Squadding up isn’t the easiest of tasks: despite what Taylor may have us believe. Meeting new folks takes a lot of time and effort. But it’s worth it: Studies have shown that having close friends actually adds years onto your life. So, how exactly can we bolster our posse, particularly after moving to a new college, town or job? Read on for our top tips.
Get out into the world: No, you don’t have to plaster the neighborhood with “Looking for Friends” flyers. What you *do* have to do is get involved in your community, because finding new friends is not a passive activity.
You can find people with similar interests by searching MeetUp.com for organized meetings about a myriad of subjects in your area. Just plug in your zip code and start browsing or searching. Traditional Malaysian Dance? Check. Virtual Reality Enthusiasts? Check. Pick-up soccer games? Check.
All total, MeetUp.com has over 105,000 groups and counting. If you don’t find a group that tickles your fancy, search for other groups having events around you.Volunteering is a great way to meet people. Or you can become a member of a museum or take a class that sounds interesting to you.The goal is to take action rather than waiting for people to come to you.
Don’t judge: So you’re a cinephile and your new friend’s favorite movie is Mall Cop. You’re a vegetarian but she orders bacon with a side of bacon.
But the bedrock of friendships are made of more important things. What kind of heart a friend has is more important than what kind of bands she listens to. Would you rather have a friend that shares your love of alternative folk, but tune out every time you talk, or would you rather someone who is always there for you, despite the fact she listens to Bruno Mars?
Take time to get to know someone. Once you get past the superficial stuff, you may find your new acquaintance has the makings of a really good friend.
Smile – even if you have to fake it: We know what you’re thinking: faking it is … well, fake. Not necessarily. Studies have shown that making a facial expression such as a smile, can actually affect your emotions.
How does that translate into making friends? Research also shows that people who smile are perceived as more attractive and more approachable. So say cheese–it may be the gateway to a new friendship!
Stay in touch with your old friends: Just because you’ve moved away doesn’t mean you’re completely off your old buddies’ grids. Many times, a friend from your former town will know someone who lives around you. Ask them to make an introduction!
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