in a coffee shop, a bar, or waiting in line for the bus. You could also be the one to suggest meeting up for a coffee chat one day or heading out for a walk. Whatever works for you.
In some cases, make it clear that it’s friendship you’re after to avoid the other person getting the wrong idea. Generally speaking you can have a great conversation with someone, and before you say goodbye, suggest doing it again sometime because you had so much fun. Try it! [Read: 12 quick tips to add more people to your social circle]
#10 Do the maintenance work. It’s all very well and good learning how to make more friends in the first place. Remember that friendship require work! Remember to talk to this person regularly and socialize! It’s no good having a few chats and assuming they’re now part of your squad. Don’t neglect your new friendship bond and find they’ve started ghosting you. Put in the work!
[Read: How to make real friends outside of your social networks]
Learning how to make more friends really comes down to getting out there with confidence. Strike up conversations with people you wouldn’t normally talk to. If you can do that, you’ll find your squad numbers increase rapidly!
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