I want to make some new friends

Many people find themselves needing to make some new friends from time to time. It’s a natural part of being human. Whether you’re in a rut, a new place or just need a change, take the initiative and do something about it. Instead of sitting around feeling glum thinking “I want to make some new friends”, have a read of The Mix’s practical tips for how to grow your social circles.

Graphic shows two young people making friends. They are sitting talking and drinking tea

How to make some new friends

So you’ve begun a new chapter in your life and you’re thinking to yourself, ‘I want to make some new friends’. 

When you start a new school, university or even job, there can be a lot of pressure to make friends overnight, but it’s best to start by focussing on building friendships gradually. Sounds like a good idea in principle, but how do you actually go about meeting new people? How do you start developing some close relationships?

Making friends when you’re shy

Approaching people can feel scary when you’re shy, but try and challenge yourself to go and say hello to strangers at parties, meetings and gatherings. Making the first move takes the pressure off other people, and most of the time they’ll be relieved that someone else has broken the ice. If you’re intimidated by the idea of small talk, a good place to start is by asking someone about themselves and their interests. Many people find it easy to talk about themselves, meaning it’s a great way to get a conversation started.

Sometimes shyness can get in the way of developing new friendships. For some extra advice, read our article on how to overcome shyness here.

Get out of your comfort zone

Chances are, you won’t meet too many new people sitting home alone watching TV every night. As daunting as it is, you really do have to get out of your comfort zone in order to expand your social circles. This doesn’t mean you have to be out until late every night though. Why not test the water by joining a group of some kind. For example a book club, drawing class, or some sort of networking event? There’s plenty of opportunity to find potential friends in any of those places! 

Finding friends who share your interests

Friendships are often formed on the basis of a common interest. Just be yourself, and you’ll find people who think like you do. If you’re the sporty type, join a local sports team for training or competitions. If you want to help others, why not try volunteering? Being in an environment you love can help you feel comfortable and more willing to open up.

There are evening and weekend classes for just about anything. Plus, even if you don’t hit it off with anybody there, you’ll still be picking up new skills, and get a fun anecdote for when you do. University students are generally spoiled for choice, and can join all sorts of clubs and societies at college, which offer great ways of connecting with people. Even if you only end up going to a couple of events, that might be the place you meet your friends for life.

How to come across as friendly

Remember to smile, and try to look relaxed (even if you’re nervous as hell) when meeting new folks. Introduce yourself early on in the conversation, and take an interest in the other person’s answers. Ask open-ended questions that allow the chat to flow easily, rather than closed questions that can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Stay in touch with the people you get on with

If you spot a potential friend, offer to swap phone numbers or add them on any social media platform, and keep in touch with them. As always, consider your personal safety with anyone you don’t know very well. Don’t rush into giving them your home address or similar details straight away. You shouldn’t just ditch your old friends either. Make sure to stay in touch and drop them a line every now and again if you’ve moved to a new city. Whether they’re old friends or new ones, connecting with people is a vital part of maintaining a relationship.

Making some new friends can take time

You don’t just go from thinking ‘I want to have new friends’ to getting 100 new phone numbers. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are close friendships. It usually takes a while to find people and get to know them, so just relax and take it easy. Making friends as an adult isn’t impossible, it just requires patience and effort on your part.

If you don’t have time to get out and about much, you might want to think about making friends online. To help you out, you can read our guide on how to make friends online here. Alternatively, why not introduce yourself on our discussion boards? You’ll find plenty of friendly people keen for a chat who can also offer tips on how to make some new friends.

Next Steps

  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

Tags:

social life

By Nishika Melwani

Updated on 28-Nov-2021