Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of making friends, then you really haven’t learned anything. – Muhammad Ali
We often get in a situation where we need to change our social circle. Either we move to a new city or we just decide that in order to get to the next level in life, we need friends that can support that change.
In this article, I want to share with you some of the best lessons I learned through the years. These lessons allowed me to get rid of loneliness, have the friends (and the fun) I wanted, and hang out with people who understand and appreciate me, for me.
If you want to build a new circle of friends, then you can benefit from my 2-Step Formula for Building a Social Circle…
Step #1 – Explore the New
This part is about making new friends, and it’s something you need to be doing the whole time. As people move away, change jobs, develop new interests, or get in new relationships, they start to fade out from your life. This is why I say that, if you’re not making new friends, you’re making less.
You need to always be connecting with new people, and spotting the ones that could become close friends. The best way to do that is to join a community of people that meet on a regular basis with many members who are interested in the same thing.
On the web, you can find communities about anything… hiking, health, sports, yoga, relationships, science, and so on. What you do is join a community, and attend their events.
These places are the easiest and the most genuine for meeting new people. Everyone you’ll meet there already has something in common with you, which is the theme of the community.
If you start talking to someone and find that he or she can be a good friend to have, then use my double-commonality technique. This technique allows you to create a potential and a basis for a friendship.
As you talk to that person, try to find a second commonality or theme you can connect on. If the event is about bicycling, for example, and you find out that you both also like to drink green smoothies, then you have just found a great basis for a friendship. At that point, it makes a lot of sense to stay in touch and meet again.
Step #2 – Nurture the Old
This part consists of you keeping in touch with the friends you’ve made in the past, and following up with the people you just met. This is critical, because people have trouble remembering the all people they know. It’s also important because if you don’t quickly follow up with the new people you meet, the potential for the friendship seems to die out.
A very effective way to do this is to create a weekly “ritual,” where you take something like an hour to follow up with people, make the calls, send the texts, and emails. It works best if you do it at the start of the week, so you can make plans for the week and invite those you want to see.
A critical piece to add to this is that you start introducing the people you know to each other. As you meet new people, connect them up to each other or to the friends you already made in the past. This is critical because it makes people stick in your social circle, and you will be doing less and less “work” to keep your social life going.
People will stay around you much more in a group of friends, rather than in the context of individual friendships. They also start to arrange plans, make the calls, and invite you, which means that you won’t be the only one making an effort to maintain the friendship.
How to Meet New People Effortlessly
You may know already that going out to meet new people takes some courage and motivation. Most of the time, your mind will try and come up with all different kinds of reasons why not to go out to meet new people.
If you want to make it radically easier for you to motivate yourself to go out and meet people, then you need to know about my “Join-The-Team” technique…
As we said, you need to find a community or interest group where you’ll find people who share your interests. With this technique, you not only join the group, but you also join the organizing team of that group!
This works like crazy, because it literally forces you to attend the events and meet new people. Once you commit to being part of the team, you no longer need to motivate yourself to show up; you just do it.
All you have to do is go to the organizing team and tell them that you’d love to contribute to the community by helping them in the organization of the events. Most of these people are just volunteers, and they would love to get extra-help from you.
More Tips and Techniques…
I would love to share with you more techniques for overcoming hesitation and meeting new people through my Free Social Skills Newsletter.
In it, I will show you the best techniques and strategies for meeting and making friends. I’ll also share with you new tips for having amazing conversations, that instantly make people want to get to know you.
– Paul Sanders