How to Make a Friend

It's important to have people to talk to, to have fun with and who are there if you need them. Making a new friend requires being proactive and not sitting at home waiting for friends to come to you.

Participate in a sport

An excellent way to meet new people is to get involved in a sport. You don't have to be particularly skilled, but you do have to be willing to learn. Beginners can have a lot of fun together because you can laugh together at your mistakes and develop similar skill levels over time.

Join a club

There is a club setting for just about any activity. Whether you like reading, writing, painting, chess or flower arranging, check with your local activities center or go online to find out where a club meets that caters to your interest.

Talk to people

If you want to make a friend, being a wallflower is not going to help you. Put yourself out there and talk to people. You don't have to be gregarious and outgoing like some people who always seem comfortable meeting other people. You might feel uncomfortable making the first move. Keep this in mind: What's the worst that can happen? Either you both like each other or you don't. If a first attempt doesn't work out, try again.

Be a volunteer

Hospitals, schools, churches and animal shelters are just a few organizations that welcome volunteers. By joining, you immediately surround yourself with people who share your interest and who will be grateful for your help.

Be friendly

Body language plays a big part in connecting with others. Avoid corners, crossing your arms over your chest, or looking bored or annoyed. People who smile and look interested are more likely to attract others. When someone approaches you, be friendly and helpful. Engage in small talk, such as the where they work, or compliment them on their outfit or hairstyle.

Prepare to listen

A big part of making a friend is to really listen after you ask a question. A simple "How are you?" might be enough to start a conversation. Maybe someone is lonely or worried or has good news to share. If you find you have a common interest, ask questions, maintain eye contact and really listen.

Be social

When you click with someone, share your contact information. Keep a few business cards in your purse or pocket with your phone number and email address on it. At the very least have pen and paper on you so you can share your contact details. Then ask this person out for coffee or to lunch or to join you at your club.

From acquaintance to friend

Keep in mind that making a friend takes time. Real friends are not made overnight. Everyone you meet is an acquaintance first and developing a friendship can take weeks or even months. Take it easy and don't come on too strong like you're desperate. While it's a good idea to be proactive, know when it's time to relax and let the other person take the initiative.

Be a friend

Part of being a friend is to be there not only for fun activities, but to be there in tough times too. You might have to sacrifice your time or do something you don't want to do for the sake of supporting a friend.

Learning how to make a friend can be as easy as introducing yourself with a big smile, or developing a friendship might take more time. Either way, you might have to make the first move.

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