How to Make New Friends

Regardless of your age or place in life, it can still be important to make new friends. Obviously, you don’t have to go out and try to meet new people every day. But, stay open to the possibility whenever the opportunity presents itself. When you’re talking about real friends, you can never have too many of them.

Some people seem to make friends effortlessly. They don’t even seem to have to try; it just comes naturally. Other people, like me, find it more difficult. Sometimes we might be shy, anxious, cautious, or just not even know where to get started.

If that describes you, it’s ok.  There’s no need to panic. Read the following tips. The ideas below are intended to help you make new friends without as much stress.

Start with People You Know

If the thought of meeting new people seems intimidating, why not start out with people you know? Try reaching out to old school friends or co-workers. The internet and social media now make it easy to get back in contact with people from your past.  Thousands of people reconnect every week with the help of services like Facebook and Instagram.

If you’re someone who typically refuses invitations from friends, you might want to re-think that strategy. You never know who else might show up at their event. It might even be your future best friend. If you sincerely want to make more friends, then stepping out of your comfort zone is probably going to be part of the process.

As silly as it might sound, you can also ask your friends to introduce you to others. After all, if you’re comfortable with the friends you already have, there’s a good chance that you’ll feel comfortable with the people they like as well.

Be Yourself

Nobody wants to hang out with a fake friend. That’s why it’s important to stay true to yourself even when making new friends. This way, any potential new friends will get to know the real you. When your friendship moves to a new level, it will have a stronger foundation.

Make an Effort to Get to Know Someone

Once you meet someone who you’d like to know better, take the initiative to find out all that you can about that person. True friends take the time to get to know each other, even if it’s gradual. You can ask questions like:

  • What are your hobbies?
  • What do you value the most?
  • What are your goals?
  • What type of work do you do?
  • What motivates you?

Also, take the time to ask the person about his or her family. It’s an easy subject that most people want to talk about, even with someone they’re just getting to know.

Don’t Judge

As unfortunate as it is, many people automatically and mistakenly judge someone right away. Maybe it’s because they come from a different background. Or it might be based on rumors that have surfaced about the potential friend.

Whatever the case, treat a person with the same level of respect that you want for yourself. Without respect, a new friendship doesn’t stand a chance. Ask questions and give your new friend the “benefit of the doubt.”

These are just a few tips to consider when attempting to make a new friend. Even if you tend to me more introverted, you can still make lifelong friends. You can do it!


Some people have used a website/app called Meetup to find people in their area that have shared interests. It’s a good way to start to meet potential friends. The video below will give you a short introduction to the program:

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By Dr. Lezine

DeQuincy Lezine is a suicide attempt survivor with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and postdoctoral training in suicide prevention. He is the Director of the Lived Experience Academy.

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