People complain about how hard it is to date, but making new friends can be just as hard. Back in the day, it was easy to make friends. You had a common interest, the class experience, and you’d be besties by lunch. Nowadays, making new friends is almost like dating—every message is scrutinised, and every smiley face is analysed. You wonder if it is too soon to invite your new friend over for a movie night or if Facebook friendships translate to real friendships. There are too many questions and uncertainties.
Humans are social creatures –friendships are vital for our emotional well-being. They supply us with understanding and support when the burdens of life weigh us down. If you don’t get enough human contact, you’ll wind up feeling lonely, afraid of others, or with negative self-esteem. Extreme loneliness can lead to sleeplessness, depression and a slew of other mental disorders.
The majority of the adults are so invested in their work, dating life or family they simply do not have the time to invest in a new friendly relationship. But does that mean you give up? The answer is simple. No!
This is how you make friends
Cultivate a positive mindset
Assume ‘people adore you’ and stop fussing over every little thing. Fear of rejection is an understandable thing, but it will never let you develop new relationships if you give in. When you go into a social situation with a positive mindset, positive things will happen to you.
Use social media
Just like countless websites and applications for dating, you can also find the ones dedicated to friendship. Facebook and Twitter are excellent places to search for like minded people. You can discover groups devoted to a shared interest and approach someone that seems compatible with you. Some people also use dating websites, like Tinder, to search for ‘just friends.’
Shared hobbies mean the potential for friendship
Do you love spinning a ball of yarn? Join a knitting club. Do you like adventure? Join a hikers club. The options are endless. In a group dedicated to a shared hobby, you will find yourself surrounded by individuals with great potential to become friends. It doesn’t matter what kind of interests you have. Odds are, someone out there shares your hobbies. You only have to find them.
Do physically strenuous activities with strangers
Make a point of saying hi to someone new every time you work out. If you’re an introvert, a little friendly eye contact or a nod from a fellow runner can go a long way. When you engage in strenuous activity, like dancing, you get a shot of endorphins through your brain. It boosts your confidence and could help gear up your conversation game.
Join community volunteers
Volunteering is a great way to meet people who are also interested in giving back to the community. Odds are you will find volunteers open to accepting new people with a smile.
Yes, it is a bit of cliché advice. But that’s doesn’t make it any less effective. When facing a stranger or a group, you will subconsciously mould yourself to their opinion, especially if you are looking for acceptance and friendship. You may smile awkwardly at the gay jokes and pretend you do not hate Trump for the sake of acceptance. But if you do not respect yourself, no one else will. So let your opinions be known and take pride in being yourself. Initially, your acquaintances may distance themselves from you. But eventually, you will find someone like-minded. There are people out there that are just like you. You just have to find them or wait for them to find you.