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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 May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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