Initiating a Friendship

Making friends can seem difficult at times, especially in a new environment. Oftentimes the best way to make it happen is to just forge ahead and do it. Here are some tips to help you make a new friend: 

  • Be a good listener.  This is one of the main things people respond to when meeting someone new.  When you give someone your attention, you make that person feel important and worthwhile. 
  • Smile and project a positive attitude.  A smile can be a sign that you're friendly and that you have a positive personality.  It also makes you seem approachable.  This small, yet powerful, gesture may spark up a conversation. 
  • Make a lasting first impression.  For better or worse, people tend to judge others based on first impressions.  When meeting someone for the first time, pay attention to your ody language and choice of words.  Be sure to speak clearly and with confidence. 
  • Set a goal.  It might sound superficial, but the next time you go to a party, tell yourself you want to leave with at least one new friend.  That way, you'll be more open to meeting people and starting in-depth conversations instead of just smiling at the person you make eye contact with. 
  • Find the common denominator.  There's a reason you may be thinking about approaching this person which means you have something in common.  Maybe you're both in the same program, attending the same event, or maybe you share a mutual friend.  Regardless, use your commonality as a starting off point for branching out to further topics. 
  • Detach yourself from the outcome.  When you don't expect any outcome, you won't be disappointed or offended if someone doesn't respond to you. How many times have you worried about a worst-case situation only to find out that it turned out much better than you anticipated?
  • Make it about them.  Talk about their interests, opinions, and ideas. Then respond to what they share. Even if you don't know a lot about a particular subject, keep asking questions to understand them.

Tune in next week for another helpful tip!