Friendships are incredibly important for our feeling of wellbeing and our health. If you look around you, do you feel like the circle of people surrounding you is a bit small? You can do something about it. Making new friends doesn't happen overnight, but if you follow these tips, you will definitely succeed.
Do the things that make you happy
Having things in common is an important condition for friendship. That's why it's a good starting point to think about the things you like to do. If you love to go to the museum, look for a group of people who visit expositions together. Are you crazy about dancing, take salsa lessons and find kindred spirits there. If you're doing something you enjoy, you are having a good time anyway, regardless of the people around you. It makes it a lot easier to connect to them.
Tell people you are looking
'Looking', it might have a bit of a desperate ring to it, and of course, desperate is the last thing you want to be. The key is to let go of that thought (and your judgment about yourself). There's nothing wrong with wanting to increase your circle of friends. Friendship is important in a person's life, it even increases your health - just as much as quitting smoking! So tell your friends and family that you would like to meet new people. They will probably give you advice, invite you over when they're meeting other friends - who will probably be nice too, because otherwise they wouldn't be your friends' friends.
Reconnect to old friends
That friend from college you used to have so much fun with, the friend you used to visit concerts with: simply send them a message and suggest to meet them over a cup of coffee. You'll know soon enough whether you guys still click. It might be a one time thing and yet it might be the start of a renewed friendship. Why not give it a try?
Don't focus on quantity
If you have just moved to a new town, you've broken up with your boyfriend or girlfriend or you're feeling lonely for another reason, there might be times when any form of company seems to be a relief. Try to keep in mind what you're looking for, though. Friendships only add something to your life if you really connect to people. Besides, you don't need to have tons of friends - quality is much more important than quantity.
Get out of your comfort zone
If you're the kind of person who keeps balancing off their possibilities ('on the one hand... but on the other hand...'), dare yourself to say 'yes' to all appointments and events that pop up in your life for a while. Join your colleagues for a drink after work, even if you're tired or not sure whether they'd like you to join. Just go, and see what happens.
Take it easy
Making new friends is like finding a new love: if you try too hard, it won't work. If you act like someone is your new best friend after just a couple of weeks, you might startle them. Take the time to know eachother, and don't aim too high. Go with the flow. Intend to meet new, fun people, not to find your new best BFF - friendships, like relationships, need time to grow.
Photo by Omar Lopez