5 Ways to Meet New People
In the age of the Internet, many people expect their social life to come to them. Whether online or via satellite, communication has become instantaneous and speaking to someone across the globe is as quick as speaking to someone across the dinner table. And yet many people struggle to forge meaningful relationships. This difficulty is not unique to our age, but it feels especially troubling to those who have faith in the countless technological advances of social media. ” If I can talk to anyone anywhere with the push of a button, shouldn’t I be able to make new friends just as easily?” Relying on the Internet to meet new people is a set-up for disappointment because it is a shortcut.
Like all shortcuts, social networks and dating websites skip the nitty-gritty of a complex process. Unfortunately, it is the skipped steps that foster personal growth and sustainable relationships with others. So here are five ways to meet new people that steer clear of the alluring ease of the Internet.
1. Visit Public Spaces
Frequenting places where other people are abundant seems really simple, but can be a very meaningful experience: a stroll through the park, sitting in the café on the corner, browsing bookshelves at the library, or even waiting for the bus. The act of people-watching is not only entertaining, but encourages a certain level of self-scrutiny, as we often compare ourselves to the others around us. With an open mind, you can learn a lot about your fellow human beings and in turn, about yourself. Seeing the type of people that inhabit shared spaces, the way they conduct themselves, and the things that interest them is a great way to discover people like you and people that you like.
2. Develop a Hobby
By spending time developing skills or talents that are valuable to you, you become more valuable to others. Not only for self-improvement, new hobbies can grant access to new groups of people interested in the same things. If you want to start cooking better meals and you take a class, you will meet others in that class who are like you on a very general level: they value good food. From that easy starting point, you might discover a much deeper connection through a shared value. By creating new fields of interest, you widen the range of your mutual interests with all other people in general.
A sort of hobby in itself, volunteering is something that takes very little technical skill or prerequisites. If you cannot think of a hobby that would interest you, try investing in public welfare. By entering a field with other people interested in kind acts, you have joined a league of complex, caring individuals. The reward of a kind act is the gratification of helping someone in need and generally speaking, the type of person who is interested in helping others is definitely a suitable candidate for a new friendship.
4. Mutual Acquaintances
Finding common ground is essential to making new friends, and if you and a stranger share a mutual friend, there is a great chance that you will value the same things in a relationship. Using your current friends to make new friends is perhaps the easiest way to broaden your social horizons, as the mutually-familiar third party will provide a significant measure of amicability and help to facilitate your introduction.
The key to all relationships is openness. Whether they are brand new or years old, a relationship will not thrive unless honesty is encouraged and judgments are shunned. Among all these tips for making new friends are suggestions that require a degree of bravery. But in essence, this bravery is the willingness to be open with yourself and with another. That is why the Internet shortcuts can actually be so crippling to your social life; they do not force you to open up because you are contained behind a computer screen. By opening your heart and mind to new possibilities, you will not be limited by your insecurities and the projections of value they impose onto others. By being less judgmental, you widen the range of your relationships. You just might find that making new friends is the simplest thing in the world if you can let go of the expectations that limit you from seeing the value in everyone.