10 effortless tips on how to make friends

Making new friends can be hard. I have always struggled with this and I know that others do as well. In today’s post, I will share 10 tips on how to make friends.

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My Past

For 20 years, I went to the same church and lived in the same town. I knew everybody and everybody knew me. People would sometimes say that getting to know people was hard and I would be confused because I had never known that to be true.

But one day all that changed. About 5 years ago, my husband and I moved from one end of the country to the other. We had no choice but to start all over and make new friends.

I discovered that making friends at a new church can be hard. My husband and I have worked at making friends and can now say that we have many close friends.

I discovered that making new friends as adults can be hard. My husband and I have worked at making friends and can now say that we have many close friends.

If you are new in town or at a school or church and have not made friends yet, here are  10 tips to help you make new friends.

I mainly focus on making friends at church, but these tips can be used in any setting.

10 tips on how to make friends

1. Say hello                                                       

Proverbs is a book of wisdom. In it, we find the secret to making friends,

Proverbs‬ ‭18:24‬ ‭ NKJV‬‬ says: “A man who has friends must himself be friendly…”

To make friends, one must be friendly. It might sound simple, but one way to be friendly is to say hello.

At church, there are many opportunities to say hello. This might be during the service where you are asked to turn around and greet each other, or it might be before or after the service. When trying to make friends saying hello is the first step.

The church we go to has about 400 people. It’s hard to get to know everybody. In the first year of going there, my husband and I decided to sit in a different spot every week and to try to say hello and meet as many people as we could. Now, we recognize and know many people in our church.

2. Make the first step

Churches are usually friendly but sometimes people are busy and don’t notice new people. Instead of waiting for people to greet you and invite you to events I suggest that you make the first step.

You find people to say hi to and introduce yourself. If you wait for people to invite you to events it might be months before you get to know people.

3. Start with people in your demographics

When we first moved to our new city I was 7 months pregnant and had a 3-year-old. The first place I made friends was in the nursery taking care of my baby. The church we go to has many people in the same stage as we were in and it was an easy way to relate.

Friendship usually starts over a shared experience. Bonding over children, work or your stage will help you connect to people quickly.

4. Go to events

Most churches have events going on throughout the week. One way to get to know people is to pick some events and go to them regularly.

Just by going people will start recognizing your face and will greet you and want to get to know you. Some of these events may be bible studies or children’s programs. If your church does not have any events, maybe they need you to plan one.

5. Be hospitable

Sharing a meal has a great way of bringing people together. One way to get to know people better is by having people over for a meal.

My husband and I would open the church directory and pick a family or person to invite over for a meal. Over the years, we have had many people over. Some of these people have turned into close friends.

6. Follow-through

The first hello and interaction are the easiest. It’s the follow-up that can be hard. If you suggest to somebody that you want to hang out…. follow through and make the plans.

Take out your phone and choose a date that works best for you. There have been too many times when somebody has said: let’s do coffee, and then they never actually make the plans. Be a person of your word and follow through.

7. Make the effort and stay in touch

Life can get busy. One of the first things that go when having young children is friend time. So I know how hard it is to juggle kids, husband, church, work, and friendship. But friends are the people who keep us sane, and honest. So, it’s important to take time and keep the friendship going.

If there is somebody that you want to spend time with no they have not contacted you, then you make the effort.

In high school no university, this was the part I struggled with the most. I still do. For some reason, picking up the phone is scary to me. I was lonely and wanted friendship but did not know how to reach out. Since the idea of calling people scared me, I spent many lonely nights in my basement.

Now, calling still scares me, but I know that making plans is better than waiting. Maybe your friend is lonely too and can’t seem to pick up the phone. You never know who you are saving from a night alone at home.

8. Branch out

Maybe you go to a church that does not have anybody your age. If that is the case, don’t neglect people who are not your age or in your stage.

‬‬ The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Titus‬ ‭2:3-5‬ ‭NKJV

How can any of this happen if we only make friends with people our age? It’s important to branch out and get to know people of all ages.

In university, my mother started a weekly seniors’ lunch. I would go every week to help out. It was the highlight of my week and I got to know many of the elderly people in our church. I counted many of them as close friends.

9. Don’t give up

My husband and I reached out to a few people we thought would be close friends. But due to busy lives and schedule conflicts, some of those friendships never went any further. It’s not that those people were not nice or not willing, but they were already living a full life at the time and did not have time to commit to more.

Instead of being hurt and shutting down, we moved on. My husband and I just found other people to reach out to and tried again.

Friendship comes with trial and error. It might not happen right away or with the first people that you get to know. But if you keep trying eventually you will find the type of friendships you are looking for.

10. Be realistic

Making deep and lasting friendships take time. It’s important to be realistic and to know that deep friendships take time and effort.

Close friendships don’t happen overnight. If you take the time and effort to put yourself out there and keep working at it, you will find yourself with close friends soon enough.

The first year in the new area I said hi to a woman at a lady’s retreat. She was nice and I liked her. A few months later, I found out she lived in my area. Through getting to know her at bible study, we started to meet during the week at the park, then at each other’s homes.

Now, she is my closest friend. We did not start off as close friends, but with time and effort, she has become somebody I depend on for friendship.

I hope that by following these tips, you will be encouraged and will develop deep and lasting friendships.

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In the comments below, share how you make friends.

57 responses to “10 effortless tips on how to make friends”

  1. Wendy Sprous | Moments For "Me" Avatar

    Lots of great points made! I have a close group of friends currently that I made through a shared experience of our kids being in a virtual school together. I planned a weekly picnic at the park and invited any families from the school that lived in the area to join us. It took a few weeks, but eventually some people started coming. It’s been years since then and several of the kids no longer attend the virtual school, but we still get together occasionally to do something fun.
    http://www.momentsformeonline.com

  2. Ayana Avatar

    Great advice! It can be so hard to reach out and say hello or ask a question to someone you see out and about. I have been trying to to better when I see moms with kids around the same age as mine!

  3. Hailey Avatar

    I love this! As an introvert, it can be scary to approach people, but the first step in making new friends :).

  4. Ilka Elise Avatar

    I’m such a homebody and introvert.. I need to go out more often! Great reminder and such good tips. <3
    Thank's for sharing (I'm happy I'm not the only one who dioesn't like calling haha) xx

  5. Dara Avatar

    I have trouble making friends sometimes too. I have found that joining groups like for me a book group is very helpful.

  6. Carlie Avatar

    I kind of needed this. Since I left college, it’s been difficult to make the effort to stay in touch but I definitely need to.

  7. Krysten Avatar

    I am such an introvert, I find it so difficult to branch out and make friends. I really wish I had more ability. Your tips should really help though, at least I hope!

  8. Barb Avatar

    These are great tips! My family moved to Northern California almost 2 years ago and it was a struggle at first meeting new people. Now I just take the initiative and plan outings with people and its been great!

    http://www.flashesofdelight.com

  9. Lauren C. Moye Avatar

    As an introvert, I struggle with so much of this. Thank you for sharing your tips, Anne!

  10. Leah Avatar

    Awesome tips. I am SO shy! I can make myself say, “Hello” but what comes out after is a bumbling hot mess!

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      I have a hard time as well but the effort is well worth it

  11. Jamie Avatar

    These really are great tips. Moving can be hard–we’ve done it four times in my marriage–and each time you have to start over. It’s definitely important to take initiative in reaching out to people. Most of the time, women are already in established friendships, they’re happy with those friendships, and aren’t incredibly motivated to enlarge the circle. If you don’t reach out and be yourself, they’ll never see that you are the PERFECT addition to the group ๐Ÿ™‚ And it takes more than once. You can’t reach out once, have a great time, and expect to be in the club. You have to put yourself out there consistently for a bit before people begin to automatically think of including you. Remember that it takes a while to form a habit, and these fantastic but new people are not in the habit of including you until you help them along ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      It is so much harder to make friends as an adult because your right, most people already has a circle and are not willing to expand. But, over time and continued work, we can fit in.

  12. Nicola Avatar
    Nicola

    Great post. I love the practicality of the tips and the way some of them keep you busy (like inviting people for a meal) or give you an ‘automatic’ topic of conversation!

  13. the sofieyah diaries Avatar
    the sofieyah diaries

    Good tips to bare in mind for sure, thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

    http://thesofieyahdiaries.com/travel/food-adventures-nyc

  14. Anita Avatar
    Anita

    I totally agree with making the effort and branching out. Too many people these days expect friendships to come to them or only stay with people they know, how will you know what kind of person you or you like if you don’t hang out with different kinds of people. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. marvina Avatar

    This was really great. I also feel that smiling can be a great thing to do to make friends. Even if you are new, if you just smile or say hi to someone, you can make a friend. When I felt lost, I just decided that I’m not going to make friends if I don’t be a friend, so I was nice, said hello and smiled and I now have a really great friend. Also don’t just search for friends but let them come to you. If someone wants to be a friend to you, then will…it may take a long time, but if they really want to be your friend, they will be your friend. Friends show up in different places and searching for them, isn’t always the answer.

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      Smiling does go a long way. For hose of us who have a hard time reaching out, it’s a good step we can take. Just being open to the possibility.

  16. Larissa Avatar

    All of my closest friends have come from either school or being on the same team. Now that I’m out of school, and my friends are all spread out, it’s a lot harder to make friends. I know I need to branch out and attend more events, but it’s a lot easier said than done. Hopefully I’ll have the courage to do so one day! Thanks for sharing!

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      Courage is the hardest part. I have problems with that as well. But I know that it is worth it.

  17. Karin Peters Avatar

    Thank you so much for such a helpful post. Calling people has always been scary for me too. It’s so worth it though. Thank you for such an insightful post!

  18. Elizabeth Masarik Avatar

    These are all great tips. I think the most important thing is to make the effort.

    1. anne.markey1@gmail.com Avatar

      The effort is the hardest part for me, but it’s so important.

  19. Bonnie Marrow Avatar

    This is really insightful, I seems hard to am keep hard to make friends in such a techy time

  20. Whimsy Avatar
    Whimsy

    I love this post so much! As someone with social anxiety it isn’t very easy for me to make friends, so these tips will be very helpful for me ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

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