This article has everything you need to know about how to become more social. How are we introverts supposed to motivate ourselves to make new friends? If you are like me, the idea of sitting at home with a book sounds much more relaxing than going to a cocktail party to meet strangers. But even the most hardened introvert has to admit that connecting with other humans is an important part of a happy life.
Fortunately, you do not have to be an extrovert to make new friends. Even if socializing does not come naturally, you can take steps to force yourself to put more effort into meeting new people and making personal connections. You just have to learn the secrets of motivating yourself to be more social.
In this article, I will share with you the keys I have used to force myself to get out and meet new people. Some of them might sound unconventional, but give them a try and you will be happily surprised. They will give you the extra drive you need to make new friends.
How To Become More Social
1: Find Social Activities That Appeal To You
One way to motivate yourself to attend social events is to find events that are inherently attractive to you. For example, if you love books, then the idea of attending a book club will appeal to you quite apart from the issue of whether the club is a good venue for socializing. Once you get there, though, socializing will naturally occur.
Stop reading right now and list ten types of clubs or organizations that naturally appeal to you. Examples could include any type of sports league (e.g., soccer, basketball, kickball, or whatever), discussion groups of all kinds (e.g., book clubs, writing groups, or public speaking organizations), and religious or political organizations.
Do some research online to find out which of these organizations is available in your area. Make plans to attend a meeting of one of the organizations. If you have selected well, you will not experience social anxiety about attending the meeting – the meeting should be interesting enough to motivate you to attend for non-social reasons.
2: View Smalltalk as a Skill to be Mastered
Socializing does not have to be all about making new friends. Social skills are skills that can be mastered like any other skill. If you focus on developing these skills, making new friends will come as a pleasant side effect.
Try approaching smalltalk as a skill. Read books about how to be good at smalltalk. Watch other people converse socially, and note techniques that you like or do not like. Notice when people create pleasant conversations with you, and note what techniques they use. You can even approach someone who is good at small talk, and ask him/her for some tips.
As with any skill development program, you should keep a record of the things you learn while studying smalltalk. Set goals, record your progress, and reward yourself for success.
3: Create Positive Mental Associations for Socializing
The first two techniques (above) seek to make socializing more palatable by taking conscious steps to make it more appealing. In this third technique, you will take steps to get your subconscious mind on board, too. This is important because your subconscious attitudes toward making friends will affect your level of success at this activity.
Start by thinking of an activity that you enjoy very much. Close your eyes and visualize this activity. Pay particular attention to the way in which your mind represents this activity. When you visualize the enjoyable activity, where does the activity appear? Is it close to your face, or off in the distance? Is it to your left or you right? Up or down? Pinpoint the location where your mind stores this memory.
Now think about making new friends. Repeat the visualization activity described above, noticing where your mind stores your image of making new friends.
Next, visualize the activity of making new friends moving from its current location in your mind to the location where your mind stores the enjoyable activity that you visualized. Store “making new friends” in this enjoyable-memory space.
After completing this exercise, think about making new friends. Do you feel differently about it now? Does the process of making new friends feel more enjoyable now? If you did the exercise correctly, it will.
4: Overcome Your Shortcomings
This next technique seeks to make the activity of making new friends more appealing by removing any obstacles that make you feel insecure or uncomfortable when socializing.
Carefully and honestly examine the following common areas of insecurity:
1. Personal hygiene (do you take care of your body’s appearance?)
2. Clothing (do you dress in a flattering manner?)
3. Knowledge of current events (do you stay informed about issues that matter to most people?)
If you have problems in any of these areas, take steps right now to improve. For example, if you are insecure because you believe you have bad breath, you might decide to buy mouthwash or medication of some type.
After you remove a personal shortcoming that makes you feel insecure in social settings, you might find that you are much more motivated to make new friends. You will probably also find that you experience better results when meeting other people.
5: Live Social
You already spend twenty-four hours a day somewhere. A typical adult lives in at least two settings – home and work. Depending on your lifestyle, you might inhabit other settings, too (e.g., school, restaurants you frequent, stores you shop at, etc.).
In this fifth technique, you will change your settings to increase the likelihood of making new friends.
Think about the place you work. Is it conducive to socializing? Do you like the people you with whom you work? If work does not contribute positively to your social life, consider changing jobs, or transferring to another department with people you will enjoy more.
What about the place you live? Obviously, a cabin in the woods would not be ideal for someone trying to make friends, but certain neighborhoods might inhibit your social life as well. For example, if you are a young person, you might want to move from a neighborhood dominated by elderly neighbors to an apartment complex full of young people.
You might even consider shopping at stores that provider a greater likelihood of making social connections.
Improving the social potential of the places you inhabit will force you to make new friends with very little effort.
By reading this article, you have demonstrated that you really want to force yourself to make new friends. Put your desire to work by employing the suggestions you have read. The five techniques described here will set you up for low-effort socializing.
The best friendships are formed in casual, effortless ways – not through awkward contacts at get-to-know-you events. Consequently, your efforts to make new friends should be directed at placing yourself in the best social settings with the best attitude possible, rather than using grim willpower to push through a series of unpleasant social rituals.
Now you have the tools you need to force yourself to make new friends. Connect with other people and enjoy the life you deserve.
Thank you for reading this article about how to become more social and I really hope that you take action my advice. I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.