The people who frequently meet new friends (versus those that struggle) often do one thing consistently: they get out! In order to connect with others, you need to be near other people. Sounds simple, right? But why do so many of us fail to get out of the house when we need to meet friends? If you need a push on what you can do to meet others, here are some ideas that will get you off the couch and out making friends.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people because you’re doing good work for someone who needs it, and that usually puts you in a positive mood. Good moods mean a better outlook, which in turn automatically attracts people to you. There is no downside to doing volunteer work.
If you love to read, why not join a group of people that share your love of literature? Check out the local bookshops in your area, libraries, or community center to find out which groups are available. One word of advice, you might need to try out different groups to get just the right collection of people and literature you are looking for. It sometimes takes several months to make friends this way, but in the meantime you are interacting with a group of vibrant and intellectual people who enjoy discussion. Not a bad way to spend time as you get to know someone.
Learn Something New
Joining a class or learning a new hobby also helps attract people to you. When you're out of your comfort zone a little bit, you usually try a little harder to connect with people.
This works out well if you're looking for new friendships. Aim for a short, 6-12 week class that will be easy enough that you will be able to have fun, but long enough for you to get to know your fellow students. If you are relaxed yet challenged, you’ll give off just the right vibe to make friends.
Join a Support Group
Do you have diabetes? Depression? If you’re struggling with a disease or disorder, there are groups filled with people who know exactly how you feel. Talk about what you’re going through and meet them on the most personal level you possibly can. You’ll be surprised at the friendships you can find this way.
Who doesn't need to learn more about stocks and money? Investment clubs can help you manage a few stocks, but they can also teach you about the economy and money. Not only that, but you'll meet a diverse group of individuals that you probably wouldn't have met elsewhere. Investment clubs are all over, but they aren't always advertised. Do a little sleuthing to find one in your area. Some places to check include:
- Yahoo Groups
- Your local Chamber of Commerce
If you're looking to connect on a deeper level with people of your faith, consider joining a Bible study group. These types of groups meet at churches or in homes, and discuss various parts of the Bible or spiritual books. Oftentimes, these discussions lead to something more, and allow you to get to know people on a very personal level.
If you crochet, knit, or cross-stitch, find a few people who gather together to work on their projects while they talk and meet new people. These types of groups are becoming more and more common, so to find a group, ask around your office, check Meetup or Yahoo groups, or even your local coffee shop to see which groups meet in your area.
Museum or Gallery Night
Do you enjoy the arts? Arts and creativity can inspire us to explore our relationships a little deeper, and this of course includes the friends in your life. Go to a lecture or special exhibit at a gallery or museum sometime, and see if you can start up some small talk with the people around you.
Our local museum, for example, offers special lecture nights, where an expert will talk on a certain painting style or work of art. Events like this are golden opportunities to meet others.
Help Out Your Library
Volunteer for your library's used book sale, charity auction, or planning committee. You will have the opportunity to meet people right in your neighborhood, and if you are both passionate about reading, literature, and community, you’ll have that much more in common to help start your friendship off on the right foot.
Many bars and pubs have trivia nights, where people compete against each other while they have a few drinks and something to eat. It is fun and you can meet some really smart individuals this way. To find a trivia night in your area, check some of the local taverns and their websites. You can also do an Internet search for “trivia” and your hometown to see what shows up.
Are you a thespian at heart? Even if you aren't, there are still plenty of ways to get involved with a community theater group. Community theater companies are always looking for people who act, paint, are great with money, can direct, and more. Your local theater organization will appreciate your help. The upside for you is that you'll meet new people, and possibly make a friend or two.
Where did you meet your friend? Tell us.