Hello reader(s)! I’ve been very busy recently getting to my new life! I’ve moved out of home, to a whole new state and I know no one here. I clung to my mum until she drove away.
I’d been sitting in my room going stir crazy. If I had to watch one more talk show I would’ve lost it. This prompted me to do the unthinkable….I went outside.
I wandered the hallways aimlessly trying to find a person who didn’t look completely intimidating. I walked up and down stairs into an empty common room and then back down to the lobby. I checked the Facebook group that had all of the new students and I tried to see if there was anyone that I had stuff in common with. Long story short I came back to my room, too frightened to strike up a conversation and meet up with a stranger.
Not all of this experience was awkward, scary and sweaty! Whilst sitting in the lobby I came up with this list on how to make friends which is completely ironic considering I have 0 myself lol.
Follow a person you find interesting around until they acknowledge you
You see that person in the cool top? Follow them around. You see that person wandering around looking a bit lost? Follow them as well. Find a person that you think looks interesting enough and follow them. They’re bound to notice you eventually and when they do they’ll say something! This is the perfect option for people who don’t like to strike up the conversation themselves and would rather it be started by the other person. If you have been following the person around for a while and they haven’t noticed you yet try getting their attention by coughing a few times, squeaking and stamping your shoes and even squirting water or something on them. If you end up in the wrong class due to following them just play it cool, go along with it. At least you’ll have something to converse about right? Just make sure they acknowledge you after a while or else you will end up following them home and that could be creepy.
Pretend to Faint
Find a group of people. Walk up to them. Faint. Not really but pretend to. Talk about conversation starters, am I right? This is relies on the shock factor. You faint in front of this group of people and they all rush to help you. You get up after a minute or two and have a great conversation starter! “What happened?” “Oh you know I didn’t have breakfast so my sugar was low” “Oh my gosh here let me give you my go to breakfast recipe” and boom. Friends. For this one try to do it in a setting where there is a soft surface to fall onto because you don’t want real injuries.
Take Up Voodoo
For this you’re going to have to become a collector and very observant. Find pieces of gum under desks, strands of hair on jumpers, empty cans etc. anything that you can get a piece of a person’s DNA from. If you have some hair make a voodoo doll. If you have gum, set a charm on it. Use all of this too make people become your friends. This is the perfect way to beat the awkward small talk and removes the fear of rejection as it is almost guaranteed that they like you (guaranteed if you do it right)!
Okay so I was just kidding with those ones. They are definitely not recommended at all! I thought of them after I made the real list (below) because I thought of extreme (very, very, very extreme) ways to make friends. I mean if the list below seems to fail then definitely feel free to pretend to faint. It has not been tried before but I’m pretty sure it will (not) work.
Join Relevant Groups and Pages
If you’re going to college/university, joining a club or even moving schools try and find Facebook pages that are run by groups within that school, club or uni. This is a great way to network and meet people early before the move. This is where a lot of places share events that are going on and if it’s at the start of the year or semester there will be orientation activities for you to undertake which will be great mingling opportunities! If you’re feeling nervous and lonely I can guarantee there is someone feeling just like you, if not worse. This can act as a reassurance to settle some of the nerves about moving to a place where you know someone or joining an activity where you know zero people.
This one can be a bit risky. Double check that the page is officially linked to the organisation and run by relevant people. If you add people from the page don’t meet up with them alone and don’t meet up in a secluded place. Don’t give out your address even if they’re in your building until you know them. These are all basic Tinder rules and involve common sense to be honest. Play it safe and you’ll be fine!
This is literally just the real life version of the one above. Join clubs, societies, sports etc. that interest you! If you love dancing, join the dancing club! If you love playing board games join the board game club! No club for any activities that you like? Make one! This is my number one way to make friends as it is a tried and tested method (by yours truly). Except I made the mistake of joining a sport during its fitness training period so I am basically a sweaty mess every time I try to socialise but that’s okay because we all are! It is one of the easiest ways to meet people who have common interests with you (automatically giving you something to talk about so it’s not awkward like striking up a conversation) and by joining a team or a club you get to go to constant meet ups and social events which minimises the need to plan social outings (which can be hard to pencil in).
Sit Next to Another Loner
Much like yourself there are lonely people out there. There will most definitely be one in your class. Go in a little bit behind everyone else so you have no real choice but to sit next to someone. If you see someone in a sea of empty seats (like you would have been if you had gone in early) go sit with them! Strike up a conversation like “wow this room is big” or “I like your pencil case”. Then in the breaks you can discuss the class – a conversation starter. Learn the person’s name, a little bit about them and then agree to sit next to each other next time! If you’re too nervous to strike up a conversation give them a smile and try to stay off your phone. This way you’ll look friendly and approachable, by having your head in your phone people can often be deterred from talking to you because they feel like you’re busy or not interested in talking to them; so just unplug for a couple of minutes!
Old Fashioned Way
Here’s the one all of us socially awkward people are terrified about. Having to strike up a conversation with a……stranger. Here’s a little guide on how. Don’t be on your phone when walking to or waiting for your class. As mentioned above it can deter people from talking to you. Smile at people who look at you and try to hold the eye contact rather then instantly look away. If you feel confident enough give a wave. Talk to the people around you even if it’s just a little comment here or there and get chatting away. It will slowly become easier the more you talk and then when it’s time to actually go to class you just continue the conversation and end up sitting next to them, sneaky huh?
Well I wish you all the very best in your friendship endeavours! I hope these tips (the last 3!) help you out in some way and give you that little bit of help to make some friends! Good luck xx
What are your tips and tricks for making friends? Let me know in the comments below!
P.S. Did you know there was such a thing as “social interaction trainer”? Neither did I!