How to make new friends

‘Can I play?’ is all a person has to say to make new friends when they’re eight. In adulthood, tactics should be revised. 

There are lots of different reasons why you might want to make new friends. Perhaps you’ve moved to a new area, perhaps you’re ready for a change, or perhaps it’s dawned on you you’re the last singleton in a group of shacked up lovers who’ve exchanged Friday night at the pub for Friday night on the sofa.

We never get too old to make new friends, but it can become more difficult to do so as we age.

How on earth do you start? Just where are these people hiding? And how do you muster the confidence to turn an acquaintance into a friendship?

Here as some quick tips for you to try:

1. Eye them up

Just as you’d make eyes at that attractive stranger from across the room, you should woo your potential friend with your body language – although perhaps a little less suggestively. Whether you’re standing in a queue, waiting for service at a bar, or washing your hands in the loos – smile and make eye-contact with the people around you. Often we can sense immediately if someone is a potential friend, just from the body language they show back.

2. Engage people

When you are out in public or attending a class of some kind, keep your body language open and friendly. When you catch someone’s eye, say something – anything! Don’t worry about the response you may or may not get, just give them the opportunity to reciprocate your interest and see what happens. For women in particular, offering a compliment about a person’s hair, or shoes can be a good opener. For men, starting with an observation or a question to show interest is also an effective tactic.

3. Free up time to say yes to invitations

Sometimes a busy life or a rigid routine means you have to turn down social invitations. Don’t beat yourself up for going for drinks with your colleagues instead of going to that exercise class – after all, it probably doesn’t happen every week. You never know who you will hit it off with outside of the professional setting.

Making friends is a skill, and one that a life coach can help you to develop. To find out how, visit our Friendship page.

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Written by Zoe Thomas

Written by Zoe Thomas

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