How to make new friends in real life
Have you ever wondered why it is easy to make new friends online than it is to do so in real life? Well, I guess, it’s easier to find friends online than it is to make new friends in real life. The problem, however, is that it’s challenging to become the best of friends with most of our social media friends. Knowing how to make new friends in real life is an essential networking skill.
Most of the time, we want to establish some kind of connection with others. We want more than just acquaintances and social friends, we want true friends. We want to be able to hang out together, talk about some personal matters, etc.
Every true friendship is built by intimacy. True friends know about each other’s values, goals, challenges and struggles, etc. However, with most of our online friends, we are hardly able to do these. So then, how can we make new friends in real life?
Below are 5 ways to make new friends in real life:
1. Start with your acquaintances
To make new friends easily, you have to start with the people you know. Look out for people who make you feel better after spending time with them. Also, consider people who are respectful and can be trusted.
Once, you’ve figured out the set of acquaintances you’d like to become friends with, then you can take it further by reaching out to them. You can suggest grabbing a bite, going to the movies or a casual stroll, perhaps.
Have a meaningful conversation with your acquaintance
When you meet up, do more than just having small talks about the weather or the lights in the room, etc. Go deeper. Talk about a few personal stories. Try not to give out too many details because you’re not planning on boring them neither are you trying to give out excess information. Remember, they are still your acquaintance.
Note: Ensure that you evaluate their interest. Friendship is a two-way relationship. So, be sure that they are interested in becoming friends with you before taking it any further.
So, notice whether they give you full attention, whether they seem interested in exchanging their contact details, whether they are interested in knowing more about you just as you are about them. These can help you determine whether to go-ahead to build the friendship.
2. Go out more often
If you really want to make new friends easily in the real world, then you need to get out more often. Otherwise, how else do you intend to meet new people that aren’t in your social media space?
Start by attending events. Think about some of the activities you love doing, and attend such events. The good thing about doing this is that you are both going to have something to talk about your common interest, which is the event.
So, attend workshops and seminars more, go to parties, bars, clubs, etc. As much as you can, put yourself out there enough to meet with people who may end up becoming your friends.
3. Focus on others, not yourself
Imagine meeting someone for the first time, and all they do is talk about themselves the entire time. How would that make you feel? I’m pretty sure you’d spend the entire time thinking of ways to come up with the perfect excuse to leave. You could even go as far as texting a friend of yours to call you with an emergency story just so you can take your leave. Well, that’s what happens when we focus on ourselves instead of others.
The key to connecting with other people is to show interest in them. So, instead of trying to get people to be interested in them, show interest in them. When you are truly interested in other people’s thoughts, opinions and experiences, it will reflect and they will value you for it. That’s how to build friendships.
Ask questions that show that you want to know more about them. Ask about their work/career, hobbies, goals, drive, values, dreams, priorities, etc.
4. Be yourself around them
People can tell when you are trying to impress them. Don’t change your accent or anything about yourself just to be friends with someone, except you plan to remain that way forever. We all know where things like that end; the truth always has a way of revealing itself.
If you want the friendship to last and be genuine, then you’ve got to let your potential new friend know the real you. Just be yourself.
5. Make an effort to stay in touch
Finally, now you’ve met the person and you’re pretty sure you’d like to make them your new friend, you have to make an effort to stay in touch. There’s no need to see each other every day or every week, but keep the communication line open. Communication is the bedrock of every relationship. So, if you really want to keep the friendship, then you’ve got to make an effort to keep in touch.