Friendships are necessary treasures that everybody yearns to protect. However, for a large proportion of the population, initiating these relationships is the most challenging task. As human beings, we need to interact with others to maintain our mental well-being. Talking with other people is scientifically proven to reduce mental pressure and improve mood.
Interaction with strangers and making new friends can be a huge challenge for people who naturally possess an introverted nature. Unsurprisingly, introverts report a higher incidence of depression and other mood-related disorders than people of different personality types. Introverts may also lack confidence in speaking fluently with strangers, throwing in bouts of stammer or fillers in their sentences.
If building new friendships sounds like a formidable challenge, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got your back! This article presents a concise yet comprehensive guide outlining tips to build long-lasting friendships.
- Be a listener more than a speaker:
While speaking is essential to initiate conversations and steer them in the right direction, when it comes to talking with strangers, listen more than you speak. When you find friends online, you must let them express their thoughts just as much as you are. Strangers willing to talk to other strangers usually perceive such interaction as an outlet for the emotions bothering them.
If you start a conversation with somebody, let the person speak as much as they want. Provide affirmations every once in a while during the conversation so that they feel acknowledged and encouraged to talk more. If they discuss their life problems with you, it’s not because they expect you to suggest a solution. So, listen. Listen more.
- Be as creative as you can be to start the conversation:
Ditch the small talk. Nobody would ever go for an hour talking about how good the weather is—question people with something spontaneous that they could’ve never thought of. Ask people if they believe in ghosts or magic or what they would like to change in the world if they had the power to do so. The responses to such questions are likely to get stretched longer than simple responses to ‘how’re you doing today?’. Additionally, they may counter-ask the same question to you. It could be a positive sign indicating that your new friend is as interested in your ideas as you are eager to learn about them.
- Keep positive body language:
While this tip may not apply if you’re talking to people over a voice or video call, your body language is something you must stay aware of if you’re talking to somebody in person. ‘Body language’ is called body language for a reason. The way you present yourself to others speaks as much about you as your tongue does.
Don’t cross your arms, widen your eyes or do anything that would give an arrogant impression of you. As you talk, move your hands and maintain good eye contact. Maintaining eye contact can be a great way to keep your new friend engaged in a conversation for longer.
- Don’t ask too many questions at once:
While it’s apparent that you must be interested in knowing more about the person you’ve just been introduced to, refrain from bombarding them with too many questions. If you’re using an audio call app to make new friends, this tip is something that you must prioritize.
If you want to discuss something sensitive, always ask the person if they’re comfortable conversing with you. Asking questions is essential to demonstrate interest, but overdoing it may make the conversation feel more like an interrogation.