Best Ways to Make Friends

4 tips for turning strangers into friends

You probably thought you were done learning about making friends in kindergarten, but throughout your life you’ve likely come to realize that making friends isn’t as easy as it seems. Whether you’re trying to make friends online, in a new town or after a bout of loneliness, it doesn’t have to be as hard as it feels. These strategies can lead you to some meaningful friendships in a short amount of time.

Look for similar interests

Making friends is about finding people who share similar interests, people who you can invite on outings or to events and have fun with. Because of this, the first strategy in learning how to make friends is going to places where you feel comfortable, and where you enjoy the activities. If you like to read, go to a library or join a book club. If you’re into sports, talk to people at the gym.

Reacquaint yourself with people you know

According to Psychology Today, you might want to look around yourself or look up old buddies to find some potential friend candidates. The magazine suggests talking with someone you’ve only said hello to before. You might also want to try to establish a deeper friendship with those you only see in certain places. For instance, ask the person you work out with at the gym if she’d like to grab lunch sometime.

Try to meet up with old friends from college or high school. Sometimes relationships end because of life factors — a person moves away, works long hours or becomes involved in a relationship. When those factors are no longer an issue, a great friendship may be waiting to be rekindled.

Be the kind of friend you would want to have

You can’t expect to make good friends if you aren’t a good friend, so a third, very important part of your friend-making strategy should include being the kind of friend you would like to have. Try to do things you wouldn’t necessarily do on your own if a friend asks for your company. For instance, if you’re asked to go to a movie, go even if it’s not a movie you would normally see. Of course, you don’t want to get outside of your comfort zone too much — remember that you should pick friends with similar interests — but it doesn’t hurt to “go along for the ride” some of the time and possibly end up with a new friend.

Be friendly

Psychology Today recommends smiling as a strategy for making friends. If you’re wondering how to make friends, the answer is simple — be happy, kind and receptive to new people. We’ve often been taught to be on our guard with strangers. But if you’re friendly, you might find that a conversation in line at the coffee shop leads to a great, long-lasting relationship.

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