Want to learn how to meet people? Read on for some tips and prudent advice on meeting people, regardless of why you are looking to branch out.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, and whether you’re married or single, young or old, the following advice can help you with ideas of how and where to meet new people for friendship, networking, or even dating.
We come into contact with a plethora of people on an almost daily basis. Some people seem to be super popular and make new friends all the time. But most people don’t try to figure out how to meet people or really connect with new people every day because they don’t seize opportunities to do so. If you want to, you can continually make connections with others and you can turn many of those contacts into opportunities.
Whether it’s someone you regularly see at a place you continually visit or you seek out to go places where you can easily meet new people, there are ways to come into contact with more people and more importantly…to fine-tune your conversational skills so that chance encounters often transition into conversations. Many of those conversations could become the catalyst that turns connections into new relationships, friendships, and networking opportunities.
Why do you want to learn how to meet people?
There are many reasons for wanting to learn how to meet people.
- Are you lonely and need to increase your social circle?
- Want to develop new hobbies and skills?
- Looking to network for professional reasons?
- Want new relationships for romantic reasons?
- Have you relocated or made major changes in your life and are looking for new friends for yourself and / or your family?
Some people seem to have no trouble meeting others. But some people find it difficult for a number of reasons. Why do some people find it tough to meet new people than others?
- Perhaps you don’t know where to start so you just don’t bother
- Maybe you’re not the type to take initiative so opportunities to meet others just don’t seem to happen to you
- Maybe you’ve never had to develop the art of making friends because of the way you grew up
- Maybe you’re just too picky about the type of people you want to meet so you ignore opportunities
There are a lot of reasons people look for advice on how to meet people. There is no shame in it!
- Maybe you’ve relocated. Moving can be difficult, especially if you’re in a new city or country. And you can feel the impact whether you’re single or have a family. It can be overwhelming. Meeting new people becomes a necessity when you suddenly have little to no access to those you’ve spent all your time with in the past. Even though we can connect with others in our life digitally, having access to people locally is vital for our overall well being and happiness. People are innately social animals…whether they admit it or not.
- Have you made a big change in your life? Are you suddenly single or widowed? Have you had a major change in terms of deciding you need to make new friends because there is toxicity in your life that you need to eliminate?
- Do you realize that life is passing you by? Perhaps you’ve realized you need to make new acquaintances because you spend far too much time alone. Maybe your partner is a hermit and you’ve decided it’s time to pursue meeting new people on your own. Maybe you’ve dedicated too much time to work or to your family and you’ve just had an epiphany that it’s time for you to seize the day and meet new people. Are you ready to try to branch out more in life and develop new social skills?
- Have you made a career change into an area that now requires you to meet more people? If you’re a salesperson or are starting a new business, learning how to meet new people will increase your chances of meeting your business goals. Connections can be fun and they can also become profitable.
Where do you start?
There are more opportunities to connect with people than you might imagine. Read on for information to help you find starting points and to help you take new opportunities and take things to the next step.
Below are some tips to help you and some will help you overcome shyness so that you can take initiative with new people you meet so that one encounter has the opportunity to turn into a friendship, business relationship, even a romantic relationship — if that’s what you’re after.
Are you too Picky?
If you want to learn how to meet new people, maybe it’s time to realize that you need to be more open-minded. Meeting people isn’t just about meeting people who meet a specific set of guidelines. Meeting a variety of people can become viral. If you become friendly with a new person, you could be open to their circle of friends and acquaintances and those friendships could be the catalyst for even more friendships.
Polishing your skills and being mindful of new opportunities to meet people will help you do two important things:
- Recognize opportunities
- Act on them
It’s important to recognize new opportunities to make friends and connections. You want to learn how to meet people and you want to learn how to take initiative.
Suggestion: Become adept at the art of conversation
How do you be a good conversationalist? A poor conversationalist doesn’t know how to keep a conversation going. A poor conversationalist often talks too much about themselves.
A conversation takes at least two people and poor conversationalists often don’t give others a chance to talk. Or, they don’t participate enough in a conversation to keep it going and don’t look to find ways to take a conversation to a level that might inspire future conversations.
If someone speaks to you, do you give a one word answer and look the other way? Do you often dissect conversations you’ve had and wish you’d handled them differently?
Do You Respect Boundaries?
When meeting new people, it’s important to respect boundaries. Don’t ask questions that are too personal and don’t give away too much information about yourself. If you tell someone you’ve just met your life story, you’ll probably repel them. And don’t be too hard on yourself if you’ve put your foot in your mouth during a conversation. There will be new opportunities!
Tips for good conversations:
- Be interested
- Be a good listener
- Ask open ended questions
- Be open to making future plans
- Don’t be too pushy
So, how do you meet people to practice your conversation skills with?
- Say yes more often. Many of us receive invitations to social events on a regular basis but we often say no. Even if something doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, give it a chance./li
- Step outside of your comfort zone. If you currently have trouble meeting people, look at changing your habits. Do you ignore others’ attempts to befriend you?
- Talk to people more often. Are there people you come in contact with regularly that you could start conversations with? Meet the same people in the elevator regularly? Do you walk your dog or check your mail and see the same people often? “We’ve got to stop meeting like this!” with a smile can be a great conversation starter. Even a conversation about the weather, trite as it may seem, can be a place to start in figuring out how to meet people.
- Get a dog and walk that dog often. Find a good dog park. You might meet other dog lovers who are often social people.
- Talk to people you do know. Find out what they’re doing socially. Is it something you could join? Knowing one person in a social situation could be helpful as they may introduce you to their other friends. Take advantage, if possible, of friends who already seem to know how to meet people.
- Join a faith group. Churches can be very sociable as fellowship is generally at the core of a faith-based organization’s objectives. Don’t jump in head first, though. Check out a few different churches to find one that meets your needs socially and spiritually.
- Join a sports team. It could be baseball, it could be bowling. Many of these scenarios include a social event at the end of the game that can help you in your quest of learning how to meet people.
- Take a class. Interested in cooking, crafts, or some other area? This could present a great opportunity to meet new people.
- Volunteer. Are you passionate about something? Volunteering could put you in great places that open up your horizons for meeting people.
- Go back to school. Take some night classes or workshops. These could present great opportunities and help you broaden your career horizons as well.
- Join professional organizations related to your business field. These could open new social doors for you with respect to finding ways to meet people with similar interests and backgrounds as well as present new career opportunities.
- Be a social leader. A great way to take initiative that will help you find ways of how to meet people is to put yourself in a position where new people will come to you. Start something new. Start a committee. Plan a local charity event. Be creative!
So, once you figure out how to meet people, how do you take things from saying hello to the next level? Create opportunities for the future and learn to follow up. Here are suggestions:
- Trade business cards and get in touch by email to invite someone to an event or to say you’re in the area of their office next week and would love to meet for lunch.
- Befriend someone on social media such as Facebook or Twitter. Then there will be opportunities to say Hello informally, start friendly conversation, or to invite someone to an event.
- Give someone a call. Don’t stress too much before the call but do have a reason to call. You might tell them you have an extra ticket to a sporting event or the theatre or something similar that they may want to attend with you. If you’ve gathered info in first meeting them you may know of something that would interest them that you can tell them about and invite them to.
Caution: Don’t come on too strong
When trying to figure out how to meet people, try to be mindful and aware of how people react to you. That way you can ascertain whether or not they’re uninterested in becoming friends and this can help you fine-tune your approach. If someone declines an offer to get together, it might be genuine and don’t hesitate to try to make second contact.
But if someone continually makes an excuse, back off. Try not to let failed contact attempts dissuade you from trying to continually meet new people. Sometimes people are just not interested. Other times, you can asses how you tried to meet people and fine-tune your approach. There will be other opportunities to meet people who are interested in friendship, networking, or a relationship.
When trying to figure out how to meet people, take one step at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself, especially if this is all new to you! You could go from having a totally empty calendar to being so overbooked and then you could have too much on your plate and the result could be that you let these new friends down…limiting the possibilities for those new relationships to blossom.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be terrifying and painful. And once you start making efforts to meet new people you’ll probably find that it doesn’t take much effort and can happen naturally because you’ve expanded your horizons.