Most people struggle to make new friends but it can be more challenging for those that are shy. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Even the shyest of people can have a healthy social circle to avoid loneliness. So do you struggle with shyness?
Shyness is much more common than you may think. People don’t generally like to admit they’re shy and try to hide it. Don’t assume that everyone in a room is confident, accept you.
Shyness can be a challenge in all social situations, but challenges can be overcome. If you’re shy, you can make friends without giving yourself an anxiety attack in the process.
Try these tips to make new friends:
1. Put your focus on others. You can only be shy if you’re thinking about yourself. If you put all of your attention on the other person, your shyness will evaporate.
2. Leverage the friends you already have. Instead of meeting complete strangers, spend more time chatting with people you already know. Your friends might have some friends that you might like. This can be psychologically easier than meeting new people.
3. Ask questions. With this tip, you can avoid worrying about what to say during a conversation. With a few good questions, you won’t have to say much. Just ask an open-ended question and give the other person your attention.
4. Be more approachable. Smile and say, “Hi.” Make it easy for others to approach you.
5. Have a conversation plan. Have a few good stories and conversation topics ready to go at a moment’s notice. You’ll feel more confident and willing to talk to others.
6. Use compliments. Everyone loves a compliment. It’s a great way to start a positive interaction.
7. Practice talking to others. The more practice you get, the more comfortable you’ll feel. You can keep it short. Just say ‘hi’ to someone and ask a simple question, such as:
◦ Where did you get those shoes?
◦ Can you believe this weather?
8. Build your self-confidence. Find a book on self-confidence and put the ideas into action. A lack of self-confidence contributes to shyness.
9. Maintain the friendships you have. If you can keep the friends you already have, you won’t need to make as many new friends. Keeping friends can be challenging, so be willing to put in the necessary work.
10. Get out of the house. Miracles do happen, but it’s unlikely that someone is going to knock on your door and beg to be your friend. The people you need to meet are outside of your home. Get out in the world and meet a few of them.
11. Accept invitations. Avoid turning down social invitations. Go to weddings, parties and barbecues. Be social!
12. Be realistic. It can be intimidating if you believe that you need to find 20 friends or to be the most popular person you know. Many shy people are completely happy with a few good friends. More than that would be overwhelming. Have a realistic plan for your social life that meets your needs.
Everyone can make friends if suitably motivated. Shy people can find themselves in a small social circle, but it’s possible to add a couple of friends to your life without too much trouble.
Be sure to accept any opportunities to socialise. Be approachable. Ask questions. Smile. It’s just a few basic things that pay off in a big way over time.
Set a goal of making a new friend this month and do your best to achieve it. Get out of the house and make a few friends!