Even though psychological research has shown that people tend to associate better with people who share similar physical and biological characteristics, it is still possible to befriend many different types of people from many different backgrounds. The trick is to be open-minded, understanding, and talkative. In no time you will have received so many invitations that you will need a larger calendar.
Part 1 of 3: Finding and making friends
Step 1. Develop your interests
To be friends with diverse people, you also need to have diverse interests. That way, chances are you have something in common with everyone, making it easier to have conversations and build relationships. For example, join a choir, volunteer at a nearby hospital, paint, learn to play the guitar or join a football club. If you've always wanted to have a hobby or activity, here's a good reason to get one.
Understand the personality of the group you want to befriend. Find out what brings them together – is it a shared activity (eg discussion group or music band) or is it a harmonious balance of character traits (open-minded, introverted or extroverted, etc.)? If you share a trait with this group, make that shared trait shine
Step 2. Make it a habit to ask for the contact information of others
Most people are a bit shy when it comes to making new friends. They tend to automatically assume that you are not interested in friendship unless you indicate that you are. Take a risk, take action and ask for their phone number, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Befriending online will take you one step closer to true friendship.
When you have their contact information, you can invite each other to do something together, or you can just have a conversation online. The more you talk to each other, the more pleasant it will feel when you see each other in real life
Step 3. Don't wait for an invite - be the inviter yourself
Be outgoing and proactive in inviting others to do something together and make it clear where and when you meet. If you want to be friends with everyone, then you have to be the one who contacts others and you have to take their habits into account. Again, people tend to get nervous and shy when they are around new people. They may want to do something, but are too shy to ask.
- Deal a lot with different groups. However, be aware that being friends with everyone can take a lot of time and energy as you must always be friendly, outgoing and willing to spend time with your friends, leaving little time for yourself.
- Remember that you don't have to be an extrovert to be a good person; there is nothing wrong with being shy and reserved, because even then you will find friends of your own kind. However, if your goal is to befriend many different types, you will need to be very open.
Step 4. Accept each invitation
It is often said that you will no longer be invited if you never accept invitations. And it makes sense – would you keep inviting a friend who keeps turning down your invitations anyway? So, if you want to make new friends, accept as many invitations as possible, especially in the beginning. How else do you expect to build friendships?
Remember that every group is different. Their interests and habits will be very different, such as language use, what is and is not liked or funny and what their way of 'chilling' is. Take a good look at what applies to each group and adjust accordingly. Just be yourself. Don't pretend to be someone else because you think you'll fit better with a certain group
Step 5. Smile and remember everyone's name
If you are friends with everyone, you will be flooded with information. Is it Kevin who likes rock music? Was it Paul and Vincent who were playing rugby? When you're with your new (or prospective) friends, address them by name, ask them about anything you know about them, and smile gently. They will feel a little special when they notice that you have already remembered so much from them.
One of the easiest things you can do to make good friends is to smile and just be happy. Joke, laugh and contribute to a good time. Once they see that you are a fun person to be with, you will definitely be considered a friend
Part 2 of 3: Talking to strangers
Step 1. Notice the environment or occasion
One of the hardest things about making new friends is chatting with strangers. To start a conversation, you can take the opportunity as the subject. Talk about that dull tone your teacher speaks in, or about Michelle's awful outfit. It doesn't have to be anything fancy – the conversation will get better and better from there.
Even "This song is really great!" can break the ice. When the two of you start singing along with the song, a close moment is immediately created
Step 2. Ask open questions
To continue the conversation, you can ask your conversation partner open-ended questions, which means that they should answer more than just 'yes' or 'no', since closed questions don't really help get or keep a conversation going. What do they think of that festival that will take place soon? Do they know which artists will be there?
Ask people what their plans are for the weekend. If something seems appropriate for you to come along, you can let them know you're interested and wait for an invite. If you are not invited, ask yourself whether it is a good idea to explicitly ask if you can come along. Be careful with that, because some people find it very irritating if you have to be everywhere all the time
Step 3. Listen carefully
When was the last time someone looked at you, smiled, and asked if you were okay and really meant it? An attentive listener is quite rare, especially now that everyone is on their phone all day long. When they talk, listen carefully. They will notice and appreciate that.
Showing your interest in someone else is one of the best ways to show that you like that person, making them feel important. Even if they only complain about their annoying mother, support them. Help them laugh about it. Everyone needs that kind of support every now and then. You can be that support for someone
Step 4. Compliment
Another thing you can do to make others feel meaningful is to give compliments; a good way to break the ice. Hey, nice shoes! Where did you get it?” is a good example of a conversation starter. Who knows, the interest you show will brighten up someone else's day.
Think about your friends. Which friends do you associate with positivity and which with negativity? You probably know that soon enough. If you want others to associate you with positivity too, giving compliments will help ensure that
Step 5. Make time for all your friends
You have a lot of friends now. You want to keep those friends by seeing them regularly. It's fine to have a roster. Monday you spend with the choir, Tuesday you are at football practice, and so on. Just make sure you stay flexible enough to meet up with friends you haven't seen in a while!
This is the biggest disadvantage of being friends with everyone - you have to make time for everyone. If it really gets to be too much for you, make some time for yourself to refuel. True friends will respect that and will always be there for you afterwards
Part 3 of 3: Showing you can be a good friend
Step 1. Be a friend that you would like to be friends with
Befriending everyone is not about being part of a popular group or claiming respect by being conceited, it's about being liked and being a good friend. If you want everyone to like you, act like someone who would like “yourself.” What type of friend do you imagine when you think of someone who is liked by everyone?
You can get off to a good start by being caring and helpful. If someone missed a class, have them take over your notes. Does someone need to be taken somewhere? Offer to drive for him or her. That way there is a good chance that they will also offer you help
Step 2. Make them feel good
Most people sometimes feel dissatisfied with themselves. A good friend is often able to brighten you up again at such a moment. Be such a friend yourself by hanging out regularly, by giving compliments, and by making an effort to remain friends. Send us a WhatsApp, give us a call or pay us a visit. Let them know you're on their side.
Just being there for someone can change someone's life. Recent research shows that having one close friend can not only make you incredibly happier, but it can even extend your lifespan. In fact, one good friend equals the joy that a sum of $100,000 a year will bring. You just being there for them is quite the gift
Step 3. Focus on their good qualities
Realize that you will meet many different people, each with different characters, attitudes, opinions and interests. Be open and pleasant enough to get along with all those different types, even if you don't have everything in common with them. Focus on their good qualities – not the qualities that you see as bad or less good.
Be respectful. That way, your disagreement will always be appreciated. Don't suppress your opinion, just be respectful so that you never come across as insulting to anyone
Step 4. Put effort into your friendship
Since you have so many friends, it will sometimes be difficult to keep some friendships. It does not matter. Friends come and go and it's a natural process – most studies show that half of our social circles disappear within seven years. If you have found friends that you really never want to lose, put some effort into your friendship. Just invite them, call them and always keep in touch. After all, it has to come from both sides.
If you live far away from your friends, you'll have to put in a little more effort. Research shows that long-distance relationships with friends are broken more quickly and are more likely to be replaced by relationships with close friends. So keep WhatsApp, Facebook and call each other. You can always be there for each other if needed
Step 5. Don't talk negatively about others and don't gossip
Even though it might make for an interesting conversation of a minute or two, you never know who offended you and which relationships you could destroy. And if you often talk negatively about others, people will notice, after which they will not trust you completely - because how do they know that you don't talk about them that way in their absence?
Be pleasant, treat others as you would like to be treated, and friends will flock from all sides
Step 6. Don't take it personally if not everyone wants to be your friend
If you notice that you are regularly not invited, or that you only hear about certain events afterwards, know that you may be deliberately excluded. You may be hurt by this, but no one is obligated to be friends with you and if they feel you don't suit them, then it's up to them to decide whether or not to include you. Don't bother befriending them anyway and just look for other friends, because there are plenty of them.
If you start to notice that you have to ask one person again and again if that group in question is going to do something, if you want to join, then ask someone else from that group if you can come along. You can also invite that person to do something, after which you wait for his or her response. If it turns out that your invitation doesn't work out because they already have something planned, you might be invited to join them. If your invitation to do something happens right before their activity, then you may be able to go straight to the activity they have planned afterward
- Don't be afraid to talk to people. After all, you can't make new friends if you never meet strangers!
- If someone wants to be alone for a while, respect that and avoid being too clingy.
- It is important that you take good care of yourself. Shower daily. Wash your face, brush your teeth and be hygienic at all times.
- Leaving your old friends for new friends is a very bad idea. Always be friendly. If you have one or a few close friends, don't take them for granted and try to keep them forever.
- Never pigeonhole others. Just assuming someone falls into a certain category can hurt them (even if they proudly say they belong to a certain type – respect that they see themselves that way, but don't take it from them).
- Be polite to everyone, even if you just say "I'm sorry."
- Don't force friendship. Just do what you have to do and you will definitely make some new friends. Sometimes things come to us when we least expect it.
- If you want to befriend someone, give a compliment or start a conversation after which you can introduce yourself. That makes it a little less uncomfortable.
- Don't forget who your real friends are. Don't try to be friends with someone just because he or she is very popular or something like that.
- Not everyone will like you, but that's their problem, not yours. You can't force anyone to like you, so don't. This will only make you look worse!
- It can be difficult to be friends with everyone because not everyone will like you hanging out with so many different people. It can happen to you that you have some friends who don't hang out with each other, so you always have to choose who to hang out with, since you probably can't do it all at the same time.
- If the demanding contact with all those friends is too much for you, your friends will soon disappear again. Make sure you have some really good friends, otherwise all your friends may look more 'just' like acquaintances.
- You can't always have super good friends around you – very often people are a bit in between friends and acquaintances. Often enough you will leave a party on your own and then go to another party on your own. There you will see other friends again, but you cannot always and everywhere be surrounded by your very best friends.