Happy National Best Friends Day! I remember eons ago when my best friend, Ashley, and I graduated high school we swore up and down that we would be the class that kept in touch with EVERYONE forever and ever and ever! Well… Ashley did for about a good ten years (not bad) and for me, well…Ashley is the only person I still keep in touch with! 😆
The truth is we just get soooo dang busy that we start to lose touch with the people that we used to know. It’s not personal or intentional, it’s just life! The older I get though the more I find myself wanting to work less and just enjoy myself! Part of that enjoyment for me comes from having a social life outside of my work. As someone who is naturally shy and an introvert I have picked up a few pointers over the years on how to make new friends and what better day to share them than on National BFF Day! Some of these tips come from being a TV producer and having to talk to different personality types on set and some of them come from having dated super social men who force me to come out of my shell! Here are a few tips on how to make new friends that have worked for yours truly! Hope they can work for y’all too!
Reach Out To Old Friends
The first step to making new friends is to build on the friendships you already have! We all get busy and let our friendships fall down the list of priorities. If you have been MIA in your friend group make the effort to make your girls a priority. Not only will it feel great to reconnect and spend time with people who truly nourish your soul but your already existing friends are a great way to meet new people. They have at least a few friends that you don’t know and chances are if you are friends with them you’ll be able to find something in common with their other friends as well!
Fake It Til You Make It
This is something that I worked very hard on for years! It’s going to sound cheesy but I PROMISE it works!! I used to be the girl that was so shy, I still am to a certain extent. I lacked confidence that I wasn’t smart enough, pretty enough, or funny enough to fit in with other women. This lack of confidence may have come from getting picked on in elementary school or being in a bad relationship at the time but whatever the reason I decided one day walking into a party that I was going to fake the confidence and walk in with a super positive attitude. My mindset was “I love being social and I love making new friends.” I told myself this phrase over and over and over. At first I was faking it but eventually it became a reality. What you focus on becomes your reality! I tricked my mind to believe that I loved and easily made new friends which attracted more people to me! I’ve made dozens of new friends this way! When you walk into a room with a positive mindset and attitude you’re going to attract that positivity right back to you! Oh…and I’ll let you in on a little secret, if you’re lacking confidence just remember that EVERYONE has some type of insecurity which brings me to my next tip…
Compliments Are Key
If you’re not sure what to say to someone a compliment always breaks the ice! Just make sure that it’s genuine and you really mean it. If someone has a beautiful smile, tell them! Glowing skin, tell them! The best laugh, tell them! Everyone loves a compliment and even if you don’t become BFF’s, worse case scenario you spread a little kindness!
Have A Set List Of Conversation Starters
The worst thing EVER is being out at a party, social event, or anywhere else and then being left in a conversation with someone you don’t know and having nothing to say! I’ve been there and that silence is AWFUL! I’m blushing just thinking about it! One day I came up with (and memorized) a list of conversation starters so that if you’re ever in this situation you have a few things to talk about before you politely excuse yourself and continue to mingle! Let’s face it, not everyone has the gift of gab, me included so sometimes it’s wise to show up prepared. Best thing is these questions often lead to follow up questions that allow the conversation to naturally flow.
- So how do you know so and so (usually the host)? Follow up with how you met the host or a funny story about them.
- What a gorgeous dress (or something similar), where did you get it? You have the most glowing skin, what are your secrets? Again, compliments are great ice breakers.
- Anything else that feels natural to YOU and your personality! You can always think of some conversation starters a few minutes before you head out the door to an event. Preparation is key!
Just make sure to steer clear of the taboo topics: religion, money, and politics. They can lead to uncomfortable conversations and awkward silence. I know it’s a bit harder these days when everyone is so passionate about politics but save those convos for when you’re with your BFF.
Focus On Getting To Know Someone Rather Than Them Getting To Know You
People love it when you allow them to talk about themselves because it makes them feel good! I mean think about it, when was the last time someone really asked about YOU and how you were doing?! Friendships start based on how someone makes you FEEL! So don’t worry if you’re not sharing a lot about yourself people will remember liking you because you showed a genuine interest in them!
Don’t Pretend To Be Perfect
This is simple! No one wants to feel less than around someone else. Don’t pretend to be perfect or have it all figured out! You don’t have to share every dirty detail of your life the first time you meet someone but the messy, honest, and vulnerable parts of life are where the bonding happens! This goes for your existing friendships as well. I have never felt closer and more connected to my girlfriends than when I’m going through a breakup, helping them with a work problem, or any other life issue. Letting your friends in on the good and the bad parts will definitely make you feel more connected.
Hang Out At Places Where You’ll Meet People With Common Interests
It’s much easier to become friends with someone if you already know you have common interests. Have a dog? Take them to the dog park and talk to other dog owners. Have kids? Take a mommy and me class and ask other moms about their babies. Love working out? Take a spin or yoga class and swap workout tips!
Don’t Be Afraid To Get Social on Apps!
One of the best ways to make friends these days is through social media! Now while it may not be for everyone sometimes apps like Instagram or Bumble BFF can help you meet up with women with similar interests especially if you are new to a city. I can’t tell you how many women I know who met one of their best friends through one of these apps. Added bonus is that if you’re shy there’s less pressure with getting to know someone since you have time to think through your responses in a conversation. And by the time you actually meet someone in person you’ll feel much more comfortable and know them much better than if you had just met them!
If you’re really into making new friends I would say “yes” to everything! Go to that party you didn’t plan on going to or on that group hike you didn’t plan on attending. You never know where you’ll meet your new BFF! I never regret attending a social event. Even when I had to be dragged out of my house I always end up having the best time! Having said that I would stay away from socializing when you are in a bad mood or exhausted. Remember you are going to attract the energy you put out there so go out when you are energized, happy, and ready to mingle!
With all sincerity, from possibly the shyest girl in the freakin’ world remember all these tips work and will attract people to you because of your positive and friendly attitude! So put on that fabulous outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks, get dolled up, be yourself, and go out there with the intention of having a great time! You may not end up friends with everyone but I guarantee you that the right people will gravitate towards you! Happy mingling friends!