But, making new friends isn’t as easy as it sounds. Lots of times, people already have lots of family/friends around and don’t feel the need for any additions. Other times, your personalities just don’t mesh. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time to spend together to bring about a real friendship. And, maybe you just don’t know how to break the ice. It’s funny…finding new girl friends is a similar process to finding a “boyfriend”. Y’all remember how that goes, it’s really…great.
Improve Your Conversation Skills – I could dedicate a whole post to this topic, that I swear…at least, 75% of America needs to hear. Develop an attitude (it’s a choice) that other people are interesting and that it’s fun to get to know them, underneath the surface. When you are in a social situation, conjure up that “im interested” attitude and start asking questions! Based on their answers, you build your conversation around that. Not only are you showing that you’re friendly but you are getting to know someone. To me, that’s valuable. Make a point to remember the things they tell you and get updates when you see them again. Nothing is more frustrating than having to start from square one every time you see someone, “what did you say your name was??” Be aware of yourself during the conversation…are you doing all the talking, are you asking questions too, are you paying attention to them while they talk? Conversation skills take practice…just do it and it gets easier and easier.
“Fake it ’till you make it” – One of my favorite pieces of advice that has helped me tons! If you aren’t confident, pretend you are! Before you know it, you truly are. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pretended I could do something…only to find, I pulled it off! I attended a conference years back where the speaker (who was highly successful in the business world) acknowledged the use of “fake it till you make it” throughout her whole career. She would be asked if she could do something, knowing she couldn’t…she said, “sure, you bet I can.” And, she did it. She quickly learned, studied, and came through! Don’t let opportunities pass you by 🙂 I used to be terribly, terribly shy but with all my heart…I didn’t want to be. So, little by little I started to pretend I wasn’t and slowly I gained more confidence. Now, I’m as cocky as all get-out. 🙂
Be Approachable – It’s hard for people to say “hello” or start a conversation with you if you aren’t looking UP, if you don’t have a friendly demeanor on your face, if you act indifferent, or are a major busy body that has no time for anyone. Be approachable and the second part of this, approach people! Set a goal with yourself to start saying “hello” and giving big smiles.
Compliment & Use the Person’s Name – Oh, doesn’t it feel so good? A compliment…it HAS to be sincere. If you can’t say something kind and sincere, just be quiet :). Even more than the looks or clothing of someone, notice their talents and their character traits that impress you. Also, use their name…it makes everything much more personal…it makes people want to be your friend.