There are lots of moments in life when you have the chance to meet new people and make new friends. It can be fun and nerve -wracking at the same time!
Ways to meet people
- Accept invitations when people ask you to do things – you never know who else might be there.
- Go to parties where you meet new people.
- Volunteer (check out your local charities or community events).
- Join a sports or book club.
- Take a course at a community college or learn to dance.
- Walk your dog in the local park (or borrow one!).
- Join an online community
Meeting someone for the first time
Try not to judge based on first impressions. They might feel nervous or might not be feeling well, give them a chance.
Dealing with nerves
When you’re nervous, it’s easy to get tongue-tied. Building your self-esteem and going easy on yourself can often calm your nerves. If you’re at an event try hanging out with friends first to relax or if you know no one, chat with a friend on the phone.
If meeting new people makes you nervous to the point that it interferes with things you would like to do then it could be a sign of something more. Read about anxiety and talking to family and friends or a professional for more.
Smile and make eye contact
You’re more likely to be friendly to someone who smiles at you, so try it yourself.
Start things off by asking open ended questions about college or hobbies, nothing too personal. Ask follow up questions, this shows interest. When first meeting someone avoid topics like religion, sex, politics or death.
Remembering someone’s name is impressive and good for making introductions. Tips on remembering names include:
- repeat the name in your head and mention it in conversation.
- save it on your phone (when you get a discreet chance)
- thinking of a famous person who has the same name
If you forget someone’s name, just be honest and ask them to repeat it.
When you come across as relaxed and confident, it’s likely the person you’re meeting will also feel more relaxed.