Tips on How to Meet Friends
If you are looking to meet friends you might not be sure where to start. This can be especially true if you live with social anxiety.
Friends can be anyone, including family, whom you enjoy spending time with. If you spend most of your time alone, make sure at least on one day of the week, you spend a bit of time trying to meet friends.
What gets in the way of you making time to try and meet friends? Usually, it’s your negative thoughts. You know the ones I am talking about.
When you are dealing with social anxiety, those negative thoughts in your head tend to stick around—they tell you that you’re not good enough, fun enough, or whatever enough for other people to want to spend time with you.
Think about it this way: why would you spend time with friends if you keep telling yourself they don’t like you? Of course you won’t.
The worst thing about these thoughts is that they make you embarrassed to try and meet friends. You let friendships die or don’t try to meet friends in the first place.
Then one day you realize there’s nobody emailing, calling, or trying to make plans with you. Eventually, even the people who were good at getting you out of the house, stop trying.
4 Steps to Meet Friends
How do we find new friends? You need some habits in place that will make it easier for you to meet friends.
Brush Up on Social Skills
If you need help with your social skills, I’ve created a list of the top 10 social skills books that I recommend for improving your social skills. There’s everything on this list from books written by former FBI agents about body language to Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Find Activities You Love
What really fires you up? What would you love to do so much that you would do it alone? Guess what—you can do that with friends too. And those friends might be people who also get fired up about those things. You might even choose the activity first and meet friends later.
Sports are a good example of this in action. Even individual sports like running can become a group activity if you make them. Treat yourself to something fun that involves one or more other people who could be potential friends.
Deal with Negative Thoughts
Stop those negative thoughts from flying around in your head. Imagine a giant ziploc bag in your head where you put the thoughts each time you have one. Tell yourself “I’ve already stored that thought away, no need to keep thinking about it.”
Another option: every time you have the thought, “But I won’t have fun,” “It will be awkward,” “Nobody likes me anyway,” or “I’d rather just stay home,” imagine taking all those thoughts, rolling them up in a ball, and throwing them in a garbage can. When you view those thoughts as the trash that they are, it will be easier to enjoy yourself.
Check How Things Went
Play a game with yourself. Every time you have a negative thought about trying to meet friends write it down on a piece of paper. Collect those pieces of paper in a ziploc bag.
Go do the activity that you had planned. Then, go back to the slips of paper and re-read them. How many were accurate? What did you get wrong? If you got some things right, were they as bad as you thought they would be?
Most importantly, don’t waste another day missing out! Set aside your excuses and just give meeting friends. The first few times you try to meet friends might be a struggle, but eventually, you might find that you’ve formed a new friendship circle.