When you were young, making friends is as easy as sharing your toy at the playground. However, as an adult, finding meaningful connections becomes a lot more challenging.
If you are struggling to create a satisfactory relationship with other people, you are not alone. A previous study found that 3 out of 4 adults feel lonely.
If you are yearning for company, here are helpful strategies.
Find Like-Minded People
The only way you can meet new friends is if you go out and socialize. Look for local events in your town where strangers who share a common interest interact. If you like comic books and superhero movies geeky conventions are popping up all over the world. If you like a certain band, go to their concert. Even for people with a niche interest, like guns, for example, can find like-minded people in a Phoenix gun show.
Actively attending these events not only will allow you to interact with other people, but also make it easier for you to strike a conversation. Since you know everyone around you likes the same stuff you do, you can skip the small talk and go straight into bonding over a video game or a television series.
Do not be afraid to go alone and strike up a conversation with a stranger. Go around the room and visit every booth. Most of all, smile and say hello to the person next to you in line, to an independent artist selling their own merchandise, the people sitting next to you at the panel discussion or movie screening. If you appear friendly and welcoming, people will be more inclined to get to know you better.
Be More Active on Social Media
Facebook and Twitter were created to connect people but, nowadays, you just add people into your social media network and never talk to them again. You can still take advantage of the internet to become closer with people that you already know.
You can do this by being more active. Regularly like and respond to their post. You can even bring it up during face-to-face conversations. For example, if they posted a photo from their holiday, you can ask them how the trip was. Interact with online acquaintances and make plans to hang out in real life. This is a good way to bond and grow closer with people around you.
Use Your Pet
People are drawn to cute animals. Go outside with a puppy or kitten and you will find a crowd gawking at it.
If you are a pet owner, you likely go to places where other pet owners hangout like the park. When you have the opportunity, sit beside someone and start chatting. It is a great way to meet friends because you likely will see them regularly in the same area.
Organize Playdates with Your Child
Having a child is another easy way to connect with other people. You will be meeting other parents a lot during parent-teacher days, dance practice, and sports meets. You will be spending hours with other parents who are also waiting for your children so say hello and be friendly.
Making friends is not easy, but you lose opportunities to create meaningful connections by shutting yourself in. Be proactive. Go out to meet new people. Do not be afraid of rejection (and learn to accept it gracefully). Eventually, you will find someone who will be willing to be your friend.