How to Be More Social This Year

If you always wanted to “Be More Social” but never figured out how to do it, then let me share with you the most important things you need to know.

If you want to have interesting friends to go out with, have fun, talk to, travel with, and meet over the weekend, you need to learn the critical friend-making skills. These skills will allow you to avoid spending your weekends bored, or be around people that aren’t a good match for you, and with whom you feel judged or criticized.

I want to share you one strategy that can take you from complete confusion about how to make friends, to clarity and results. Let’s dive right in.

friendsMaking Friends – The Context

One reason that gets people to stay lonely for years, is that they only “try” to be social once in a while.

Instead, you need to put a place in your life… for social activities. A place that is not†negotiable, it’s only there for meeting up with new or existing friends. Here is how…

The Timing

First, take your weekly calendar… mark the hours of the week in the specific days, that you’ll devote to social activity.

That chunk of time is for THAT… and ONLY THAT. No Facebook allowed, no computer, no TV, no work, or anything. Just for socializing.

If you don’t set a time for socializing, then there will always be stuff to distract you from it… and it go on for years.

The Places

Decide, right now, what places you like to go to. You choose. Where would you like to go on weekends if you had the friends want? What would you do on holidays? On week days?

This is important because it makes you more credible when you suggest plans to people… If you have no idea what kind of plans you want to have, how can anybody join you?

And, don’t worry about where popular people go, just decide what YOU would like to do. Write a list somewhere.

The Traps (that will trick you into meeting new friends)

Let’s face it, it’s hard to pull yourself out of your past habits and go out to meet new people… The trick is to “trick” yourself into socializing… and it’s kinda fun. Here is how…

Take one interest of yours, then find a club, meetup group, interest group, or NGO with people who meet regularly around that subject. Attend ALL meetings.

If they have a team that manages those meetups, offer to help.

This will be your “socializing ritual”. It will push you to have friends and socialize whether you feel like it or not. It works because you don’t have to motivate yourself for two hours to do it. It’s legitimate, and doesn’t feel weird.

Making Friends – The Skills

There are many social skills, but the friend-making skills can make all the difference. Here are three of the most important ones…

Meeting New People

Do you feel anxious about talking to people you don’t know? Great!

That anxiety means that you just don’t know how to do it. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, or that you’re weird. It’s just a skill to learn.

Basically, when you talk to a new person, you can ask generic questions, and look for stuff you have in common. If you can’t find any, ask some more open questions like “what do you think of X-Y-Z ?”, these types of questions get people to express their unique point of view. And that reveals to you what they’re like.

If you still can’t find anything in common with the person. Be nice, and move on. Never be too available to anyone who would wanna be your friend.

The key is to make friends that are a good match for you… that like the stuff you like, think like you think, like the places that you like to go to, etc.

Contacting New People to Meet Up

This is another skill, it takes guts, but recognize it for what it is : a skill.

Say you get the contact information of someone you just met, after a week or so, call them up (or text), ask how they’re going, mention something you talked about, and say something like…

“So if you have time, tomorrow around 8, we can get a drink or something, what do you think?”… simple as that!

If they don’t have time, fine! You don’t want to force them, anyway. Move on. This is your life, and it’s too important to waste worrying about who didn’t have time for you.

Going Out with Existing Friends, and Bringing New Ones

This is simple, but you don’t have to do at first. Once you get one or two friends, you want to start introducing people to each other.

Once you do that, it’s much easier to keep your social life moving, because you’re not the only one calling, and making plans.

If you have friends, but they don’t know each other, then you’re doing 10 times the effort you could be doing, if you had friends that actually know each other. That’s how it works.

Making Friends – A Special Secret

There is a secret that makes some people learn how to make friends quickly, while others struggle with it for years.

That secret is to, as I said before, is to consider this as a SKILL… instead of thinking that it’s weird, or that there is something wrong with you.

Relax, everybody could use a couple more cool and interesting friends that would understand them… and if they say the opposite, odds are that they’re lying.

It’s a Skill… Learn it!†It doesn’t mean anything weird about you, it’s just a skill.

…If you want to get more tips on meeting people, making great conversation, and making friends, while avoiding the socially awkward mistakes that most people make when they want to make new friends… then you can subscribe to my Free Social Skills Newsletter.

See you there,

Paul Sanders

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About Paul Sanders

Paul Sanders's Get The Friends You Want teaches you how to:
Overcome Shyness & Loneliness ; Master Conversation & Social Skills ; Make Friends & Build a Social Circle.
Start here. >> Free Social Skills Newsletter

Comments

  1. Clarissa says:

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    this web site and reading very informative posts at this place.

  2. I struggle with socializing and meeting new people, I get quite anxious about the whole thing. I also know that I have learnt the skill of being able to do this over the years. People like hanging out with me, they tend to think I’m interesting, I apparently come across as sociable. BUT I don’t feel that way inside. I often find it exhausting and it takes a monumental amount of energy to meet new people. Often I dread having to go to social events. Any tips on that?
    Tora recently posted..The Uncomfortable Truth About Emotional Eating

    • Hey Tora,

      Even your website makes me want to hang out with you. Lol. It’s cool.

      The subject is pretty deep. I can explain to you why this happens, in a scientific way, and even tell you what part of your brain gets triggered and makes you uncomfortable around people. And that’s very important, too. It makes you understand why! And it makes sens once you know why your body reacts that way.

      But at the end of the day, the result you want it to make socializing WAY LESS HARD to socialize.

      One technique I can share with you, that works, after a little fun practice, is the FOCUS TECHNIQUE.

      This technique consists of simply FOCUSING ON A TINY SPOT WHEN YOU HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE.

      A tiny spot means: focus on ONE person at a time ; one subject at a time ; don’t look around the room at all, just focus on specific spots (one area of the room, one person, etc)

      This means that you’re allowing yourself to be SLOW. It’s you’re right to be slow.

      This doesn’t mean to be slow witted, this means you’re just NOT going to be stressed out by everything that’s going on around you. You allow yourself to feel relaxed by focusing on LESS things.

      When meeting new friends, focus on ONE person at a time. When you try this, let me know how it goes.

      I can’t explain to you why it works in this blog comment box. But, feel free to email me if you want to know more. My website is : http://getthefriendsyouwant.com

      Good luck!

  3. Thanks Paul. Very good tips and tricks for building social network. Very true it is a skill just like learning to drive, swim, dance or whatever hobby. Once confidence is built, the rest becomes history.

    The hesitation comes only due to a lack of self-confidence that needs to be taken care of.
    Fayaz Pasha recently posted..Coffee with Society

  4. Hey Paul, thanks for the reminder.

    I often see socializing as a chore because it’s not something that I’m used to doing consistently. I have no problem talking to people and making friends — but I’m most certainly lazy when it comes to meeting up and organizing events. I’ve been slacking on socializing recently due to building up a business, but your advice on creating a social ritual is KEY. The times in my life where I’ve done this have been the best social times for me.

    I’ve done this with a couple of things: routine drinks after a class, a daily gym session, or a party at my house every week. This is EXTREMELY helpful!

    Why?

    Because it takes the pressure off me of figuring out what I want to do. It also provides a means to make new friends. It’s very stressing for me to go to someone I just met and ask to “hang out” or “grab drinks” 1 on 1, especially when I don’t know them that well. But if I have a planned group activity that I regularly do with a small group of people, it makes it 100x easier to invite someone along and get to know them better.

    If there’s one thing to take from this article, start a social ritual.

    Good stuff.
    Max Nachamkin recently posted..The Inner Gladiator Podcast Ep 1 – The Trustable Man ft. Damien Diecke

  5. I am very glad you brought up the fact that you have to be the one to initiate and create plans. So many people miss this vital detail when trying to socialize and they wonder why no one is making plans with them. They don’t see that everyone else is also afraid to be the first one to contact, regardless of whether or not they were the ones to initiate in the first place. Very impressive, Paul.
    Vincent Nguyen recently posted..Why Stoicism is the Ultimate Self-Improvement Philosophy

  6. I like how you remind us that socializing is a skill. It takes practice to get good at it, and if you don’t use it for a while (say you get married, have kids – basically get locked down in the house), it can get rusty!

  7. This all sounds like solid advice. But what about the introverted among us? What about those who prefer to hang out in private with just one or two close friends at a time instead of public group meetups?

    Of course, this still requires social skills. But it’s not typically the extroverts that need help socializing.

    Do you have any specific tips for us quiet types?

    Cheers!
    Trevor recently posted..3 Months of Blogging (with Screenshots!)

    • I can definitely relate to your question, Trevor. I think one good way to meet more people as an introvert is through friends and family. Say you’re having an intimate dinner party for a couple of close friends – ask that they both bring someone. Then then numbers are still not too overwhelming, but you get the chance to make a new friend. The added benefit, of course, is that they’ve been pre-screened by your buddies so they are more likely to be your type of people.

    • Hey Trevor, thanks for the question.

      For introverts, I have good and bad news.

      The good: You can still “be social” and be the quiet type, hanging out with one or two friends at a time.

      The bad: You can’t meet new friends at the house. You have to go out, find them, keep in touch, and then integrate them into your life.

      It doesn’t mean that you always have to be going out… it just means that you need to go to social gatherings once in a while to meet new people. It’s as if you’re “refilling” your life with new people you can go and have one-on-one conversations with.
      Paul Sanders, Get The Friends You Want recently posted..What Popular People Think Of You

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