We humans depend heavily on constant communication and strong social bonds in order to survive. Thus, it never hurts to try and find new connections whenever possible. However, there are some who find it hard to make friends with other people. If you don't know where to start, either, read on as we give you a primer on ways you can network and make new friends.
1. Sign Up for Online GroupsYou don’t necessarily have to socialize exclusively in person. Online apps make it easy to initiate conversations with people from all walks of life, no matter where they are across the globe. Try to search for online communities that are relevant to some of your personal interests. You may be able to find some on a social media site or even a group mobile communication app.
These communities can come in different forms. Some may be small-knit and easier to keep up with, all while using slower paced platforms such as forums. These are great for people who want to check in on their own time, thus encouraging more intimate relationships among the whole group.
Other communities are huge, comprising hundreds if not thousands of members, and may function entirely using fast-paced real-time chatrooms. Because these types of groups are incredibly active, it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with them. However, they may be great for those who just want a casual chat and aren’t really aiming for time-consuming conversations. Try and join a few different types of online groups, and see which types work for you best.
2. Attend Workshops and ConferencesContrary to popular belief, workshops and conferences don't just benefit business people. They can be a great benefit to individuals who want to build up their skill set. But another advantage that these events could provide you is an opportunity to mingle with like-minded people. There's a high chance that those crowds are also into whatever topic the event you're attending is about. Not only can you make new connections, but you might even learn a new skill or two as well.
3. Volunteer for a CauseAre you passionate about a particular cause, such as caring for abandoned pets, feeding the homeless, or creating art to promote certain movements? See if there are any local organizations that you can lend your time and energy to. Chances are high that you'll run into other people who are just as passionate as you are about that particular cause. This, in turn, could lead to fulfilling friendships that are rooted in working toward something that you all believe in.
Additionally, the challenges involved in volunteering for these types of organizations could greatly test your new relationships. You may be surprised at how closely you can end up bonding with people you meet in this manner.
4. Go Out and PartyIf your workplace or school is holding a party for people from different departments, it won't hurt to attend, even for only a little while. The same idea applies if one of your existing connections invites you to a party with other people you aren't already acquainted with.
By allowing yourself to mingle with people from a different social circle, you allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone. You might be surprised at what you could find in common with people whom you perceived to belong to a completely different social group. Thus, not only can you potentially meet new pals at these get-togethers, but you can also slowly build your confidence when talking to strangers.
It can be a bit intimidating to get yourself out there. The more you do it, though, the better you'll become at presenting your best (and most authentic) self. Try some of the tips in this list, and we're sure you'll make at least a few new friends for life.