How to Make New Friends

By Sam Berns
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You don’t get to choose your family but you do get to choose your friends! Making new friends can be difficult. Have you just moved, are you starting at a new school or just looking to make new friends? The following tips should help make things a little bit easier.

First, you gotta like yourself

People that like themselves have an easier time making friends. If you don’t really believe in yourself, others are going to agree with you and move on (you are the expert on the subject after all, the subject being you). What do you like about yourself? For more ideas, ask people you know what they like about you, I bet you will discover even more reasons to like yourself!

Be yourself

Not everyone is going to like you. And that’s ok. (You’re not going to like everyone you meet either.) But you have to be yourself. What’s the point of pretending to being someone else just to be liked? It’s better to find the select people who like the real you than to have everyone like the “fake” you.

Smile

Be approachable, when you make eye contact, make sure to smile. People are more attracted to friendly faces. Notice the people with frowns on their faces looking tough, yeah, they usually end up sitting alone in a corner somewhere.

Be clean

Make sure to wear clean clothes, have fresh breath, pleasant cologne or perfume (but not too much – one or two sprays should do the trick). If you smell bad, people won’t want to be around you.

Be positive

Nobody likes to hear other people’s problems the first time they meet. It’s best to keep those issues for people who you’ve known a bit longer and keep things positive when meeting new people. Instead, try giving them an honest compliment of something positive you like about them.

Don’t talk behind other peoples’ backs

People won’t trust you if you say bad things about others behind their backs because they’ll wonder what bad things you have to say about them when they’re not around. Plus, the bad things you say about other people always have a way of making it to the person you were badmouthing.

Isn’t the whole point of this to make friends, not enemies? If talking badly about someone is the only thing you have in common, then that is not a real friendship. Remember, the enemy of your enemy is not your friend.

Get a job

It’s amazing the friends you can make at work. Most places do a good job of introducing you to the rest of the staff and there are plenty of opportunities to get to know your colleagues during work hours or at after work events. Plus you’ll have more money to do fun activities with the new people you meet!

Be good at something and share it

Do you play a musical instrument, are you really good at math, can you create your own web site? People like being around other people that are good at things they like (or sometimes need help in, like math). Just make sure you set limits. You don’t want to spend all your time helping others, you need to have fun too!

Get involved

Play sports, volunteer, learn a new language or sign up for different classes. Basically get involved and you’re sure to meet new people!

One last thing

Choose your friends wisely. People can tell a lot about you by the friends you keep. They should be loyal, caring and most importantly bring out the best in you!
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