Making friends sounds like a task for kids in a school playground, doesn’t it? Yet, whether you’re 7 or 70, the yearning for companionship is universal.
As we grow older, the hustle and bustle of life sometimes push friendships to the sidelines.
But let’s face it, a good chat with a friend over coffee or a walk in the park with someone who gets you, those are the little joys of life, aren’t they?
Most of us already know that friendship is great. In fact, in one of the longest studies about happiness and longevity, Harvard researchers found good relationships to be extremely vital.
But the question is, what can you do if you need friends?
This guide is here to tell you – making friends is an art, and like any art form, it can be mastered with the right techniques and a sprinkle of enthusiasm.
So, if you’ve found yourself thinking, “I need friends,” this article is your roadmap to finding your tribe.
15 Things To Start Doing Today to Make Friends
1. Join Groups Aligned with Your Interests
Joining groups or clubs is a fantastic way to meet people who share the same passions. Whether it’s a book club, a knitting circle, or a hiking group, there’s something for everyone.
By surrounding yourself with people who enjoy the same activities, conversations naturally flow. When you’re excited about a shared interest, it’s easier to bond with others.
Now, you might be wondering where to find such groups. Well, local community centers, libraries, and even coffee shops often have bulletin boards advertising community events. Online platforms like Facebook Groups can be a treasure trove for discovering local groups.
Before you know it, you could be sipping coffee and discussing your favorite book with a newfound friend.
Stepping into a new group can be intimidating, but give it time. Attend a couple of meetings or events before making a judgment.
As you become a regular, you’ll start to recognize familiar faces, and friendships will begin to form.
2. Volunteer for Causes You Care About
Volunteering is not just an act of kindness; it’s a doorway to new friendships. When you give your time to a cause, you’re not only making a difference but also meeting like-minded individuals.
The best part? You already have a common goal – making a positive impact. This shared purpose naturally brings people together.
Imagine you’re at a community garden planting trees. As you dig, plant, and water, conversations start.
You learn about someone’s favorite tree, another person’s gardening tips, and perhaps someone’s unforgettable vacation surrounded by nature.
Over time, as you see the same volunteers, your bond strengthens. You’re no longer just people working for a cause; you become a team.
3. Attend Social Events Regularly
Put yourself out there. Attend parties, community gatherings, or local festivals. Even if you’re an introvert, pushing your boundaries occasionally can lead to unexpected connections.
Think about it. How many times have stories of great friendships started with, “We met at this event…”?
Local events often showcase a mix of cultures, interests, and personalities. This diversity is a goldmine for making friends.
Perhaps you discover that the person dancing next to you at a music festival also loves the same obscure band you do.
Or maybe, while waiting in line for food, you strike up a conversation with someone about the best local eateries.
Sure, not every interaction will turn into a lasting friendship. But that’s okay!
With each event, you’re expanding your social circle, improving your conversation skills, and increasing the odds of finding your next best friend.
4. Take a Class or Workshop
Enrolling in a class or workshop provides a dual benefit: personal growth and potential friendships.
Whether it’s pottery, dancing, cooking, or a language class, shared learning experiences can foster connections.
Imagine you’re in a photography class. One day, you’re paired up for a project. As you and your partner explore locations, discuss angles, and share feedback, you’re not just collaborating but connecting.
This partnership could evolve into weekend photo walks or even a visit to a photography exhibition.
Plus, as the weeks progress and you see familiar faces in each class, camaraderie develops.
Casual chats before or after the lesson can lead to coffee meetups, study sessions, or collaborative projects. Progressively, classmates can transition into genuine friends.
[Also read: 7 Sure Signs Of Fake Friends]
5. Be Approachable
Your demeanor can make a world of difference in attracting friendships. A smile, open body language, and genuine interest in others can make you more approachable.
People are naturally drawn to individuals who exude positivity and warmth.
Let’s picture a scenario at a park. You’re reading a book, and someone nearby is flying a unique kite. Instead of just watching from a distance, you walk over and compliment their kite.
This simple act can pave the way for a conversation about hobbies, interests, or even shared experiences.
Remember, friendships often start from small interactions. A casual chat in an elevator, a compliment at a coffee shop, or a shared laugh at a meme can spark a connection.
Being open to these moments and fostering them can lead to deeper conversations and, eventually, lasting friendships.
6. Be a Good Listener
Listening is an art, often overlooked in our fast-paced world. However, it’s one of the most valuable skills for forging strong friendships.
When you truly listen, you’re not just hearing words; you’re understanding emotions, experiences, and perspectives.
Imagine a coworker sharing a recent vacation story. Instead of passively nodding or thinking about your weekend plans, you actively engage.
You ask questions, express excitement, and even share a related experience. This active engagement shows you care.
People gravitate towards those who make them feel valued and understood. By being present in conversations and showing genuine interest, you become someone others want to confide in, share with, and be around.
Over time, this trust and connection pave the way for deep and lasting friendships.
7. Initiate Plans and Follow Through
Waiting for others to take the initiative can be limiting. If you’re eager to make friends, be proactive.
If you’ve had a good conversation with someone, suggest a follow-up. It could be a coffee meetup, a walk, or even attending an event together.
Let’s say you’ve been talking to a colleague about movies. Instead of leaving it at that, suggest catching a film together over the weekend.
Or perhaps during a class, someone mentions they love Italian food. Why not propose visiting that new Italian restaurant downtown?
Making plans is just the first step. Following through is crucial. When you commit to a plan, stick to it. Punctuality and reliability are key. Over time, as you initiate and honor plans, trust builds.
8. Cultivate Friendships Online
Social media platforms, forums, or even multiplayer games can be fertile grounds for friendship. Remember, just because a relationship starts online doesn’t make it any less real.
Consider joining platforms or forums centered around your interests. Maybe you’re into vintage cars, and you discover an online community where enthusiasts share restoration tips.
Engaging in discussions, sharing photos, or even offering advice can lead to meaningful connections. Before you know it, you might find yourself planning to attend a car show with someone from the community.
[Related: How to Start a Conversation With Anyone]
9. Show Genuine Appreciation to People
Everyone loves to feel appreciated. Recognizing and valuing the people around you can pave the way for deeper connections.
It could be as simple as complimenting someone’s outfit or thanking them for their help.
Think about the last time someone acknowledged your efforts. It felt good, right? Let’s say a colleague helps you with a project.
Instead of a casual “thanks,” you express how their assistance made a difference. This sincere appreciation can form the basis of a deeper bond.
Building relationships often comes down to the little things. Over time, as you cultivate a habit of recognizing and valuing those around you, you’ll find yourself surrounded by individuals who cherish your presence and company.
10. Maintain Regular Contact
Friendships, like plants, need regular care to thrive. Even with busy schedules, making an effort to stay in touch can make all the difference.
It doesn’t always require grand gestures. Sometimes, a simple text or call to check in can solidify a bond.
Remember the adage, “Out of sight, out of mind”? Let’s ensure that doesn’t happen. You’ve just had a great evening with a new friend.
Instead of waiting for them to reach out, drop them a message the next day, reminiscing about a fun moment or suggesting another meetup.
While life often gets in the way, carving out time, even if it’s just a few minutes every week, can foster trust and show the other person that you value the relationship.
Related Questions About Needing Friends
Is it a bad thing if I need friends?
Not at all! Humans are inherently social creatures. Our evolution, history, and personal experiences have always revolved around community and connections.
Wanting or needing friends is a natural part of the human experience, signaling a desire for social connections, understanding, shared experiences, and emotional support.
Moreover, numerous studies have shown the positive impacts of friendships on mental, emotional, and even physical health. Everyone, at some point in their lives, feels the need to establish or deepen connections, so it’s a completely normal and natural feeling.
Does needing friends mean I’m a lonely person?
Needing friends doesn’t automatically label someone as lonely. It’s essential to differentiate between being alone and feeling lonely. One can be surrounded by people and still feel lonely or be alone and feel content.
Needing friends could be a sign of wanting deeper, more meaningful connections or simply wanting to diversify one’s social circle.
Everyone has moments where they seek increased social interactions or closer bonds. It’s a natural part of our growth and evolution as individuals.
However, if the desire for friends stems from prolonged feelings of isolation, it’s crucial to address those feelings, whether through seeking social opportunities or professional guidance.
Are there sites to just make friends?
Certainly! There are several reputable websites specifically designed to help people make friends based on shared interests, location, or activities. Here are five popular ones:
- Meetup.com: One of the most well-known sites for joining groups with shared interests, ranging from hiking groups to book clubs.
- InterPals: Originally designed for language exchanges, it has evolved into a platform for making international friends.
- FriendMatch: As the name suggests, it’s a platform that matches people up based on interests and the kind of friendship they’re looking for.
- CitySocializer: Particularly useful for those who’ve just moved to a new city, it offers socials and meetups to get to know locals.
- Tandem: Aimed at those wanting to practice and exchange languages, it’s also a great space to make friends globally.
[Interesting: 7 Signs You’re an Introvert]
Are there apps to make friends?
Apps have become increasingly popular as a medium to forge new friendships. Here are five renowned apps for making friends:
- Bumble BFF: From the makers of Bumble, this mode within the app is designed explicitly for making platonic friends.
- Peanut: Aimed at moms and potential moms, it connects women through all stages of motherhood for support and friendship.
- Friender: Based on your interests, this app matches you with potential friends, ensuring a common ground to start with.
- Yubo: Often termed as “Tinder for friends,” it’s mostly popular among younger folks looking for platonic connections.
- Nextdoor: More than just a neighborhood app, it allows locals to connect, share information, and foster community bonds.
- All photos from freepik.com