Tips for meeting new people

Meeting new people can often be tough. Check out our tips for what you can do to make the process a bit easier.

This might help if:

  • You're looking to make new friends
  • You want to meet some new people
  • You're shy at social events
  • You struggle with socialising
Three girls in a row

Top tips

Whether you’re shy or outgoing, meeting new people can sometimes be scary. The hardest part, I think, is just getting out there and forcing yourself to meet new people. Maybe you’re starting school with a new group of kids, maybe you’re going to camp, or maybe you’re just looking for some new friends? Whatever it is, it can definitely be a stressful time and that’s understandable.

Meeting new people is something everyone goes through, so it’s always good to find out tips that might make it a bit easier.

  • Listen and ask questions. It shows that you care about what the person is saying and also that you are interested in them. Make eye contact while they are speaking and follow up with a couple of questions. If all goes well, the conversation will flow nicely. If not, it is okay to try again!
  • Give a compliment. Have you ever received a compliment? Doesn’t it feel great?! Giving a compliment to someone naturally gives them an ego boost and they appreciate what you have to say. Try going up to someone and complimenting them on their shoes or their haircut. This could also provide as a conversation starter. Try following this up with some questions.
  • Detach yourself from technology. If you are constantly on your phone/computer and distracted by emails and text messages, you may not notice if someone is interested in you. It also makes people think that you are unavailable and not interested in chatting. Make a mental note of the people around you and spend a little time getting to know them rather than hiding behind your phone or computer.
  • Join a team or club. Having something in common with others immediately gives you something to talk about. No matter what it is, it can be fun to pursue things with other people and also gives you a great sense of community and belonging. Investigate some clubs at your school or local youth centre. You are bound to find people who are interested in the same things as you are, no matter what it may be.
  • Volunteer. Having a strong desire to help others is often attractive to other people. You can volunteer in your school, community, or church. Chances are there will be loads of people your age also volunteering their time.
  • Laugh and smile. Always looking gloomy or cranky makes you seem unapproachable. It can really help to laugh with people at a joke or even just smile at someone to let them know you are interested in what they think. Plus, laughing is the best medicine you can offer to your body. It makes you less tense and will help loosen you up in most situations.

Remember, the hardest part is starting up the conversation, but once you get over that road bump you will find yourself getting better and better at meeting new people. The only thing you have to lose is the possibility that someone might not be interested in making a new friend, but that just means they weren’t the right person for you anyway! Someone who isn’t open to meeting new people may not be who you want to hang around. It is best to find friends who will accept you for who you are, whoever you are.

What can I do now?

  • Try to think of things to talk about in advance.
  • If you're too nervous to participate in a conversation, just listen.
  • If you find you're super stressed about socialising, find out more about social phobias.
Last reviewed: 26 August, 2015
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