How To Make Friends When You’re Shy – If you’ve been wondering whether it’s even possible to get past your shyness and reach out to make new friends, the answer is YES! Lots of shy people have friends, and so can you. The good news is, that making friends isn’t about trying to become more outgoing.
It’s more about adjusting your approach. Now, the purpose of this video is not to teach you how to get a social life or deal with every facet of being shy…But, the following suggestions should help you start building new friendships. So here’s how to make friends if you’re a shy person!
1. Get Involved
Joining local clubs, signing up for classes, or attending networking meetings are some of the easiest ways to meet people. When you go out and start taking part in these things, you’ll have a steady group of people to hang out with each week. You may even get to know and like some of these people!
So… let’s say you’re a bookworm, join a book club. If you’re into art and drawing, see if there are any art classes in your area. The point is to connect with others who share similar interests. From there, you’ll get to talk to and share common experiences with people, and eventually start to make friends with them.
People usually gravitate towards those who look friendly. Make it a point to smile at everyone you see. It may not always feel natural, at least not for everyone, but a smile is one of the most attractive things that you can display when you’re meeting new people.
It doesn’t have to be a wild grin either – just show a friendly, polite smile that’s inviting to anyone and everyone. Don’t worry if you find it hard to smile all the time, it’s okay – new habits take time to stick. Smile whenever you remember, and when you forget, don’t beat yourself up over it.
3. Talk To People
I understand that you’re shy… but in order to make friends, you will have to talk to people. Yes, you’re going to have to say “hi” – and even though small talk gets a bad rap,it’s actually quite useful for getting a conversation started. The best and most effective way to initiate small talk, is to start by asking people questions about themselves.
This works really well because most people love talking about themselves – so they’re not going to notice that you aren’t talking that much. Ask people about their weekend, or compliment them, and ask them about something they’re wearing -these are all great ways to start a conversation. Furthermore, to come across sincere, it helps to ask questions you are genuinely interested in hearing the answer to. This will usually lead the small talk into an actual conversation.
4. Have Some Stories
It’s great to be an amazing listener, but don’t feel as though you should never speak up. If you have something to say, say it. If you did something exciting over the weekend or recently, you should share it. It’s also a good idea to have some stories in your arsenal.
When you have a few good stories to share with others, you’ll never run out of things to talk about. The key is to be honest and vulnerable with your stories. For example, you can share a story about a struggle or challenge, and what you did to overcome it.
5. Offer Help
When you’re helpful through your talents, skills, or kindness, you’re more likely to develop friendships with others. Just make sure that those friends aren’t only there because of something you can give!A friendship should be both give and take – so pay close attention. Good friends give back – and they are there when you need them too – not just when they need you.
6. Share With Others
One of the easiest ways to become friends with someone is to offer something. Learning to share can help you develop rapport and make it easier to talk with others. This doesn’t have to be a big sacrifice. It can be as simple as sharing a snack with a classmate or co-worker. If you’re looking to get more attention, consider bringing something for a group to share. It can be anything from coffee and donuts, to your signature homemade cookies. The point is to show some kindness and generosity.
Shyness can make you feel isolated or alone. And if you just can’t relax and be yourself, you may give off the wrong vibes that will send people in the other direction – away from you. While it can take some time to be comfortable in your own skin when around people, you’re more likely to find more friends when you open yourself up to others.
8. Facebook “Friend” People You Meet
Whether it’s a good or bad thing, it’s no secret that Facebook has become a major influence in our lives. It has enabled us to easily keep in touch with others. But, this platform can also be utilized to feel out “friendship waters” with a coworker,a neighbor, or someone you met just a couple of times. If you know the person’s full name, you can easily find them and send them a friend request – and from there, you can get to know them a little better.
9. Invite Prospective Fiends
Once you find someone that you feel could potentially be a friend, ask them to hangout. Take the initiative, and invite them out for coffee, or maybe for a walk at the park. Now, I know what you’re thinking…But even though this may seem a little scary at first, chances are, most people will say “yes”.
This is one of those times when you really need to just step out into the unknown. Without this call to action, you will never have a chance to explore the possibility of a friendship with that person. Besides, if you have fun with someone, or share the same interests, they’re probably going to want to spend more time with you!
10. Accept Invitations
As a shy person, you’re first inclination to an invitation is probably to decline it- especially if you don’t know that person well. But, it’s important that you start accepting invitations when they are presented to you. Once you have more friends, you can always decline invitations on your bad nights, or when you don’t really feel like going out. But until then, just make the effort and go!
11. Keep In Touch
If you have people in your life that you consider to be friends, make it a point to stay in touch. Text, email or call them from time to time. These periodic check-ins will not only remind them that you’re thinking about them, but also help your friendship grow, naturally.
The frequency of these contacts will of course depend on the friend and type of friendship. If you don’t contact some people every week, they’ll begin to wonder if you hate them for some reason – while others can go for months without any contact, and be fine. This is something you need to feel out as your friendship progresses.
12. Give People The Benefit Of The Doubt
Here’s the thing… Sometimes people are going to say NO to your plans, or they’re not going to want to hangout with you. When this happens, it’s easy to assume the worst – but you shouldn’t take a cancellation or a change of plans personally. Consider that something really important may have come up for them – something they could not reschedule – like a relative visiting from out of town.
But it’s also possible that they just want to stay home and relax. Maybe they’ve had a long week. Regardless of the circumstance, give people the benefit of the doubt. Assume that they have a legitimate reason for not hanging out. And if you ask them to hang out again at a different time, and they don’t want to do that either, just let it go and don’t hold it against them.
If they’re interested in your company, eventually they’ll come around. It can be difficult to make friends, especially when you don’t know many people – but it doesn’t have to be. Just think about these strategies as tools that you always keep in your back pocket.
They’re always available if you want to connect with people to develop lasting friendships. What do you think about this list? What kind of challenges do you face when trying to make new friends? Let us know in the comments below.