No matter how old you are, it's always nice to meet and engage with new people, but it's definitely harder to find good friends later in life when you're not constantly surrounded by people in places like school. Luckily, there are a number of little tips you can follow to meet and attract new people, and utilizing these tricks can help you branch out and find interesting company to include into your life. Meeting others definitely requires some effort, but if you know how to talk to people and present yourself in a positive light, you'll be able to reap the benefits of interacting with new and exciting social circles.
"Meeting new people exposes us to stories and perspectives outside of our own, giving us boundless opportunities to learn and grow," says therapist Shadeen Francis, MFT over email. "Humans are inherently social creatures, no matter where we each fall on the spectrum of introversion and extroversion. Meeting new people supports our innate biology and helps us continue to experience the moments that make life feel well-lived: kindness, curiosity, connection, and empathy."
Whether you're looking to meet new friends, network, or even meet a partner, try these 11 genius tiny tips to help you meet and attract new people.
1Figure Out What You Want To Attract
"One way to attract new people into your life is to check in with yourself about what you would like to attract, rather than who," says Francis." Are you hoping to attract more adventure, more humor, more support, more intellectual energy, more partnership?" Once you figure out what you would like to feel or experience, the more able you are to attract that energy. It can also help to try to develop more of that quality within yourself, says Francis.
2Make Eye Contact & Smile
A good place to start: Make eye contact and smile. "This is not revolutionary advice, but we often don’t realize how little we may be doing this," says Francis. "When you are hoping to attract new people, try spending some time disconnected from your screens, and look around for other people who are off their phones, make eye contact, and smile. You might make a new connection."
3Go To A Coffee Shop
Go sit at your local coffee shop with an open mind. "Read a book, drink a coffee, and have fun with the adventurous spirit of thinking 'I am going to meet someone wonderful today," says relationship expert Audrey Hope over email. Plenty of people go in and out of coffee shops, and you never know who you might meet if you open yourself up to it.
4Go Out In Smaller Groups
It's tempting to stick to your group of friends when going somewhere, but if you really want to meet new people, keep the group to 2-3 people max. "Save girls night for a real girls night," says relationship expert Jessica Elizabeth Opert over email. Going with a group can be comforting, but it can also be intimidating for others to try to include themselves.
5Hang Out In Places Where People Share Your Interests
Bars and clubs aren't the only places to go on your free time. "Go where your target audience hangs out," says Opert. "Pick some venues, events or even join some groups or meet-ups that are more focused on the interests that you would share."
6Do Something Thrilling
Doing something thrilling — think something that makes you a little anxious or gives you a rush of adrenaline — can actually make you more attracted to the person you're with, according to multiple studies. Doing an exciting activity can be a great way to bond with someone else, so consider doing some rock climbing, riding a rollercoaster, or doing something scary or new.
Giving out genuine compliments is a great way to spread positivity and make others feel good, thus increasing their desire to be around you. According to Psychology Today, compliments "escalate the atmosphere of positivity and become social lubricants, fostering the flow of conversation and advancing communication by enhancing receptivity." Find something you really like about a person, and feel free to express it. It will make them feel good and you look good in return.
8Dress The Part
It's not about what you're wearing, but how you feel when you're wearing it. "Always be dressed in a way that makes you feel good," says relationship expert Rori Sassoon over email. "You will exude pure confidence and happiness, which is more than a lot of people can say for themselves. This will transpire to how people perceive you, and it will definitely set you apart from the crowd."
9Focus On Your Body Language
What you say to others with your words is important, but so is how you convey yourself with body language. According to research on body language, keeping your torso, chest and abdomen open is the best way to show approachability, while crossing your arms, checking your phone, hugging an item close to you, or hiding your hands can make you look closed off.
Meeting someone new and bonding with them requires some initial effort, and a great way to get the process going is to ask intelligent, thoughtful questions. Famous research from Arthur Aron found that asking a series of personal questions can accelerate intimacy between strangers, so skip the small talk and discuss subjects that really matter.
11Get A Pet
This option might not be feasible for everyone, but it seems to work. Research from the journal Anthrozoös shows that people seem appear more enticing when they are out out with a pet. Animals can not only bring people together and spark initial conversation, but they can also make their owners seem more attractive.