March 10, 2011

21 Loving Ways To Make A New Friend

So You Wanna Be My Friend?

It can be pretty darn hard to make a new friend in the fast paced world that most of us live in.

I’ve read that people with friends tend to live longer, feel better about themselves, are more motivated to go out and try new things and have a more compassionate disposition about the world. There are many situations that can make us feel isolated (depression, grief, having a baby, working too many hours, moving to a new neighborhood, shyness, inertia, etc), but no matter what, it’s worth doing what it takes to make a friend.

Friends make us feel supported, give us affection, they bring us good times and make us feel worthwhile. And, the best part is we can give it all back.

1. Use social networks (or don’t use them). Find ways to connect with old classmates, old roommates, old colleagues or other local newbies on and off the Internet.

2. Joining a dating or singles website or group. There ain’t no shame!

3. Try something you’ve never done before. Audition for a play, do a detox retreat, organize a Pillow Fight Club (yes, it’s real), take new style of yoga class. Heck, I’ve just learned about Hillybilly Yoga and the downward facing hound dog!

4. Invite a fellow yogi for a cup of tea after yoga class. Not always easy, I know, but I’ve been to quite a few studios where they serve tea or the studio is situated close to a café. I’m sure if you are a usual to a class that you also know who the other usuals are.

5. Look up when walking down the street. Are you observing what’s around you or are you going through your to-do list or creating artificial conversations in your head? Take your headphones off, look up, check people out and see who’s out there.

6. Make eye contact. Don’t be shy. Say hello, thank you, whatever, and make polite eye contact.

7. Smile more and have a positive attitude. Positive energy attracts everyone! A smile can even be felt over the phone! I’ve read that 86% of people say that they are more likely to strike up conversations with strangers if they are smiling.

8. Say ‘yes’ to things more often. Next time someone asks you to do something, do it. Don’t make an excuse, just say YES. Haven’t you seen ‘The Yes Man’?


9. Hang out at a coffee shop. Coffee shops are great place for all sorts of people all caffeine-ed up and ready for convo.

10. Join a book club. Even if you don’t like to read, just hang out, add your two cents, make something nice and share it.

11. Volunteer. Local library, meals on wheels, animal shelters, soup kitchens, senior centers and the zillion other community activities that take place. If not, make one up.

12. Go to a seminar or workshop. Take a weekend meditation or yoga workshop or go listen to an inspirational speaker.

13. Learn a new craft. Take an art class, learn to crotchet, knit, paint, write – the opportunities are endless.

14. Get a new job or a part-timer. If you can manage, change locations, apply for a new role, work part-time at a café or the library.

15. Join a support group. Breastfeeding, mothers-to-be, natural childbirth, new mothers, OK, there’s more than just mommy and baby support groups.

16. Take a night class at a local community college. Love math? Go for it. Always wished you taken that last sociology class? Do it.

17. Take a first aid and/or CPR course. Hey, good to know if the need should ever arise.

18. Steal friends from other friends. Why not?!

19. Meet your neighbors. Been living in your apartment or house for a year and still don’t know your neighbors? Bake something and get your booty over there.

20. Carpool. Help the environment and have a chitchat to and from work AND save on gas!

21. Talk to everyone and anyone. Chances are you have some really good stuff to say and share and there’s someone out there looking to do the same.

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Tanya Lee Markul  |  Contribution: 15,600