Making Friends: Why Leaving it to Chance Doesn’t Work, and What to Do Instead

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.
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If you ask the average person, “what do you do every week for meeting new people and making friends?” their mind goes blank.

They completely leave it to chance. They think that these things can’t be controlled and they should let fate do its work.

That sounds great. Problem is, it doesn’t†work!

And where do most people end up, socially? Well, they DO NOT have the friends they want. And they don’t meet enough new interesting new people.

S1031935_levitation_2o they either keep feeling lonelier and lonelier everyday, or get stuck with some friends that don’t encourage them, and maybe even bore them.

In this article, I want to share with you how to avoid the pitfalls of leaving your social life to chance, and what to do to get the friends that you dream of.

Do You Need a “Plan” for Meeting New Friends?

Here are some of the reasons why everyone needs to have a clear idea on how to meet new people, and NOT leave it to chance. Read through and see if this applies to You:

  1. If you happen to be an introvert, then your natural instinct†doesn’t†push you to go socialize with people. That’s why, if you don’t proactively do it, it won’t happen.
  2. Many people or friends you have will probably fade out of your life. Maybe they’ll move to new cities, get new jobs or get in romantic relationships or even get engaged and will no longer have any time for friends.This is why I say that “If you’re not constantly making new friends, you’re making less.”
  3. If you do have a clear plan to meeting and making friends, you can consciously choose to be with people that will understand you, tolerate your flaws, encourage you, and also have lots of fun with you.
  4. If you don’t have a clear idea on how to make new friends, then it’s hard to get out of loneliness. Loneliness is a viscous circle: it is caused by lack of social connection, yet it discourages you from seeking it! If you have a clear idea on how to meet new people, you won’t get in that circle in the first place.
  5. Meeting new friends is never boring, and it can energize you a lot to know exactly how to find new people, hang out with them, and learn from their stories.
  6. If if you’re shy and happen to fear that others will judge you, then having a clear plan on how to make friends prepares you mentally, and the tension is gone.

In fact, shy people can solve this by planning to go to more low-pressure environments instead of going to incredibly intimidating places.

  1. Also, having a plan for your social life makes you mentally ready to have conversations with people you just meet, even if you usually have trouble maintaining conversations.
  2. Last, but not least, not having a plan makes you simply not remember to take action and meet new people.

We often set “making new friends” as a goal for our lives, but many months go by and we find that nothing happened! And of course, that’s because we didn’t intentionally build a way for ourselves to remember it.

How To begin to Plan For Meeting People and Making Friends

Here are some steps that can get you started making progress in your social life:

  • Your hobbies and topics of interest: Take note of your top interests and hobbies. They can be the “social glue” that will help you connect with new friends.
  • The places you like to go: This seems too simple. But it’s very important. Be sure to have a clear idea on where you want to hang out with friends, and what you want to be doing with them. This is especially helpful when you’re suggesting plans to people. The more you know about how to have fun, the easier it will be for people to join you.
  • The Hubs: These are the people or places that will help you connect with new friends. For example, if you like meditation, or yoga, enroll in a class, or two or three, and join a meetup group, and attend. All the clubs/group, online and offline, that are related directly or indirectly to your hobbies or interested are the “hubs” that you need to be aware of.
  • The Routine: This is about taking the plan from paper to reality. This is where you realistically decide how often you’re going to go to the “hubs”. And you need to stick to it. You can put it in your calendar, if you want. But, to take it to the next level, enroll to the class, so you have to go, or join a meetup group, contact the manager and tell them that you want to help with the events that commitment will motivate you to go there every time.

By going through these steps, you put yourself in the EASIEST position to make friends. Even for people who have big social skills problems, the things that work are simple.

Yet, most people don’t know how to make them in the right sequence to make them work.

It’s the proper use of the simple techniques that can make all the difference in your social life.

Just imagine what life would be like if you had people you can spend time with, have mutual understanding and appreciation. You could go out with them, having a great time, have awesome birthday parties, and memorable holidays and trips.

Be sure to apply the steps I shared with you. They should get you started.

And, if you would like to get more ideas that will help you get the friends you want, you can subscribe to my Free Social Skills Newsletter here.

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Some Amazing Comments

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Comments

  1. Right you are, Paul. The easiest way to make friends is to go look for them where your likes are. Other times, though, you can make friends with people at places you didn’t think you’d find anyone similar to you. Hence, it helps to be open to conversation and to be nice to people anywhere you go. You don’t have to be extremely friendly or to totally let your guard down. Just give yourself a little room for social interaction, such as responding appropriately if anyone asks you something.
    Jorge Blanco recently posted..Act on Happiness

  2. I definately don’t actively do this, though I probably need to at times.

    I am pretty happy with the friends I have and the ones I make usually stick around in the long term. One thing i’m finding as I become more confident in myself and happier with myself I am attracting more people that are in line with that, who encorage me and don’t try to bring me down like some old friends used to.

    -Ben
    Ben recently posted..Dealing with criticism.

  3. I have found that joining groups or clubs works best for me. It makes it easier to find groups of people that like the same things I do. The hardest part is getting over that initial meeting, where you are the new guy. After joining the group and participating in a couple of events, it gets much easier to settle in and develop good friendships.
    Eric West | Friendship Society recently posted..The Twelve Pillars of Friendship by Eric West

    • That’s what I advise people to do. Join groups and making friends gets easier for you.

      Now, joining a somewhat solid group, where people have a long history together, can be tricky.

      At exactly that time, you need to use your understanding of how social power and social politics work. It’s the Machiavellian side of making friends… many people don’t like to talk about power and reputation, but we HAVE TO understand how these things work in order to be able to join any group.

      Thanks for your comment Eric.
      Paul Sanders, Get The Friends You Want recently posted..What Popular People Think Of You

  4. So true Paul. It seems I have some days where I am feeling more social then others. Either way, I enjoy having a small – group of really close friends.
    Justin recently posted..Pralaya – A Period of Transition Part 2.

    • Great. I’m like that too.

      That’s why I had to come up with ways that making friends and being social almost happens on its own. You can do that by joining interest groups that hold regular meetings. If you commit to being part of the group, just once, you’re forced (by your integrity, and guilt) to go there every time.

      Cheers.

  5. As a raging introvert, I understand wholeheartedly what you are saying. Being an introvert is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can be incredibly difficult to make new friends . . . we just don’t get out.

    On the other hand, the friendships we do make are incredibly deep and last for a lifetime.

    It can be a difficult balance between finding new friends and connecting with old ones. It’s best to do both at the same time.

    Cheers!
    Trevor recently posted..A Decade of Baking — and the 12 Lessons it Taught Me About Living with Extraordinary Passion.

    • That “balance” you’re talking about is what I call “Explore The New, Nurture The Old.” And it’s an essential part of the Get The Friends You Want methodology.

      Nurturing the old, consists of meeting and taking care of your existing friends. Exploring the new, consists of going out, meeting, and selecting new people that you can add to your circle.

      Cheers,
      Paul Sanders, Get The Friends You Want recently posted..What Popular People Think Of You

  6. “If you’re not constantly making new friends, you’re making less.”

    I love that. I’ve never thought if it that way. After I moved to Arizona, I made it a goal to meet at least five people each day. It worked, but lately I’ve been slacking in the spontaneous socializing department. I’ve gotten too comfortable with the friends I do have and I do notice that I miss the randomness of interactions. Thanks for the encouragement, Paul!
    Vincent Nguyen recently posted..The Zen of a Morning Person: How to Love 6.00 a.m.

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