As I've grown up, it has become more and more difficult to make friends. Maybe it's because I've become more judgmental or maybe because I'm just introverted or maybe it's the situations. Whatever it is, I've definitely been dealing with issues with making new friends. However, based on my social interactions and the friends that I have made, I've learned a few things about what works and what doesn't work in terms of making new friends.

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Spend time with friends of friends.

Although you might be a bit nervous to mingle with new people, especially if you're not in school and don't have that ice breaker, a great way to meet new people is to spend time with the friends of your friends. You still have someone to fill in the awkward moments and help to break the ice, which makes the meeting a lot more comfortable. In addition, friends generally have similar interests. For example:

If you have similar interests with friend A and they have similar interests with friend B, then you're probably going to have similar interests with friend B. 

There are probably some scenarios where you wouldn't get along with friend B, but for the majority of the time, you would have some things in common with them. You're much more likely to enjoy spending time with a friend of a friend rather than a stranger, not to mention that you already have an introduction and can avoid an awkward first meeting.

Avoid Social Media Stalking.

When you meet a new person, the new default is to look them up. This means scouring their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, any social media that they have to find out what kind of person that they are. While this may be more prevalent among meeting potential significant others, it's still common to do this with potential friends. Maybe they have the most gorgeous, aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that you'll get along better with them. Checking social media before really knowing a person can really put a damper on a friendship because you have already made judgments, whether you realize it or not. 

Don't over-analyze people.

I am the QUEEN of over-analyzing people. I read into people based on their appearance, body language, habits, beliefs, interests, anything. I judge people based on the things that they say and note the little things that I like and don't like about a person. I know, I'm the worst. I think that this has been a consistent issue for me with making new friends, because I read into things too much. I am not a psychiatrist, so why am I reading into people so much? It's a habit that I'm trying to break. I think that it's me just being picky. I have this idea of an ideal friend in mind, but in reality, I need to start liking people for who they are, not who I think I want in a friend.

Think of it like a google search. Let's say that you write the word, "friend," in the search bar. Trillions of responses come up. Then when you categorize that further, to "perfect friend," it narrows it down to 10 million responses. More categorization, like changing it to "perfect friend in New York," it goes down to 3 million responses. 

The more that you analyze people and eliminate them based on small things narrows down the pool of people that you can potentially be friends with. Over analyzing people causes you to pick out the bad things about people and dismiss them quicker. 

Be open-minded.

It's easier said than done, but it's best to stay open-minded. It's just like dating, you don't want to judge a person merely on first impressions. When you meet people, try to keep an open mind. This connects back to not over-analyzing people, don't think about it too much and try to enjoy your time with a new person. Maybe the person seems a little weird at first, that doesn't mean that they're not worth your time. First impressions scare everyone and aren't always an accurate representation of who they actually are. Try to remember that when you're meeting new people and keep an open mind about them. Be willing to know more about the person and be willing to make anyone a potential friend.

Go to social events. 

Although sometimes I talk about how spending time with yourself is SO important, that doesn't make spending time being social any less important. They're equally important in your life. When in doubt, head to places that you know you can get a conversation going. Maybe go to that party, even though you only know a few people attending, or join a book club, or maybe take a class for something you're interested in. It helps if you attend social events that have some sort of thing binding everyone together, like a common interest.

For example, the book club, you can meet like-minded book lovers so that you a) have a common interest and b) have something to talk about. 

Social events may be a little awkward at the beginning, especially if you don't know anyone there, once you get past the awkward part, there are tons of opportunities for new friends. The main thing to remember at social events is to just go for it. Talk to as many people as you can, try to be outgoing, and make the most of them.

Don't be afraid to initiate the conversation.

As someone who is shy and introverted, I generally don't like starting up conversations, especially with a stranger. It's absolutely terrifying to me. However, as you grow up, you'll find that there are fewer opportunities for you to meet new people. It's not like elementary school where you were practically forced to talk to everyone there, leavng you with lots of friends and conversation starters. This is where I envy those that are outgoing and extroverted, because they can walk up to a stranger and start up a conversation. I like to fake it, because you know what they say, "fake it 'til you make it." I pretend that I'm more extroverted and outgoing (even though I'm anything but) to force myself to talk to someone new. While it can be scary to initiate a conversation, I say go for it, you might just find your new best friend. 

1 comment:

  1. I've definitely found that growing up, it's been harder to make friends! But these are such great tips & advice!
    xo, Syd