How to Make Friends

Nadine laid down on her bed and began to recollect today’s events in her head. “First day jitters?” her mom smilingly asked. “It’s a new school, with new people, AKA, strangers I need to talk to,” Nadine answered, finishing her breakfast. “You’ll be fine,” her mom responds. “How cliche,” Nadine sarcastically retorted. Teachers repeatedly said, “We have a new student here, Nadine please introduce yourself.” Awkward, muffled responses were met from Nadine. Halfway into the day, she hasn’t engaged in any sort of conversation with any of her peers. Until, “Hey, nice Meeseeks shirt,” a fellow student said to her. Nadine’s cynical attitude towards making friends isn’t something out of the ordinary. Breaking into a new experience can be daunting for just about anyone. Whether you’re at work, school, or home, the thought of making friends might make you feel nervous. But at the end of the day, we’re social beings that thrive on these sorts of relationships. We want to give you some clear-cut advice that’ll propel you to make meaningful interactions. Stick around for some useful pointers on how to make friends.

Who Should I Start With?

If you’re overwhelmed by a feeling of anxiousness when trying to make friends, we recommend taking baby steps.
Instead of talking to complete strangers, start with people that you already know but aren’t that close to yet. They might be your acquaintances from work, your classmates, or regular “hi bye” friends.
Another thing you can do is start with your friends’ friends. In fact, one of the best ways to start new friendships is through current friendships, seeing as both parties will have a friend or more in common. Chances are, you have some of their numbers or social media profiles, so why not shoot them a text?
You must learn to be comfortable with taking the initiative. Friendships aren’t forged from being quiet and hoping that others will spark up a conversation.
Once you start taking the initiative and socializing with the people around you, you’ll start to enjoy and feel more comfortable with the process, and your circle will most definitely expand.

Where Should I Begin?

You might find that your current pool of acquaintances and distant friends is lacking. No need to fret. This can be a great opportunity for you to join a group activity that interests you.
Enjoy hiking? Join your local rock climbing group. Fond of reading? There are probably tons of book clubs in your area.
There’s something for everyone, and thanks to the internet, these groups have become easier and easier to reach.
You don’t have to limit yourself to group activities; you also can volunteer. Apart from making friends, you’ll be providing your much-needed help to the community.
The people you’ll meet from volunteering will be compassionate, kind, and committed, which are all wonderful characteristics to have in a friend.
You can also try making friends online, but it’s not something we’d recommend if you’re looking to build true, long-lasting friendships.
In fact, studies have shown a distinct and exponential correlation between seeing friends face to face and subjective well-being. In other words, the more you see your friends, the more content you are with your life.
It’s better to have a few close friends than a horde of online followers. Moreover, psychologists have continuously noted the significance of visualizing social cues, such as body language and tone. Both of which cannot always be found in online friends.
While building online friendships can make you more open to newer experiences, it’s important to have real-life friends that you can meet and hang out with.

Don’t Doubt Yourself

If you find yourself always hesitant to spark a conversation with someone new, take a step back and ask yourself, “What’s stopping me?”
In most scenarios, it’s just fear. Maybe it’s fear of leaving a bad first impression. Maybe it’s fear of not being liked. Whatever it is that’s causing that fear, you shouldn’t let it take a hold of you.
Try visualizing the process of meeting new people whenever you can; it’ll help provide you with a sense of comfort toward the whole experience.
Also, keep in mind that your fear of making a bad first impression or not being liked is probably shared by your potential friend. It’s not just you that feels this way!
While you’re worried about what they think, you lose sight of trying to get to know them better. So, try not to run away from your fears. Life becomes way more interesting when our fears are bared and dealt with.

Be the Real You

Your authenticity is your strongest ally when it comes to making new friends. After all, no one likes a fake friendship that’s devoid of value and authenticity.
Don’t force yourself to like the same things as the person you’re trying to befriend. If you both disagree over a certain topic, don’t shy away from a good-hearted debate. It’ll only bring you closer.
Honesty is crucial when trying to build long-lasting friendships. Your opinion holds much more weight and value than you think, so don’t feel the need to switch opinions just to get along with others.
However, while honesty holds undeniable weight in a friendship, you shouldn’t take things too far. There’s a fine line between honesty and being rude and judgmental.

Getting to Know Them

Your conversations with your new potential friends can start out a bit dry. You may even find it difficult to keep the conversation going because you don’t want to ask too many questions or come across as imposing or nosy. However, you must keep in mind that asking questions and getting to know the person you’re talking to is key to strengthening your relationship.
You probably shouldn’t ask questions like, “What’s your favorite color?” or “What’s your favorite brand of shampoo?”
Instead, you can ask more conversation-starter questions. For instance, if you see an indicator that they’re a sports fan, you can ask about their favorite team. Try to observe their reactions to your questions as well so that you can come up with great follow-up questions.
If they start rambling passionately, then you know you asked the right question. Nonetheless, it’s okay if the conversation seems awkward at first. Research has proven that it can take up to 200 hours to become truly comfortable with a new friend.

Nurture Your New Friendships

Now that you’ve put in the effort to make new friends, keeping them is the final step. Simply put, you need to be there for your friends and to be mindful of their needs, and vice versa.
The conditions of friendship are reciprocity and commitment. You both should be willing to keep the friendship alive by always keeping in touch and hearing each other out.


There’s absolutely no shame in feeling lonely every once in a while. Taking the initiative to start new, meaningful friendships is a step in the right direction.
Always remember that it’s never too late to start making new friends. We wish you well on your journey to find a worthwhile company.