Are you shy? Don’t know what to say to people you don’t know? Lonely? If so, I have learned 3 simple ways to make a friend.
In case you don’t know, I’m a naturally shy person. I’ve always been one of those people who are uncomfortable around people I don’t know.
Over the years, I have learned how to raise my self-confidence and have been able to come out of my shell. Even with all that, I still feel nervous around folks I don’t know. I’m saying this to show that shyness and anxiety can be handled.
How do you start making a friend?
Well, I have found out that making friends is a process. First, you need the right attitude. Know your self-worth!
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, self-worth is ‘a sense of one’s value as a human being’. Broken down, it’s the feeling that ‘one is good enough…of love and belonging’. That a person is just as good as everyone else and has skills to bring to the table.
This belief has to come from inside you. You have to believe that you are just as good as anyone else and have a right to be loved. Once you start feeling that, your self-confidence will come out, and everyone will see it.
The way I’ve always done it is to start walking with my head up.
If your head is down, you can’t see where you are going. So always walk with your head up and shoulders back. This act alone will give a look that you belong.
Now that you have the right attitude, let’s start meeting people.
Three ideas on how to meet people
When I was twenty, I started working in retail. It was good because it forced me to get out and interact with people.
I’m not saying I’m an extrovert now because I’m not. I still freeze up when I meet new people, but I learned to be more comfortable about approaching people I don’t know.
Here are a few steps: 1) How to start a conversation, 2) how to approach approachable people, and 3) find something in common with someone I just met.
1. Start a Conversation
I’m not good at small talk, but I wanted to know how to do it. So I went looking for help and found a book in the library. I don’t remember the title, but it had some tips.
I tried one of them, and it worked. People will talk about what is in the news, especially local news stories. Chitchatting about the weather has always been an old standby.
If you’re into sports, this topic would be a good ice-breaker. If you meet someone who likes the same sports team you do, you two can start a conversation; and possibly a friendship.
In my opinion, stay away from politics and religion. Most people have very strong opinions, and those conversations can turn awkward quick, even violent! Unless you are with people who hold the same beliefs you do.
2. Approach approachable people
Make eye contact and smile when you see someone you think you could get along with. Make contact brief because you don’t want to come off as creepy or stalker-ish.
It could be as easy as sitting at the same table at lunch or during break time. Make eye contact and smile. If you feel kind of bold, you could say ‘Hi’.
Just a heads up. By approaching folks, some may look at you kind of weird, but that’s okay. You don’t have to stop and hold a conversation; just smile and keep it moving.
Now if you know or work with the person, and you two want to converse, that’s fine too.
Otherwise, it’s good to just smile and keep it moving.
3. Find something in common