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Interact With People of All Places Find Lasting Friendship, Start Here. Join a club with people who have common interests. You don't necessarily have to have a lot of common interests with people in order to make friends with them. In fact, some of the most rewarding friendships are between two people who don't have much in common at all, but if you have something in common with people, it can make it a lot easier to start a conversation and plan activities together.
Use the web, but get out! You can join any group or just start your own. If you don't know of a specific topic, try searching for just a location. It's a great way to meet new local people! Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace are great way to meet new people and learn more about the people you meet.
Join a sports team. A common misconception about this is that you have to be really good at playing a particular sport in order to make friends with others on the team, but not all teams are so competitive. As long as you enjoy the sport and support your teammates, joining a local team with a laid-back attitude could be a great way to make new friends.
Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way for people of all ages to meet others. By working together you build bonds with people, and you might meet others who have a passion for changing things the way you do-a common cause.
Talk to people. You can join a club, go to school, or go to church, and you still won't make friends if you don't actually talk to people. By the same token, you don't have to be involved with an organization to talk to people, and any time you talk to someone, you have a chance at making a lasting friend. You can talk to anybody: the clerk at the video store, the person sitting next to you on the bus, or the person in front of you on the lunch line. Don't be too picky. Most conversations will be a dead-end of sorts--when you may never talk to that person again, or you just remain acquaintances--but once in a while you'll actually make a friend.
Make eye contact and smile. If you have an unfriendly countenance, people are less likely to be receptive to your friendship. Be approachable by not squinting (get some glasses), frowning or appearing blankly deadpan, such expressions may look troubled or disinterested.
Start a conversation. There are many ways to do this; a comment about your immediate environment (The weather is a classic: "At least it's not raining like last week!"), a request for help ("Can you help me carry a few boxes, if you have a minute?" or "Can you help me decide which one of these is a better gift for my mom?") or a compliment ("That's a nice car." or "I love your shoes."). Follow up immediately with a related question: Do you like this warm weather? What kinds of gifts do you normally buy for your mom? Where did you get shoes like that?
Make small talk. Keep the conversation light and cheery. Even if you're complaining about something, make sure it's something you're both dissatisfied with, and emphasize the positive-how such a situation can be avoided in the future, or alternatives. Bounce a few words back and forth for a little bit.
Introduce yourself towards the end of the conversation. It can be as simple as saying "Oh, by the way, my name is...". Once you introduce yourself, the other person will typically do the same. Remember his or her name.
Initiate a get-together. You can chat your heart out but it won't get you a friend if you don't open up the opportunity for another conversation or meeting. This is especially important if you meet someone who you aren't otherwise likely to meet again. Seize the day!
If you've discovered that the person you're talking to has a common interest, ask him or her more about it and, if appropriate, whether they get together with others (in a club, for example) to pursue this interest. If so, this is a perfect opportunity to ask about joining them. If you clearly express interest (when? where? can anyone come?) they'll probably invite you. If you have a club, band, church, etc. that you think they might enjoy, take the opportunity to give them your number or email address and invite them to join you.
Ask them out for lunch or coffee. That will give you a better opportunity to talk and get to know each other a little bit better. A good way to extend yourself is to say: "Hey, well, I've got to go, but if you ever want to talk over lunch or coffee or anything like that, let me give you my number/e-mail address." This gives the person the opportunity to contact you; they may or may not give you their information in return, but that's fine. Maybe they don't have time for new friends-don't take it personally! Just offer your contact info to whoever seems to be potentially a good friend, and eventually somebody will get in touch.
Don't do anything to pressure someone into being friends with you. Never chide acquaintances for failing to invite you to a party, for example; don't call someone repeatedly or stop by uninvited (unless you have established that stopping by unannounced is o.k.); and refrain from overstaying your welcome anywhere. In general, take friendship slowly, and don't try to force intimacy to grow quickly; the move from acquaintance to friend can take a long time. It's understandable to want more of a good thing, but try to err on the side of less. If you are not sure about the pace of your new friendship, check in with your friend and ask directly. Too much, too fast can be scary or intimidating, and not everybody is able to say "Slow down..." - instead, they may run the other way!
Be a good friend. Once you've started spending time with potential friends, remember to do your part (i.e. initiating some of the activities, remembering birthdays, asking how the other person is feeling) or else the friendship will become unbalanced and an uneasiness or distance is likely to arise.
Be reliable. If you and your friend agree to meet somewhere, don't be late, and do not stand them up. If you're not going to make it on time or make it at all, call them as soon as you realize it. Apologize and ask to reschedule. Don't make them wait for you unexpectedly; it's rude, and it is certainly not a good way to launch a potential friendship. When you say you'll do something, do it. Be someone that people know that they can count on.
Be a good listener. Many people think that in order to be seen as "friend material" they have to appear very interesting. Far more important than this, however, is the ability to show that you're interested in others. Listen carefully to what people say, remember important details about them (their names, their likes and dislikes), ask questions about their interests, and just take the time to learn more about them. You don't want to be the guy or girl that always has a better story than anyone else or that changes the subject abruptly instead of continuing the flow of conversation. These people appear too wrapped up in themselves to be good friends--"one-ups-man-ship" is a put down.
Be trustworthy. One of the best things about having a friend is that you have someone to whom you can talk about anything, even secrets that you hide from the rest of the world. The key to being a good confidante is the ability to keep secrets, so it's no secret that you shouldn't tell other people things that were told to you in confidence. Before people even feel comfortable opening up to you, however, you need to build trust. Be honest about yourself and your beliefs, and don't gossip about others or spread rumors or they will think you like stories better than friends.
Be there for the person. You've probably heard of fair-weather friends. They're the ones who are happy to be around you when things are going well, but are nowhere to be found when you really need them. Part of being a friend is being prepared to make sacrifices of your time and energy in order to help out your friends. If a friend needs help with an unpleasant chore, or if he or she just needs a shoulder to cry on, be there.
Choose your friends wisely. As you befriend more people, you may find that some are easier to get along with than others. While you always give people the benefit of the doubt, sometimes you realize that certain friendships are unhealthy, such as if a person is obsessively needy or controlling towards you, constantly critical, or introducing dangers or threats into your life. If this is the case, ease your way out of the friendship as gracefully as possible. Preoccupy yourself with other things, such as a new volunteer opportunity, so that you can honestly say that you don't have enough time in your schedule to spend time with them (but don't substitute their time for time with other friends; they may notice and become jealous, and more drama will ensue). Cherish those friends you make who are a positive influence in your life, and do your best to be a positive influence in theirs.
Learn to entertain. Create a reason why people would want to come over to your place. Offer something to people that they don't already have just to create a meeting atmosphere. While you don't want a pool or video game console to be the only reason people come over, it will give you an opportunity to socialize with people and for them to get to know you better. Go online and find people that like to go swimming and have cookouts. Invite new people over you feel you can trust and just be friendly. Make this a group event so that you're not the only person there. Be sure to have some friends there that you already know to help you break the ice.
Along with learning to entertain, try to be unique to attract attention. When you have something interesting that people can learn from you, they tend to stick around and ask you questions. This is usually the case when you know a lot about something popularly known yet complex, something controversial, or something that could just spark a big debate. Some of the most interesting people you meet may have a large knowledge base when it comes to things like politics, certain religions, or strange topics like astrology and divination.
You don't have to be a superstar to be fun. You don't even have to do cartwheels. You do need to be positive and friendly, however, so that people feel good when they're around you.
From the very first conversation you have with someone, you should use body language to convey that you are affable, non-threatening, and approachable. Smile frequently, laugh often, and make eye contact. In your words, be confident, but don't be cocky, condescending, or mean-spirited.
In general, the Internet is a great place to make friends, but... it's also easy to invest a lot of time online with someone you think of as a friend, but then you never meet because of time and distance. Expect to have to sift through a lot of people online before you find the right one for you.
If you are really shy, try to make friends with other shy people to help you get along at first.
You may reform or change yourself, but only for yourself. Don't try to change just in order to fit in to make new friends. A good friend sometimes does things he or she doesn't want to do, such as helping a friend move or going to see a band that you don't really like, but you should never give into pressure to do something you think is wrong.
Don't be untrue to your convictions and beliefs, and if this causes you to lose some friends, you're better off without them. You'll also find that your integrity may help you win better friends, and if you just "be yourself" you'll make friends who like you for who you are.
Never leave old good friends because you may like someone else more. This is a big, bad mistake. It's great to have different groups of friends, but if you abandon one group for another, you may soon find yourself without any friends at all. Remember the saying, "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.
Don't try to buy friends by giving people gifts or money. While it's nice to give a friend a gift sometimes, if you go overboard, it's asking for trouble. A person who will "be your friend" without responding with little things in turn, when you buy him or her things, probably just likes the things you gave them--not you.
Don't be unreasonable (like a con man or a jerk). Nobody likes an intimidating, selfish person, but if in the rare situation some do -- in the long run -- it can come back to bite both you and them, ie: "losing by intimidation."