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How to make friends (and keep them)

It can be difficult to meet new people. Sometimes, making new friends can feel even more challenging than dating. That’s especially true if you’re struggling with self-confidence. So, how should you go about it?

Two friends smiling and chatting outside

Here’s the lowdown on how to make new friends – and keep them.

Making new friends 101

First of all, it's ok not to have many (or any) friends. That doesn’t mean you’re not a good person. Lots of people feel really lonely! It's nothing to be ashamed of, but it won't change unless you take some action.

How do I make new friends, though?” Most people ask themselves this question at least once in their life. Whether it’s because you moved to a new town, started university, or joined a new company, or simply because you want more positive presences in your life, there’s no shame in wanting to meet more like-minded people.

Check out these tips to meet new people and make friends.

Multiply opportunities

The reason people struggle to make new friends is usually that they’re constantly surrounded by the same people. By staying in your comfort zone, you’re not allowing yourself the chance to find more like-minded people you could become friends with.

Making a conscious effort to expose yourself to more opportunities to socialize is key to meeting new people – especially if you just moved to a new place. Identify the places and activities that best reflect your interests and personality, and you’ll find your people there. That doesn’t mean you can only befriend people like you, but a shared interest always makes for a great conversation starter!

Here are a few places you could meet potential new friends:

Clubs & Activities

Do you like football? Painting? Playing the trumpet? Are you interested in learning Italian? Join a team or a class, and you’ll meet your tribe there. Plus, you’ll develop skills you care about.

Talks & Workshops

Similarly to clubs and courses, these one-off events can help you meet new people who share your interests. You can usually find those on your town’s website or on websites like Meetup. Stick around to ask questions or join the post-event social if there’s one.


Find a charity, society or association that you could support locally. It’s an excellent opportunity to give back and meet people who care about the same things as you.

Networking events

They might feel scary, but they’re an excellent way to meet people you already have something in common with while furthering your career.

Places of worship

If you’re religious, consider joining your local place of worship to meet people who share your values and beliefs. They usually offer mixer events and opportunities to volunteer, too.

Ask your friends

Yes, you read that right. Your existing friends are a great way to make new connections and meet people you’re likely to get along with.

Be candid and ask them if they can introduce you to some of their own friends or invite you to tag along when they go out together. Alternatively, you can open the invitation to your friends’ friends when you organize a party or an outing.

Your friends might feel uncomfortable or possessive with their own relationships, and that’s ok. They don’t owe you friends, but most of the time, they’ll be happy to introduce you. After all, the more the merrier!

Three friends chatting in a kitchen

Don’t compartmentalize

Some people like to keep things separate, but that’s no help when it comes to making friends. Just because you’re somewhere to study, work, or pick up your kids, doesn’t mean the people you interact with can’t be part of your friendship circle.

You might need to set some boundaries and leave a few topics off-limit, but building a bond with someone you see almost every day is bound to drive results.

Be approachable