Do you find it hard to make friends? Maybe you just moved to a new place and haven’t met anyone yet. Maybe you have friends, but want to make some new ones or the ones you do have are kind of crap?
Meeting new people is difficult at the best of times but that pressure doubles when you throw social awkwardness, anxiety or introvertedness into the mix. Here are some practical tips to get you started:
It’s certainly not for everyone, but believe it or not, you actually don’t need to be sporty to enjoy sport… who knew?!? Team sports are great for building up solid relationships. You may not realise it straight away but teamwork is a great way to make friends. Joining a social sports team is a way to get chatting with people because you already have a subject to talk about. Social sport usually means that there isn’t really a competitive element. Instead, people get together to play a sport for fitness or to socialise.
Dogs are great friend makers and what’s more, dog owners really like to talk about their dogs. If you already have a dog, you’re halfway there already. If you don’t have a dog, then borrow your friend or neighbour’s dog. Most people like to talk about dogs and they’re also really good for awkward people because playing with a dog gives you something to focus on when you’re talking to someone for the first time. What’s more, you’ll be making human friends AND dog friends, and who doesn’t want that?!
Get a Part-Time job
This one might not work for everyone but if you’ve just moved to a new town or the people at school or college aren’t really your crowd, get a part-time job. Somewhere like a cafe, a cinema, leisure centre or shop is a good place to start. Chances are, there will be other people a similar age who work there too. Even if the job itself is a bit rubbish, its a really good way to get talking to people. Then, when it feels right, try suggesting a work outing to your co-workers sometime…
Another good way to meet people is through volunteering. If you have some spare time on your hands, volunteering is a really great way to fill it. You get to feel good about helping; it’s good for your CV; it’s even better for making friends and you’ll probably get a t-shirt – the benefits really are endless…
Learn an Instrument
You don’t even have to get good to start playing with other people. In fact, playing with others is the best way to get to grips with learning an instrument. Just teach yourself the basics using YouTube tutorials and fake it til’ you make it. Then, when you’re ready, start a band and hey presto – bandmates. (Plus, being able to play an instrument instantly increases your cool-factor – you can thank us later 😉).
The trick is to be confident in yourself. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. Just make yourself approachable, don’t be afraid to make the first move and always be open-minded.