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33 Easy Ways to Meet New People & Widen Your Social Circle Effortlessly

Are you interested in making new friends but anxious about the process? Follow this guide on how to meet new people and add more people to your social circle.

how to meet new people and increase your social circle

Being social and having positive relationships have been proven to make you live a longer, happier and healthier life. Positive social relationships can lower stress levels, reduce blood pressure, and generally make life more enjoyable. So, if you don’t have a group of friends, you need to learn how to meet new people and add more people to your social circle.

For some people, getting out and being social isn’t a big deal at all, but for others, it can be terrifying to think about having to meet and talk to new people.

Oftentimes, one of the main reasons we feel so scared when thinking about meeting new people is the fear of rejection. We think, “What if they don’t like me?“, What if I’m not cool enough?”, “What if they think I’m different or weird?”, orWhat if they make fun of me?

But if you learn how to banish those thoughts that hold you back, you’ll be able to meet new people and expand your social circle without any trouble! [Read: True friendship – 37 real friend traits & what it takes to be a good one]

How to meet new people wherever you are

When we’re single, we always wonder how we can meet our soul mate. But we usually don’t give as much thought about how to meet new people to be friends with.

Finding people to be friends with, especially as an adult, is a lot harder than people make it out to be. [Read: 34 secrets to make someone like you & draw anyone in the first few minutes]

Check out our tips on how to add more people to your social circle. Though you won’t get instant results, practicing these tips will gradually help expand your social network.

1. Know the kind of friends you want

Ideally, this should where you start in your circle-expanding journey. Try and figure out what kind of friends you are looking for. Ones who will go on crazy weekend adventures? Ones who enjoy watching Netflix and eating microwave popcorn?

Think and make a list of a few qualities, character traits, or interests that you like. This is important because your friendship group is a reflection of your life.

If you keep pessimistic and negative friends, you’re going to be pessimistic and view the world through a distorted negative lens. [Read: 16 types of friendships, benefits & how many you need to be happy in life]

You also have to be able to strike a balance between quantity and quality. Of course, you would like to have a large enough number of people in your social sphere, but you also want to make sure that you have at least a couple of deep, meaningful relationships with the people in that circle.

Finding the ratio that you want would also make it easier for you to find people you’d be willing to connect with.

2. Open yourself up

It’s okay to be nervous and shy in the beginning. But eventually, you’ll need to open yourself up and become social.

We’re not saying you have to wear your heart on your sleeve and be an open book, but you have to allow yourself to be a little vulnerable so that people feel comfortable around you. [Read: 30 ways to get to know someone, open up to them & create a genuine bond]

3. Smile

The fastest way to make a friend, or just generally attract people, is by smiling. Smiling not only helps you look friendlier and more approachable, but it also can increase your positive thinking while decreasing your stress.

Smiling might take a little extra effort at first, but it will definitely pay off in the end when you’ve added more people to your social circle. [Read: Positive vibes – 17 ways to welcome positive energy into your life]

4. Care

You can’t add more people to your social circle without caring about your new friends. While it might seem like common sense to actually care about those in your social circle, so many people forget to act on this. Instead of making relationships a mutual source of happiness, it quickly becomes one-sided.

It’s crucial that you always make a conscious effort to be understanding and compassionate in your social relationships.

When you’re networking and making new friends, try your best to listen, give advice, or offer a helping hand. When you truly care about someone, you’ll often find that person soon beginning to truly care about you in return.

5. Don’t complain

This is truly more important than most people realize. What if you just met someone and the whole time they complained about their life, job, spouse, and everything else under the sun? You’re most likely to absorb their negativity without even knowing it.

When you complain, you do nothing but focus on the negative. This can make people around you feel bad. Make an effort to stay positive, and then the people near you will want to stick around. [Read: Negative thinking – 32 signs & ways to stop and get rid of negative thoughts]

6. Do what you like

If you do what you like, you’ll end up meeting new people who also enjoy those activities. Makes sense, right?

Plus, if you’ve moved to a new city, you have the opportunity to show up as a blank slate. No one knows you, so, do whatever the hell you want that makes you feel good.

Go dancing, attend a pottery class, or hit the gym. Not only will you have fun, but you’ll start making like-minded people to expand your social circle with!

7. Break your routine

We know you usually come home from work, nap, then go to the gym, and head home, or some variation of. But maybe your routine is another reason why you’re not meeting people.

If you want to know how to meet new people, you need to get out of your comfort zone. So, switch up your daily routine. Try out new things. That way, you open yourself up to new people. [Read: How to broaden your horizons & get out of your comfort zone for good]

8. Try out a couple of different strategies

Don’t be discouraged if you go out for the first time and end up not meeting any new people. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and meet someone right away, but more often than not you’ll have to try multiple strategies. You’ll go through a couple of failed attempts, but you just need to find the right way for you.

9. Connect with connectors

An amazing way to add more people to your social circle is to connect with people who already have a fairly large social network. This way, you can meet many new people all through one contact.

Connectors already have a thriving social life and always seem to be surrounded by a big group of people. These connectors are generally excited to meet new people, so they’ll be much easier to bond with. [Read: 26 social mind tricks to be more outgoing, friendly & talkative instantly]

While most connectors are extroverts, they might not have the time or energy to invest in a deep relationship with you. But they’re an interesting addition to your social life, as they can help connect you to those who are looking for deeper relationships.

10. Participate in group activities

Even if you prefer to go out solo, by joining group activities you’ll open yourself up to new opportunities to meet people with similar interests.

Most cities and communities host group activities from hiking to themed city tours, both of which are amazing places to meet new people. Volunteering is also a great way to meet new people and become involved in a cause you believe in.

11. Expect awkward coffee dates

You may have met someone when you were completely wasted, and of course, you two had a blast. But, then you decide to meet up for a coffee, and it’s a complete fail. That’s completely normal.

However, that person can be your designated drunk friend. Nothing wrong with that! [Read: How to never run out of things to say & banish the awkward silence]

12. Go to happy hour

If you’re not going to happy hour, you’re missing out. It’s a good place to get to know your colleagues and meet other people who work in your area. Plus, there are cheap drinks, so that’s always a bonus!

13. Use your dog

Having a dog is one of the easiest ways to meet new people. They use you, so might as well get your money’s worth from them too!

Who doesn’t like dogs? Plus, it gives you a reason to stand at a dog park and not look weird. So, start walking that pooch of yours, and you may get a couple of friends out of it. [Read: 27 fun ways to make new friends & mistakes to avoid + the best social apps]

14. Let people set you up

Maybe your mom or neighbor knows someone who works in your building or who also likes rock climbing. Just let them set you up. If you’re already looking to add more people to your social circle, then why not?

Plus, it could work out really great. And if it doesn’t, well, it’s not like you’ll have to see them again.

15. Establish your own value

Networking and making new friends isn’t just about what kind of people you’re meeting, it’s also about what value you present to the people that you meet.

When meeting new people, one of the things that make them consider keeping in touch with you is your ability to offer something of value to them.

To put forward a giver attitude when meeting new people, you can do two things. First, you can really listen to what they are saying, look at the situation through their perspective, and offer your story or opinion.

The second way is to see how you could possibly help them, whether by offering your professional advice or a new perspective. Even if you’re no expert, giving feedback can often leave a positive impression. [Read: How to make a good impression & leave them wanting more of you]

16. Become a regular

You need to become a regular somewhere. Whether it’s a bar, book club, or yoga studio—just become someone that’s always there. You’ll become friends with the people who work there and the other regulars. It’s one of the easiest ways to make new friends.

Just make sure you become a regular of something you actually like.

17. Constantly make the effort to meet new people

Usually, not every single person you meet will become a friend or be in your life forever, so it’s smart to always be in touch with new people. That way, you constantly have new options.

The best way to keep meeting new people is to go to places where others will be open to meeting you as well. This could be opening nights, galas, cultural events, seminars, talks, and even specific networking events.

These types of places aren’t always what you might choose to do with your weekend, but they can result in expanding your network to a wide variety of different and interesting people. [Read: How to be more social – 22 ways to genuinely connect with others]

18. Do things alone

If you know someone, don’t always ask them to do things. Going alone is a great way to meet new people. First, people interact with others who are alone. And second, it forces you outside of your comfort zone.

So, doing things alone will end up with you not being alone. How poetic. Remember this when you’re learning how to meet new people. [Read: How to find like-minded people who think just like you]

19. Become a mentor

Sharing your knowledge, expertise, and passion with a younger or less experienced person is a great way to meet new people and add diversity to your social life.

It’s boring to have contacts and friends with all the same interests. So by mentoring, you can mix things up. You also might find yourself learning a thing or two you didn’t know about an individual, group of people, neighborhood, profession, or sport.

20. Find a community

No matter where you live, there is a space near you that acts as a community for like-minded people. The problem is finding it.

If you follow a religion, church and other religious gatherings are always great places to meet people. These spaces are very welcoming to new people! [Read: What is my purpose in life – 33 secrets to find meaning when you feel lost]

21. Take a class

Do you have an interest that you’ve always wanted to try but you don’t have the tools or the knowledge to start at home? Taking a class is a good way to learn a new skill and meet friends!

There are a ton of events you could look for. There are fitness groups, dance classes, art classes, and even cooking classes! Whatever it is you’re keen on learning more about, there is likely a class for it.

22. Use apps

Lucky for you, we now have an app for almost everything! There are a couple of apps out there that can help you meet people who are also looking for friends.

City Socializer, Meet My Dog, Meetup, and Nearify are some great apps you can use to meet new people in your area. [Read: Bumble BFF – what it is, the right bios & how to meet a real-life bestie]

23. Get active on social media

Most of us already use social media every day. Why not put it to work and use it to reach out to old friends, stay connected, and meet new people?

If you dig a little deeper into the online world, you can find tons of different sites dedicated to finding people with similar interests, thus allowing you to connect with them.

Whether you join an online book club or host a Twitter chat about your industry, you are bound to meet some really awesome people that you can potentially add to your personal or professional social sphere.

24. Stay in touch

It’s definitely hard to keep in touch when you’ve got a super busy schedule, but sometimes staying in touch is one of the most important parts of your social life. This is a surefire way to keep your social circle alive by making meaningful and lasting connections.

You need to follow up with people you’ve just met, and catch up with old friends that you haven’t seen in ages. You don’t have to pester them on a daily basis.

What you can do is send them a message from time to time just to let them know that you value your connection with them. [Read: Long-distance friendship – what makes it work & 15 ways to stay connected]

25. Take responsibility for your own social life

A great suggestion to all those people that are looking to expand their social life is to take responsibility. People aren’t going to automatically know you’re looking for new friends and contacts, and just start approaching you.

Making friends in school was easy because you didn’t have to work on it. They were there every day, and so were you. But now, it’s different. Having a coffee date once a month isn’t going to do it. You need to work on your new friendship or else you’ll lose it.

Take charge and be active in making decisions that put you on the path toward expanding your social network and creating more meaningful relationships with the new people you meet. [Read: 30 secrets to start over a new life & leave your past for a new adventure]

What not to do when trying to make new friends

Now that we’ve highlighted ways for you to seem warm and welcoming, let’s talk about the things that make you seem distant and cold.

If making new friends has been a challenge for you, you might be doing one or more of the following things not to do when trying to make new friends.

1. Don’t change who you are

Sometimes, people just aren’t compatible with one another. This is a completely normal experience and rarely has anything to do with who you are as a person.

Don’t change who you are, how you dress, your mannerisms, or your ideas to try to be liked by someone. Genuine friendships don’t cost your identity. As long as you stay true to yourself, the right people will find their way.

2. Don’t brag

People gravitate toward others who can relate to them. So if you’re wanting to be relatable, don’t brag. It not only makes you seem selfish and arrogant, but it distances other people from you.

When you brag, you make other people around you self-conscious or feel insecure. [Read: Why does everyone hate me? 69 things you do that people probably don’t like!]

3. Don’t be too aggressive

No one likes aggressive behavior. If you’re acting aggressively, you will come off as too dominating, intimidating, and uninviting.

To avoid this, manage your tone and always try to express calm emotions. Things like raising your voice, gossiping, or showing opposition to too many things don’t paint you in a good light. [Read: Why do I push people away? 37 signs, reasons & ways to stop pushing]

4. Don’t expect results right away

We know, you’re excited about the possibility of making new friends. But unfortunately, these things take time. There will be more than one occasion where you’ll face rejection.

You’re going to meet people, talk to them, share some laughs, and that’ll be it. You may even ask them for their Facebook or phone number, but they won’t be willing to give it to you. Yeah, it’s a hit to the ego, but that’s just part of the game.

How to know when you’re friends

You’ve gone out of your comfort zone, you’ve met new people, and you think you hit it off very well. Good for you!

But now you’re contemplating when to know if you’re friends with someone. Have no fear, here are four signs to look out for to tell when you’ve become good friends with someone!

1. The other person starts taking initiative to call or text you

If your new buddy starts texting or calling you first, this is a great sign that you’re friends. It’s their way of showing you that the feeling is mutual and they enjoy talking to you.

But don’t get lazy now, you need to continue to put in the effort to reach out to them as much as you can. Friendships are give-and-take.

Your friend texting you first is a sign of them giving to you. Next, it’s your turn to reciprocate them! [Read: How to apologize for ghosting a friend, make up with them & fix the friendship]

2. You feel comfortable around them

When you are around this person, conversation carries naturally and you feel like you can be yourself around them.

Once you’ve become comfortable around someone, you’ve become friends. You’re no longer worried about the kind of impression you’ll make. Instead, you’re just happy to be spending time with them.

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

You’re no longer afraid of judgment when you’re with a friend that you’re comfortable with. This is because as a friendship develops, the two of you grow to trust and feel safe with each other.

You know that no matter what you say or how you act *as long as you’re not pushing their boundaries*, your friend will be there to support you, laugh with you, and enjoy your company. [Read: 27 best sleepover ideas & fun things to do while staying up with friends!]

4. You respond to them with empathy and they do the same to you

Friendships are an important part of the human experience because they fulfill our emotional needs. We feel seen, understood, cared for, and listened to in genuine and healthy friendships.

So, when you get a warm feeling in your chest because this new person in your life is being empathetic toward you, it means you’re now good friends. People who aren’t interested in being friends don’t show empathy because being empathetic isn’t something that can be faked.

Making new friends doesn’t involve making huge changes in your life. Sometimes, all it takes is a little positivity, a genuine desire to interact with new people, and compassion to make those people stick around.

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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...