Advice for young people

How to make new friends

Friends smiling

Making new friends doesn't always come naturally. Sometimes we will have to be proactive and find them for ourselves. Follow the simple steps below on how you can meet new people. It might seem strange or uncomfortable at first, but be persistent and patient. Good friendships don't happen instantly, but with a little effort things can change pretty quickly!

Join a club or offer help

You don't have to have the exact same interests as someone to be friends, but clubs or teams are an amazing and quick way to meet new people. If there aren't any clubs that interest you, you could always start one! It will be a great way to gain confidence, be a leader and meet loads of new people with similar interests.

If clubs aren't your thing, keep an eye out for opportunities to volunteer or help at local youth events. Have a look to see if there are any youth clubs in your local area, as these usually offer activities for a huge range of interests and have a very large social aspect too.

Talk to people and introduce yourself

Surrounding yourself with new people means you are half way there to making friends, but this will involve talking to them! Make yourself open to conversation by sitting near small groups or individuals. Ask basic questions and introduce yourself.

Display positive body language

Body language tells others a lot about how you are feeling and whether you want to be involved. Keep yourself open to engaging by following our tips on being assertive.

Be proactive

Don't always wait for others to arrange something. If you have started to make new friends, see if they want to do something after school.

Pursue common interests

If you find that someone has the same interest, use this as a conversation starter. Ask them if they want to join a club or invite them to do the hobby together.

Choose the right friends

Have a think about what makes a good friend and choose who you want to spend time with carefully - you don't have to be best friends with everyone you meet! Don't get tied down to people who don't make you feel good, or don't have your best interests at heart. Likewise, make sure you treat others with respect and in a way that you would like to be treated. 

Don't pressurise or be clingy

While it is important to be proactive and make an effort, appreciate that making friends is a gradual process and will not happen overnight. Take things slowly and don't pressurise people into doing things straight away.

Related advice

What makes a good friend?
Moving away from frenemies
How to be assertive

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