60. Meet in person
Facebook friends are not friends. Online interactions can supplement your in-person friendship … but to grow the real bonds of friendship you do need in-person meetings and experiences together. Luckily, in-person meetings are getting safe and safer.
61. Agree with what others have to say and add to it
Take a tip from improv and say, “Yes, and…”. One of the rules of improvisational comedy is to respond to others by agreeing with what they have said and adding to it. This is because saying, “no, but” tends to be a conversation stopper and can take the conversation down a more antagonistic path.
Of course, you shouldn’t agree with something that is against your core values. But if somebody says it is cold outside, instead of saying, “Well, at least it’s not as cold as last week” (which can feel like a shut down) try saying, “Yes, it is freezing and I’m worried about the flowers I planted last week.” This leaves the conversation open for more discussion.
62. Partner up with an extroverted friend
Attend events with an extroverted friend so they can help you make connections. If you are more shy or introverted, ask one of your more extroverted friends to be your wingman and help you meet others.
63. Be enthusiastic
If you walk into a room and really light up the place with your enthusiasm, people are going to be attracted to you. On the flip side of that, if you walk into a room and come off as dull and boring, no one is going to want to connect with you. People are naturally attracted to other people who radiate warmth, enthusiasm and excitement.
64. Commit to being social at least one night a week
Sounds simple, but the more you’re out and about, the higher the chance you’ll meet people and make connections. Consider using meeting websites to find events in your area.
65. Make an observation about someone
The best way to strike up a conversation and potentially build a friendship with someone is to make an observation and inquire about it.
For example: “I noticed you are wearing…”, “That’s an unusual accent. Where are you from?” and “those are beautiful earrings.” Do they have any special significance? People love to talk about themselves and more importantly, are flattered when someone notices something about them.
66. Make a positive comment
People enjoy being around someone who is positive. See if you can comment on something you like or are enjoying about the moment.
67. Look at people when they’re speaking
Particularly in large groups, it can be easy for people to get overlooked or not feel important. If you are there paying attention and showing respect with good eye contact, it will really set you apart from others who may be on their phone or disinterested in another way.
68. Remember details
Acknowledging important details about someone (e.g.., birthday, dog’s name) demonstrates your care and ability to ‘do life’ with someone.
69. Ask an acquaintance or neighbor for help
People like to be helpful and even though it may feel vulnerable, it’s a great segue into friendship.
70. Use their name when you talk to them
This demonstrates you’re really focusing on someone and will help them feel important to you.
71. Step outside your comfort zone
It is easy, especially in current times, to isolate and stay in your own bubble. Therefore, many are accustomed to being alone, and it becomes uncomfortable to seek connection outside of the comfort zone.
72. Don’t rush it
Any relationship will take time to build. Keep this in mind as you seek connection(s).
73. Keep “the golden rule” in mind
Do unto others as you would have done unto you. While it may be difficult to understand why someone is intermittently difficult to deal with, consider what they may have going on behind the scenes that influences their behavior. Again, don’t take it personally.
74. Put down your phone and converse with people in public
It’s easy to hide behind your phone screen and to get lost in the cyber world while you are in public. Instead of doing this, when you go to your local coffee shop, grocery store, or any other local business you go to often, say “hi” to the workers or customers, and make mini conversation.
Saying hello or having a small chat with people you see every day or a few times a week is a way to meet new people and connect with others. It may be scary to put yourself out there and spark up a conversation, but the reward is greater than the risk. You never know, you may meet someone who could end up being a friend for life.