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10 Useful Tips To Make New Friends

10 Useful Tips To Make New Friends

There are some people who seem to always be surrounded by friends, and there are others who always seem to be standing on the outside, looking in at the crowds of friends. If you are one of the outsiders, it is time to break out of your shell and start making new friends. Here are 10 tips that will help.

1. Be Yourself

Nobody likes a phony. In fact, if you aren’t yourself, it isn’t you others are becoming friends with. When the time comes that you feel comfortable enough to act like yourself again, you may not be well received, because you are a totally different person. Let people get to know the real you.

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2. Start with People You Know

Even if you don’t think that you have a lot of friends, you likely do know a lot of people. Reach out and contact acquaintances, and reconnect with old friends you haven’t seen in a long time. Don’t forget about friends of friends. You may connect with some really cool people just by hanging out with your friends and their friends. If you are invited to go out, go. If you stay home, you aren’t going to meet people.

3. Use Technology

There are all kinds of online groups you can get involved with. Many are local groups that plan activities. For instance, Leaflets is a great place to meet new people. It creates experiences people can join, and you get to meet like-minded people who share your interests.

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4. Be Open Minded

If you go into a situation with a judgmental attitude, chances are that you aren’t going to make new friends. Be open to new people, attitudes, religions, situations, etc., and you will make some awesome new friends.

5. Ask Questions

When you meet new people, ask them questions about themselves. Not only do you get to learn more about them, it shows them that you are interested, and they are going to open up to you more.

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6. Get Out There

The only way you are going to meet new people is to get out there and do it. If you don’t know where to start, join a community group or a club. Start doing volunteer work, and take some courses. Be sure to go out to the clubs, and go to parties when you are invited.

7. Be There

In order to have friends, you need to be a friend. This means that you need to be there when others need you. If someone calls you in the middle of the night crying because their boyfriend just dumped them, don’t hang up. You may be tired, but they are in worse shape than you are. They called you, so obviously they consider you to be a friend. Be that friend.

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8. Keep in Touch

All too often, people lose touch with one another. With the Internet and social media, there is absolutely no need for that these days. Look up old friends and reconnect with them.

9. Join Work Groups

Maybe there are groups of people at your workplace who are into various activities. For instance, there may be a group who take walks on their lunch hours, or a lunch time exercise class. Get involved with activities that are going on in the workplace, and you are likely to meet many new friends.

10. Know When to Offer Information

Even though you should be an open book with your closest friends, you don’t want to reveal too much information about yourself too quickly. This is often a huge turnoff for others. If they don’t know you well, they may not want to know certain personal details. Keep it to yourself for now.

Featured photo credit: rehood via pixabay.com

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Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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