Some of the best parts of life are the connections and friendships that you make throughout the years.
However, making friends is difficult. It becomes more difficult as we get older.
But there are many ways that you can expand your social network. If you struggle to meet new people, here are some great ways to make the process easier!
How to Make New Friends
1. Ask for help from people that you already know
If your friends and family know of someone that you’d click with, have them to bring them along the next time you hang out. If you are both friends with the same person, you’re bound to have some shared interests, and having a third party present will help to alleviate any qualms you may have with meeting new people.
Related: The Benefits Of Friendship
2. Start a conversation with the person next to you at the gym
Although sometimes it is nice to get lost in your own world while you’re working out, the gym is a great place to meet new people. You can bond about a super fun workout class or even compare workout routine tips.
3. Attend community events
Get involved in your community. You can keep up to date with local news and events while getting to know the individuals within you area. These events could range from town meetings to local festivals.
4. Join a running group
Ok, so you may not talk that much while you’re huffing and puffing away. However, there is always time to start a conversation while everybody is stretching or cooling down.
Related: 5 Running Tips For Beginners
5. Take a crafting class
Learn a new skill and meet new people at the same time. You can learn how to upholster furniture or how to draw. While you’re there, make an effort to speak to the person next to you and get to know them. If you hit it off, you’ve found another friend. If not, no harm done!
6. Attend a convention
The great thing about conventions is that people go to them in order to show their love for something. If they are there, then that means you have something huge in common, which should give you plenty to talk about.
7. Use the web
There are plenty of great websites out there that can help you make friends. Meetup.com, for example, is a website where groups and individuals post events where they want to meet others with similar interests who live in the same city. Most meet ups are industry specific (i.e. a meet up for engineers or graphic designers), but some are open to the public. It’s sort of like a dating website without the romance aspect.
Related: The 7 C’s Of Happy Relationships
8. Knock on your neighbor’s door
This may sound obvious, but there are so many people who don’t know the individuals who live next to them. Making a new friend might just be as easy as knocking on your neighbor’s door and getting to know the people in your own backyard.
9. Join a book club at your local library or community center
Book clubs are designed to bring people together who share a love of literature. They are an awesome way to meet new people, because they are normally free-to-join…and consistent. Every month or so, you will be gathering with the same group of people and most likely you’ll make a friend or two out of the experience without even trying.
Public service really brings people together. You will all have the common goal to help someone in need. You will have the opportunity to meet people that you may not have otherwise while doing good for your community.
11. Have a conversation with a fellow animal lover
Animals are great ice breakers! While walking your dogs or picking up supplies at the pet store, you’re bound to cross paths with others. Strike up a conversation by asking them what kind of breed their animal is, and you’ll be chatting away in no time.
12. Use your own expertise to bring a group of people together
What are you good at? Whatever your skill is, put it to use and host a seminar. The topic could range anywhere from a tax seminar to computer technology. Use your own knowledge to bring people together. Take time after the seminar to answer questions and forge connections with those who attend it.
13. Go to a concert alone
This may take some guts, but going to a concert alone is a cool way to make friends. Situations like this where we are thrust into a foreign environment on our own can give us the extra push to put ourselves out there. Talk to the people sitting around you about the opening band or your favorite song. Just make sure to be safe!
14. Attend a free lecture
Look for free lectures at local universities or museums, and you’re sure to find one that interests you at some point. Plus, even if the lecture isn’t so great, you can use that fact as an icebreaker to talk to the person next to you.
15. Make use of everyday situations
It doesn’t matter if you are at the grocery store, the bank, or renewing your license; everyday situations are opportunities to make new friends. Be friendly and make a point to interact with others. You never know what will happen—you might make a friend, or you may just make someone’s day with your friendliness.
These are just a few strategies on how you can meet new people…and make new friends! Every one of them involves you putting yourself out there. This can be tough to do, but remember: anyone would be lucky to have you as a friend.
Lauren Pickens is a freelance writer and Inspiyr contributor. She holds Bachelor of Arts in Communications and enjoys writing about lifestyle and culture. To read more of her writing, visit her website.
Photo by emily cain