A groupe of four older teenage girls laughing and smiling.

Making friends might sound like an easy thing to do but that isn’t always the case in real life, especially if you are shy or an introvert.

However, if it doesn’t happen naturally, it’s worth putting the effort in as you never know who could become a friend for life!

Here are a few things that will help you strike up a friendship:

Be yourself

The most important thing you can be in life is true to yourself. There is no point changing your personality to try to fit in with a certain group of people.

You’ll constantly be putting on an act and it will ultimately make you miserable.

Find people who share your interests

A common interest is a great basis for a friendship. If you hear someone talking about a TV show you love, join in the conversation.

Strike up a conversation with someone in the library, classroom or travel to school with someone who lives nearby. Only by talking to people will you find out what they are like!

Smile and/or compliment someone

You may not be aware of how your body language or expression comes across when you’re nervous or uncomfortable so make sure you smile and make eye contact when talking to a potential friend.

And complimenting someone’s hair, clothing, shoes or accessories is never a bad idea!

Be positive

Nobody is 100% positive all the time but the fact is that people are drawn to people who make them feel good about themselves and the world.

Having a positive outlook on life will make you much more likely to attract friends than if you always focus on the negative side of things.

Join a club or extracurricular activity in your area

Joining the local sports club, art class, drama society or musical group is an excellent way to meet new people and make friends.

It will also help boost your confidence which is necessary to make conversation with people you don’t know.

Ask questions and be a good listener

Friendship is a two-way street. While it might be tempting for you to constantly talk to fill any awkward silence or crack a lot of jokes, often all people want is for others to take an interest in them.

Ask them about their hobbies, their families, what they like to do outside school, if they have any pets, etc.

When they answer, really listen to what they are saying. Most people listen to respond but if you can learn to actively listen to somebody, you will always be the person they want to talk to!

And remember, good friends will show that same level of interest in you too. 

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