How To Meet New People And Make More Friends

Improving your social life is a lot easier than you think.

Photo: Jonathan Borba/Unsplash

Having grown up with social anxiety, I used to find it extremely difficult to make new friends. Deep down, I was afraid that other people would judge me for the insecurities I saw in myself. So naturally, I thought I was better off alone.

But over the past couple of years, I’ve managed to change my life for the better. I’m now extremely confident and find it easy to create meaningful relationships with anyone I meet.

And if you want to do the same, you can start by adopting the following strategies that will exponentially improve your social life. Each of these insights changed my life and relationships for the better. I’m sure they will do the same for you, too.

Give Someone A Compliment.

About a year ago, I was having a conversation with a girl that I met on a flight from Vancouver to Calgary. We were about the same age and seemed to get along really well.

As we collected our stuff from the overhead lockers upon landing, she turned to me and said that I “have an amazing smile.” Those few words made me feel incredible.

As we walked together towards baggage reclaim, we exchanged cellphone numbers and said that we’d keep in touch. And sure enough, we held our promise. To this day, we’ve made an effort to speak on FaceTime for a few hours every week since we first met.

If you want to make someone feel special, give them a compliment. Tell them that you love their smile, enjoyed the conversation, or anything else that you want to say. Because when you genuinely care about what other people do and say, they’ll probably want to reciprocate. Dale Carnegie said it best:

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Don’t Worry About Being Awkward.

I often spent so much time worrying about what I’d say in a conversation that I rarely ended up having conversations. Some people call it analysis paralysis. But I’m just going to call it overthinking.

Sure, there’s a possibility that you’ll say something stupid and look like an absolute idiot in front of someone you just met. But you could also end up creating an amazing friendship which lasts for the rest of your life.

Don’t live in regret. Stop worrying about being awkward. Just say what you want to say and then let fate do its thing. Perhaps that’s what the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, meant when he said:

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.”

So whenever you meet someone interesting, make an effort to smile and find something in common. Because when you stop worrying about being awkward during a conversation, your social life will quickly improve.

Ask Open-Ended Questions.

If you’re anything like my past self, you want to connect with everyone you meet on a meaningful level. The only problem? You don’t know how to start.

Don’t worry. I know exactly how you feel as I’ve found myself in the same position as you many times. But I’ve learned that asking open-ended questions is an excellent way to get other people to talk about whatever subjects they enjoy.

For example, you could ask someone about their favorite memory or the rationale behind their biggest fear.

This strategy massively improved my social life, as it made it much easier to have conversations with anyone. Because when you give someone the opportunity to talk about things they love, they’ll naturally want to speak with you more frequently.

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” — Tony Robbins

The truth is that meeting new people is a lot easier than you think. And if you implement the above strategies into your own life, you’ll find it much easier to make more friends and improve the quality of your relationships.

So if you want to change your life right now, start by giving people compliments, asking open-ended questions, and letting go of any feelings of awkwardness.

I’m going to leave you with a quote from Rasheed Ogunlaru, who perfectly sums up what I’m trying to say: “Be genuinely interested in everyone you meet, and everyone you meet will be genuinely interested in you.”

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