Building your social circle can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve recently moved. If you truly want to do it, following these seven rules will greatly benefit your pursuit.
1. Be open to new experiences and new people.
This is critical. Say “yes” to any new experiences that you can, especially in the beginning. Even if you don’t think you will like the event or situation, if it is something new and gives you a chance to interact with others, go for it — particularly if you are going with somebody else or meeting them there.
On the same note, interact and hang out with anyone you can. You may be thinking, “I know what kind of people I want to hang out with, and these are not them,” but don’t worry about that now. You will eventually meet the “right” people. However, early on you really just want to meet as many people as you can and make as many “allies” as possible.
Not only that, but through these people you can meet more people. Later, once your options grow, you can be more selective with who you hang with and what you do.
To get started, become more spontaneous and learn how to start conversation with a stranger.
2. Be yourself, unapologetically.
One of the biggest turn-offs is when someone is “faking” who they are. So speak passionately about the things you care about. Tell others what you love about it and why. Don’t be afraid to say what pisses you off. You aren’t trying to be negative, you are just being you.
If you swear, feel free to swear in front of other people (unless you’re in an interview or somewhere this would be deemed inappropriate). Usually when a group of people are talking and no one knows the whole group, nobody is cursing at all. In most cases, once one person does, it opens the floodgates and you will hear way more cursing.
One big secret to growing your social circle is to make people feel comfortable with you. By being yourself, people will be much more comfortable.
3. Be excited to meet people.
When you first start talking to someone, show some enthusiasm. Let them know that you have energy and that you’re actually interested in talking to them. Don’t act like you’re on your tenth cup of coffee or anything, but even more importantly, don’t just say the words — actually show your interest. If you aren’t interested in talking to someone, they will know immediately and that will greatly impact the way they respond to you.
4. Bring people up.
Give people compliments and make them feel good. When someone tells you what they do for work and fun, respond emphatically with something like “that’s awesome!” It’s even better if you can give them a convincing reason why you think it’s awesome. Also, let them know that they’re a smart person and that you find them really intriguing.
5. Brag about people to others, even if you just met.
Not only should you bring someone up while talking to them, but you should brag about them to other people. This is huge. Let’s say you just met someone and they showed you a photo of a piece of furniture they built. You already complimented them about it. Then your friend, their friend, or even a stranger walks up. Say to that person, “Have you seen the table he built?! It’s insane! You gotta see it.” People absolutely love being bragged about by other people to other people.
6. Be interested in them.
You want to be genuinely interested in what the other person has to say. When they talk about something, ask them questions and try to learn more about it. Take pleasure in learning what it’s like to be this person and show it. Don’t just mutter the words, truly engage and be interested.
7. Relate to what they are saying.
They need to get to know you too. You can relate to the things they say by telling stories, providing knowledge and feedback, showing your curiosity, giving your thoughts and beliefs, or explaining your feelings.
This will help develop your connection with them. If you can relate to the things they are interested in, they will see the shared commonalities and start to see how hanging out with you makes sense.
By meeting more people and building quality relationships, you are slowly building your army behind you. As it grows, you will get to fine tune which people you choose to spend the majority of you time with. But before you get there, you really want to focus on creating a good bond with anyone you can. It will pay dividends later when you have the social circle of your dreams.
If you want make more friends, regardless of where you live, get your free cheatsheet, packed with 30 tips to help you meet and make the friends of your dreams.
Need more? Here’s another article with 10 useful tips for making friends.
Featured photo credit: nazka2002 via morguefile.com