It turns out that having the right friends is a key to more well being, happiness, possibilities, and success. When we grow up, however, we realize that making friends as adults is different from when we were children. The key to having a great social life is to be proactive about it.
In this article, I want to share with you 7 of my favorite techniques that will help you meet people and make friends.
1. Do A Little Planning Before You Start
To start right, do a little planning, and decide on what kind of people you want as friends. This helps your mind to find them easier, as you’ll be more focused. You don’t have to have a full description; all you need is a general idea of the qualities, attributes, and interests of your future friends. For example, you might write a list of qualities that you like; things like: “healthy, ambitious, honest, productive, fun, interesting, etc.”
2. Meet People Who Want New Friends As Well
A big question that people as is “where do I meet new people?” The most important distinction to make is between public and private (or semi private) social gatherings. See, in public places like bars or coffee shops, people go with their existing friends and stay with them. In other semi private places, people tend to be open to meeting new folks. That’s why I often suggest to my readers to go to places like local community meetings, trade shows, conferences, cultural or charitable events, etc.
3. Find An Interesting Community
One of the quickest ways to meet people and make friends is this: Find a community of people interested in something that you like, that also holds regular social get-togethers. What you do is start attending their events to make sure you like the people there. Then, try and join the team the organizing team, to contribute to the community. They’ll be glad you asked and give you some minor tasks.
This makes everyone grateful for your contribution and come to get to know you; you’ll meet everyone in the community, members and hosts, faster than you can imagine.
4. Find Similarities With People
When you first meet someone, and discover that you have some things common with them, there is an instant sense of closeness that gets created. You may have been through the similar experiences, adventures, or just share the same taste in movies or books.
To take advantage of this aspect of friendship, don’t be afraid to ask people questions on why they do what they do and what they like about it. Share your experiences and stories with them. Make sure to find more than one significant commonality. Having two commonalities with someone is the basis of building a new friendship.
5. Show A Vulnerable Side Of You, Early On
Politicians tend to abuse this technique, because it works. They’ll tell you about how their wife wears the pants in the house, or how they can’t resist French fries.
This technique works so well for creating rapport, that politicians tend to abuse it. They share with you some of their weaknesses so you feel that you can trust them more. Of course, you don’t have to make things up here, all you have to do is share some vulnerability or weakness you have. It can also be just a funny quirk you have; any imperfection will do. This is a way to show to the people you meet that you’re human like them.
6. Follow Up With The People You Meet
If you want hate losing touch with people that you meet, then don’t make the common mistake of not following up afterwards. The main reson friendship don’t get created is that people forget to touch base. And when they do remember, it’s usually too late.
This is why you always need to dedicate some time to calling, texting, or emailing people that you want to have as friends. I recommend that you take one hour, every week, and do nothing but reach out to people via email, text, or calls. Your instinct will tell you who you should call, and who can wait. The key here is to do it every week, which will keep your social life going and growing for the long run.
7. Introduce People To Each Other
It’s very hard to start a social circle from scratch if you don’t focus on groups of friends, as opposed to individual friends. I recommend that you start introducing friends to each other, even if you only have a couple, and even if you’re just getting to know them. This group-effect will make them want to call and make plans way more often. This means that you’ll have more time to focus on other areas of your life. Introducing people to each other becomes your primary way of adding value to other people’s lives, and just makes your plans more fun and interesting.
These techniques will get you started. If you want to have a great social life, I recommend that you learn about friendship, how it works, and how you can be more social.