It is not a question of being more or less spontaneous, more or less shy or more or less extrovert. Getting to know new people is not an easy task .
The art of communicating and enjoying the sympathy of others is complex. Many of us want to have more friends, more people to trust, but the truth is that we rarely get down to it, because we believe it is a way of recognizing that we are quite alone in this life. Besides, it seems that when we have reached a certain age the “normal” thing is that we already enjoy our gang of friends , but…
The ultimate guide to meeting new people
The truth is that we all (or almost all) have this feeling that our social life is a bit stagnant . The circumstances in which we may notice that we don’t have as many friends as we would like are varied: we have moved to a new city, we have had love affairs that have changed the panorama of our social life, we are too immersed in our work, we have become used to having a minimal repertoire of colleagues, or simply because we enjoy hobbies a little bit of solitude.
You can have a thousand reasons for wanting to meet more people. The key is to look for environments and situations in which you can engage in spontaneous and natural conversations with people who, for some reason, attract your attention.
Sometimes, these kinds of social situations where everything plays in our favor to meet people are not so easy to find. Not to mention that, every year that we turn, it can be a little more complicated for us to make new friends and open up to the world. We need to do our part: you have to get rid of the shame, jump into the limelight and leave your comfort zone.
To help you in this endeavor to meet new people and give new colors to your vine , we wanted to produce this practical guide . Here you will find places where you can make new friends, as well as tips and communication techniques to make it easier for you.
- Take a look at this post: “The 6 psychological keys to liking others”
Places to meet people
When looking for places to meet new people, it is best to focus on those places where you are likely to meet the same people repeatedly . Valid examples: a sports club, a gymnasium or a cafeteria with a faithful parish. In this way, by going to a place frequently you will have more possibilities of interacting with people who are familiar to you, and it will be easier to meet new people.
Anyway, never forget these tips:
- Creates natural and friendly interactions . Think that it is not necessary (nor recommended) that you act stridently. It is much more advisable that you are prudent and pleasant, since you are going to see these people again on a daily basis.
- It is a good idea that the sites you choose are places where you can meet potential friends with hobbies, ideas and jobs that you feel comfortable with and identify with . If, for example, you don’t like football, it’s a bad idea for you to frequent a club of a football team, because you’ll feel like an octopus in a garage.
- If you go to a birthday party or an event, try to arrive a little bit before it starts , so you can start to get to know the attendees. If you arrive late, people will have already met and will be talking in small groups, and it may be more difficult to get introduced to one of them.
- Keep in mind that familiarity pleases ; the more you know about a person, the easier it is to like them. That’s why it’s important to be familiar with some places that allow you to be in contact with other people.
In the end, it’s all a matter of time and opening up a little bit to others. Not all interactions will turn out the way you expect, but little by little you’ll be able to foster a good rapport with the people around you.
- Recommended Reading: The 10 Basic Communication Skills
More interesting places and environments to meet people are as follows:
1. Attend a cooking course for beginners (or an English course, or a salsa course…)
If you sign up for classes on something you are passionate about, you are more than likely to make new friends . Be careful, you shouldn’t attend these classes with the sole intention of making new friends. Simply choose an activity that appeals to you on its own, and once you’re there it will be easier for you to connect with other people who like the same thing. Dance classes, language classes, cooking classes, painting classes, craft classes… there are many facets of this life that are waiting for you to give them a chance.
If you sign up for, say, German classes, keep in mind that the other attendees can be very dedicated to homework and books, and not so much to engaging in conversation with other attendees. To combat this, it’s a good idea to show up a few minutes early to each class, so that you have time to interact with other students and get to know them a little better.
2. Organize a party and invite friends and acquaintances
If you already have some friends close to where you live, it’s a great idea to organize a party in your own home . You can ask your friends to invite several of their colleagues or people they get along with, and you can easily connect with new people. Being the host is an added bonus!
3. Your neighbors also exist
Yes, at first glance it may seem unappetizing, but think about it. If you know the people who live near you, you can easily start to widen your circle of friends . You just need to be nice and introduce yourself politely. I’m sure they will like you and, if you are more or less of the same age or have similar hobbies, they will invite you any day to have a beer in their flat, or to go out and party… who knows!
4. Sign up for an entity with which to develop your hobbies
We all have hobbies and activities that we would like to spend more time on. If you have a hobby you are most likely not alone in the world . Your job is to look for an organization with the same interest, and to attend the meetings that are held. If you are a fan of video games, pottery, archery climbing or diving, you will surely find people with the same passion and it will be very easy to start conversations and make plans with them.
5. NGOs and volunteering
If you want to help people with few resources, you can go to a volunteer center and carry out solidarity actions to improve the community. Not only is it positive to contribute to these altruistic causes, but it will also allow you to meet people with good values, people who are willing to lend a hand and who enjoy making new friends. From there you can make friends for life.
6. Anywhere is good
Okay, we have talked about especially good places to meet people, but let’s be clear: any place is good for you to meet nice people and share good moments with them . The most important thing is that you are open to that possibility.
The skills that will allow you to meet new people
We’ve already been talking about where to meet people, but we haven’t had time yet to explain what our attitude should be if we want to open up our social circle. We can all be more sociable, fun and adventurous, you just need to keep reading and apply these principles to your daily life.
1. It’s okay to be nervous
Social skills experts often give the advice that when you talk to someone you don’t know, you should appear confident. Let’s start destroying this myth. If by any chance you are not a communication axe, you are not alone: 80 or 90% of the world’s population also feel nervous when we first talk to someone we don’t know .
It’s all right to be a little more nervous than usual. Keep in mind that your interlocutor is more likely to empathize with you if he or she notices that you are a little nervous, since we have all been through this, and you will give the image of being someone who is honest and does not wear masks or impostures. But that doesn’t mean you should talk out of turn: go ahead, show yourself as you are, and try to connect with the person you are talking to. One trick to dispel nervousness is to focus on what the other person is saying and doing, so you don’t have to be so self-conscious.
- Let’s go deeper into this: “The 10 tips to make a good first impression”
2. How to start? Introduce yourself
Well, of course, you’re not going to sing him a song at the first moment of interaction, are you? Presenting yourself in a jovial and casual way is a good way to break the ice . You can take the opportunity to politely ask the name of the person you are talking to. At that point you will have a little confidence, but you need to try to be open and ask about what has encouraged you to engage in conversation: “I love your dress, where did you buy it”, “You have very nice features, am I wrong to say you are from another city”, or even something more nondescript like “How was your day” or “Why are you at this party?
The important thing is not the what , but the how . If you are nice and polite, any question is good to break the ice and to keep promoting a good climate . Of course, it’s not a good idea to say you want to make friends, because you can put the other person in a compromising position, and you will be conveying quite a bit of need. Just be nice and creative and the other person will want to keep getting to know you.
- Required reading: “10 tricks to be more sociable and fun”
Sign up for an entity with which to develop your hobbies
We all have hobbies and activities that we would like to spend more time on.
If you have a hobby you are most likely not alone in the world .
Your job is to look for an organization with the same interest, and to attend the meetings that are held. If you are a fan of video games, pottery, archery climbing or diving, you will surely find people with the same passion and it will be very easy to start conversations and make plans with them.
5. NGOs and volunteering
4. Be a good "listener"
Do you know what active listening is? It is important that you show that you are interested in the person with whom you are having a conversation , and this is done by listening carefully.
Also, don’t forget that we all like to be reinforced in our beliefs and flattered. Without going overboard and being false, it is good that you remind your interlocutor of what you like about him or her. This is the easiest way to make him or her feel valued and comfortable.
5. What links you to your partner?
If your aim is to have a pleasant and fruitful conversation, you will usually ask questions and answer your interlocutor’s answers. At some point you will realise that you have something in common: a hobby, the football team you follow, a TV series you both love, a TV programme you can’t stop laughing at… This is positive, and you can use these common points to deepen your conversation .
You don’t have to be determined to find common ground at all costs, it will come quite naturally.
6. Say goodbye cordially and keep in touch
If you have connected with the person you have met, you will feel good and notice the flow of words and good feelings. Take this opportunity to ask for the contact (mobile number, e-mail…) so that you can contact them to see you again.
Keep in mind that you are not yet friends and it is better than the second meeting, either in a public place and to perform some activity that motivates you both, or simply to take something on a sunny terrace. That way the other person will not feel pressured and will almost certainly accept.