AN INTROVERT'S GUIDE TO MAKING NEW CONNECTIONS.
So you have lived a major part of your life in your lovely warm, cozy cocoon. You have very few friends, some of which you grew up with and you probably didn't even have to make much effort to initiate friendships. You cherish your old friends very much but you want to branch out, make new friends and you don't know how to.
Well, friendly godmother is here to help! She'll be giving you a few tips on how to get out there and make new friends.
1. Baby steps: Say hello
When you go out, alone or with friends, say hello to people you meet with a smile. The fellow customer at the cashpoint, the person you pass by on your way into the restaurant, the waiter, the cashier at the bank. A brief hello with a smile is a good start. Friendships can be made in the oddest of places because of a simple hello.
2) Attend events.
If you've been turning down invitations to go out for lunch with your friends and their friends, now is a good time to start accepting them. Your friends’ friends can be your friends too if you give it a try. It doesn't even have to be an event with people you're familiar with, it could be a writing seminar, an event for entrepreneurs or creatives. Just try to get yourself out there as much as you can. One great event I can assure you that you'll meet lovely new people is the MOP Goal Brunch. You can give that a shot!
3) Don't isolate yourself at work
Your workplace can be a fertile ground for good friendships. Yes it is good to mind your business but you shouldn't isolate yourself either. You can follow your co-workers to their favourite food place during lunch break and be open to mingling.
4) Don't be scared
to start a conversation
It's not enough to attend events and go out with co-workers if you maintain an awkward silence throughout. You can start the conversation. It could be with a compliment. Small, simple conversations like paying a compliment and getting a thank you can be a good springboard to learning how to initiate and sustain longer conversations.
5) Follow up on your
Now that you've managed to attend an event and actually talk to new people, you can't stop there. If you exchanged numbers with someone, give them a call or send a text. However, you have to learn to be sensitive for encouragement cues. Subtle cues like, “I'll call you later today” or “I'll send you a massage when I'm off work” or them even asking you to hang out and actually doing it is an indicator that the friendship can get somewhere. If they're not encouraging you or meeting you at the proverbial middle in terms of effort to sustain the new friendship, please feel free to back off. It's not by force, lol.
Finally, dearest introvert, making friends is a state of mind and it requires conscious effort. It might not come to you as easily as it would for the classic extrovert but I assure you, with time you'll get a hang of it. You don't need to give yourself a personality overhaul, but it'll be nice if people got to know you and how amazing you are.