Friends are one of the true pleasures in life. They help make school enjoyable and weekends adventurous. They listen to your problems and make you laugh. They celebrate when you do something awesome, and give you a shoulder when you need someone to lean on.
If you’ve moved to a new school or you’re struggling to make friends, here are some tips that can help.
Practice your conversation skills
Making friends starts with talking to people and finding someone you can connect with. Conversation skills improve the more you use them, so try to challenge yourself to speak with two people every single day. Think up topics beforehand if you like. It may seem awkward at first, but you’ll get better with time. Starting the conversation is the most difficult part, so once you master that, you’ll be sweet!
Listen more than you talk
Research shows that people love talking about themselves, so being the listener can be an important step. If you want to make friends, you’ve got to learn to ask lots of questions. Ask them about things they seem passionate about, or for advice on the best places or eat or new music to listen to. Practice good listening, by focusing on them, not fidgeting, making eye contact, and making it clear they can trust you by explicitly saying you’ll keep the conversation private.
Remember names and greet people
When you pass a new acquaintance in the halls or at your next event, say hi to them and use their name. A person’s brain lights up upon hearing their own name, and this makes them more likely to pay attention to you and remember your interaction in a positive way.
A good way to meet people with the potential to become friends is to join clubs, sports teams, youth groups, and other extracurricular activities that interest you. You already have a built-in topic of conversation and a shared interest.
Develop your confidence and inner strength
The more you work on improving your own confidence and being your own best friend, the more appealing you are as a friend prospect to others. People are attracted to those who are sure of themselves and have a positive outlook on life. Be yourself and feel good about it, and your new friends will follow.
Good friends are worth waiting for
With some people, you click immediately, but with others it can take time to develop trust and rapport in a friendship. Cut yourself some slack – you don’t have to become popular in a week just because it happens in movies. Good friendships are priceless, and they’re worth taking time to nurture and grow.