50. Sign up for tours when you travel
Join a tour wherever you are or travel on a tour with other travelers. You are highly likely to meet someone who shares your travel interest.
Laughter is one of the best connectors. Find ways to laugh with new people to create a powerful bond.
52. Talk to people in the lunchroom at work
Smile, nod, say “hi” and go there often. As people see you, they’ll get to know you as a regular, and striking up conversations will be easier.
53. Get the person to tell a story
For example, ask them what the most interesting part of their job is, or what their favorite spot in their city is, or what their favorite place to visit as a kid was.
It’s easier to engage new people when they’re talking about something they like or enjoy, and it gives them a chance to tell an interesting story and share parts of their personality in a way that feels comfortable to them.
Breaking the ice in an easy or relaxed way, and making the other person feel comfortable to share things in a conversation, is a good way to start to take steps toward forming a possible friendship.
54. Be really honest
Honesty is what builds trust and trust is what builds intimacy between people and this is a strong foundation for a close friendship.
55. Practice empathy
Empathy involves putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes and reflecting an understanding of how they might feel in a given situation. It helps them feel heard, understood, and connected to us.
Compassionate empathy is not only understanding a person’s experience and feeling with them but being moved to help if needed and welcomed. This is the level of empathy that can really foster deeper friendships.
56. Have reasonable expectations
No friend can be perfect for you, or meet all your needs or never disappoint. A real friendship has bumps in the road, compromise, apologies and forgiveness on both sides. If you over expect no friendship will last.
57. Ask follow-up questions
If somebody is telling you about a recent event, like a wedding or getting a new puppy, ask to see photos which most people have right with them on their phone. This shows a deeper level of interest and because a picture is worth a thousand words, you will have a lot more information to respond to in order to facilitate a stronger connection.
58. Be open to new friendships out of the weirdest scenarios
You never know where you might meet someone who could turn out to become a friend. A random meeting of a vacation, rooting at the same game, speaking at a support group, in many ways a friendship can blossom out of almost any chance meeting if one or both of you are open to the idea and take the chance to invite the other to get together.
59. Look for what you can give, not what you can get
As you listen to a prospective friend, think of how who or what you might know that could help them in some aspect of their life.
For example, if they say they recently lost their job, connect them with the recruiter, website, or career counselor who helped you when you were unemployed. Consider what friends, organizations, referrals, or services might be a support or resource to them and share generously.