Our society places a high value on romantic relationships. We believe that finding the proper partner will bring us happiness and fulfillment. However, studies suggest that friends are much more vital to our psychological well-being. We like friendship more than practically everything else in life.
Friendships have a significant influence on one’s mental health and well-being. Friendships reduce stress, bring comfort and delight, and keep you from feeling lonely and alone.
Developing strong connections can have a major influence on your physical well-being. Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and having an unhealthy life are all risks, but so is a lack of social interaction. Friendship has even been linked to longevity. According to a Swedish study, having a large social network, in addition to physical exercise, can help you live longer.
On the other hand, close friendships don’t just happen. Many of us find it difficult to meet new people and form meaningful friendships. It’s never too late to meet new friends, reconnect with existing ones, and substantially enhance your social life, emotional health, and general well-being, regardless of your age or circumstances.
10 Psychological Tricks to Quickly Make Friends
Do you want to make new friends? These 10 psychological tips can assist you in meeting new people, starting conversations, and cultivating good relationships that will improve your life and well-being.
Always Approach with a Positive Mindset
The way we view the world frames our whole life, according to board-certified psychiatrist Roxanna Namavar, D.O. You’re not going to go very far if you approach social situations or meet new acquaintances with negativity. This is the law of attraction 101: we must concentrate on what makes us happy. We’re reinforcing that reality if all we think about is our lack of new connections.
“It’s easier to see and connect with other individuals we resonate with when we start focusing on doing things that make us feel good and engaging in a way that enhances pleasant sentiments,” she says.
Don’t Be Scared to Take the Initiative and Make the First Move
Finding friendships, like dating, involves taking risks and putting yourself out there. It might be difficult at first to strike up a conversation with someone or invite them on an adventure. Don’t let your fear of rejection stop you from making the first move and expressing an interest in learning more about someone.
Don’t take it personally if your invitation is declined or you discover you don’t have a strong connection. “Congratulations for having the foresight to take that risk. Take a deep breath and try again with someone else when it seems right,” advises psychotherapist Arlene B. Englander, LCSW, MBA.
Become a Member of a New Club or Organisation
Susanna Guarino, MS, LMHC recommends becoming engaged in an activity that matters to you and where you’re likely to meet individuals who share your values and interests. You’ll have something to talk about, and some of these friendships may turn into long-term friendships over time.
Smile Makes You Look More Attractive
In one research at the University of Wyoming, almost 100 undergraduate women looked at photographs of another woman in one of four poses: open-body smile, closed-body smile, not smiling in an open body posture, and not smiling in a closed body position.
The woman in the photo was loved the best when she was smiling, regardless of her body posture, according to the results.
Researchers at Stanford University and the University of Duisburg-Essen recently discovered that students who communicated with one other through avatars felt better about the encounter when the avatar smiled more.Oh SY, Bailenson J, Krämer N, Li B (2016) Let the Avatar Brighten Your Smile: Effects of Enhancing Facial Expressions in Virtual Environments. PLoS ONE 11(9): e0161794. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0161794
Bonus: According to another study, smiling when you first meet someone helps them remember you later.
Curiosity is a Great Starting Point
Our anxieties can get the best of us when we’re meeting new people, according to Richmond, but this is true in both directions. Remember that a new acquaintance is exactly like you, with anxieties of their own.
“Lead with interest and ask questions about them instead of talking about yourself or thinking you have to impress this person,” she advises. “We’re all so stuck in our heads, so if you can assist someone gets out of theirs for a little, it’s usually really sweet.”
You Should Mirror the Person You’re With
Mirroring is a method that includes discreetly copying another person’s behavior. Try to imitate someone’s body language, gestures, and facial emotions when speaking with them.
The “chameleon effect,” which happens when people unintentionally copy each other’s behavior, was first reported in 1999 by New York University researchers. Likeability is increased by this imitation.
The researchers had 72 men and women work together on a task. While researchers recorded the encounters, the partners (who worked for the researchers) either copied or did not copy the other participant’s behavior. The researchers had participants rate how much they loved their companions at the end of the session.
Participants were more inclined to like their relationship when their partner mimicked their behavior.
To build new relationships, you may need to step outside of your comfort zone and attempt new activities. “The trick is to be willing to put oneself out there and interact with strangers,” Beurkens adds. Of course, this may be daunting, she says, “particularly for those who are shy or have social anxiety,” but “taking the risk to meet new people leads to the pleasure of forming new relationships.”
When you get an invitation, say “yes” as much as your inner social butterfly permits. You never know unless you try, and the more people you meet, the more opportunities you’ll have. “So they can put feelers out for you, and invite you to activities they’re going to,” Richmond suggests telling friends and family you want to meet new friends.
Keep an Open Mind
Respect other people’s opinions and experiences by listening with an open mind. Even if you disagree with what they’re saying, look for ways to listen to them. Be willing to change your perspective or see things from a new angle. Take the opportunity to learn more about another colleague’s project if your employer decides to move forward with that project rather than yours. You may also seek and get comments on your own project. You may develop and learn by looking at things from a different viewpoint.
Allow Yourself to be Vulnerable
People want to know the whole truth about you, including the good and the terrible. People would wonder if they are getting to know the real you if you show yourself as perfect. Vulnerability shows others that you are willing to open up and let them in. Share a problem you’re having or a blunder you’ve made, for example.
Do Someone a Favour
According to O’Brien, research has confirmed that doing a favor for someone has a good consequence. It aids in the development of closeness and positive feelings between the two individuals. Making a new friend does not need you to give someone a big favor. Even a tiny act of kindness may make a big difference. It might entail offering assistance or direction to the individual next to you, whether at work, school, or in any other social setting.
This may appear to be a lot of work. Isn’t it true that friendships should just happen the way they did when we were younger? The sooner we let go of the notion that they do, the sooner we’ll be able to make friends. We are crafting our future lives by being mindful of our interactions now. If we want to live in a world where we thrive on connection and are surrounded by people we love and who love us, we must begin building that environment today.
These 10 psychological steps may appear intimidating at first, but with practice, they will become second nature. You never know who’s the day you’ll make when you reach out, and it might be the start of a long friendship. So, be bold and take the initiative. You’ve got this!
Wishing you good luck in your search for new friends… ; )