The Shy Person’s Guide to Making Friends

If you’re shy or lack confidence, you may find making new friends difficult. But being quiet or more reserved than others doesn’t mean you can’t have a positive social life and a good network of friends. If you’re keen to make new friends but are unsure how to begin, there are a few techniques you can try:

Find Like-minded People
A great way to make new friends is to find other people who are in the same boat. Many towns and cities have social clubs and events specifically for people wanting to make new friends. Do some research online and find out if there are any of these types of organisation in your area.

Don’t Try to Change
A common mistake made by shy people is to try change their own personality in order to make friends but this is often the worst thing you can do. If you try to behave in a way that doesn’t come naturally, it can seem very fake and be off-putting to other people. Trying to be loud or funny can back-fire if that’s not how you are normally. So instead of trying to be someone you’re not, embrace your true personality. After all, a room full of extraverts would soon become tiresome and it’s often nice for people to find someone quieter to talk to.

Join a Club
Joining a club or society is a great way to meet people who share your hobbies and interests. From a fitness class to a film club or a reading group to a night-school class, there are lots of places where you can meet other people that you might have something in common with. And it’s much easier to strike up conversation with someone about a specific topic rather than desperately trying to find something to say to a group of people in a bar.

If you find it hard to socialise during group activities, volunteer for a specific role. For example, you could offer to make the teas and coffees at your child’s sport’s day or you could offer to help with the marketing for the local church fundraiser. Having a specific role means people will come and talk to you and provides the opportunity for you to make friends with other volunteers.

Party Tricks
A party is a great place to meet new people but can often be very daunting for a shy person. But don’t decline that party invitation just because you are nervous – accept every invitation you receive as you never know who you might meet. Some tricks for handling party nerves include getting there early so that you can meet people gradually, rather than arriving to a busy room full of loud conversations. You could also ask the host if they need any help. Helping with little jobs such as refilling people’s drinks gives you an great excuse to go up to new people in a relaxed way.

Get People Talking
If you hate being the centre of attention, don’t worry about putting on a show. Instead encourage others to talk about themselves by asking them questions. Not only will this show that you are interested in them but it also takes the pressure off you.

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