Friends are essential for your health and wellbeing. They are the people who empathize with you and understand you but they are also the people who can help you through rough times. Of course, friendship goes both ways and just as they care for you, knowing and caring for them brings you great satisfaction too.
Much like group therapy activities, getting together with friends is the best way to express yourself and build your confidence. But the real trick is learning to make friends wherever you are. The more friends you make – even passing acquaintances count – the more you can share with others and learn from them too.
So how do you find friendship anywhere?
Make the First Move
One of the main traits of people who make friends easily is that they don’t wait around for others to make the first move. Having the confidence to go up to someone and say hi might sound bizarre if you haven’t done it before but ask yourself this – what’s the worst that could happen?
If you want to make some more friends, you have to put yourself out there. Going to group activities and clubs is a nice way to meet new people. Ultimately, though, following your interests is probably the best way to meet like-minded people. So, if you are academically inclined, going to a class might be a good idea but if you are more sporty, joining a sports team would be ideal.
Start With Your Community
The best place to make valuable friendships is right on your doorstep – literally! Becoming a part of your community will almost certainly require you to make the first move, especially if there isn’t much going on. However, once a community comes together, it is quite easy to keep it running and you’ll find lots of your neighbors want to join in.
You could start by introducing yourself to your neighbours and you could easily set up a meet and greet at a local bar or coffee shop. Another good way to get to know your neighbours is to come together for a cause. You could bring people together to raise funds for a charity or you could talk about ways to improve your community.
Be Open to New People
We cannot hope to like everyone but, with an open-minded attitude, you are far more likely to find people you do get on with. The key is to be yourself while allowing others to be themselves too. You don’t have to agree with everything they say or force friendships where they aren’t going anywhere but try to avoid shutting down the potential for a friendship too early.
As you gain confidence and talk to more and more people, you will find that being open is quite easy. The more you show people that you are willing to talk, the more people will want to talk to you. And, the more friends you make, the easier it will be to repeat the process, no matter where you are.