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| by Omar Elmasry

How to Make New Friends and Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Do you find it hard to make new friends as you grow older? I'll tell you where to start! One key to unlocking new friendships and making new friends is finding common ground for conversation; this allows you to open up and get to know each other better. Mutual hobbies, interests or life stories are great building blocks for new friendships. Here are just a few tips that can help build a healthy, happy, and long-term friendship.

1. Ask questions.
Before you can become good friends with someone, you have to want to be friends with them. There is no use putting effort into making a new friend if it turns out you don’t like them! Make sure to ask questions and get a sense of who you are spending time with before you invest in a friendship.

2. Get out of your comfort zone.
Release your inner child and be yourself around new friends, make jokes, be friendly and don’t be too shy. Children are professional friend-makers. Kids are excellent at interacting with each other on the playground for new games and activities, because they can step out of their comfort zones easily, and reach out for new things. Have an open mind like a kid on the playground and try new things.

3. Get active.
Relationships are like buildings, they are built piece by piece and the first pieces, the cornerstones, have to be the strongest. Physical activities like walking, yoga or going to the gym with a friend can create strong friendships, because when you’re doing something like exercise where you challenge yourself having a friend by your side makes it much more fun. The shared experience of something difficult is a great way to form the cornerstone of friendship.

4. Read the same things.
Conversations about reading, whether it be books, blogs or news articles are a great way to share your opinions and interests without seemingly forcing conversation. A good read can guide a pleasant conversation between new friends into unlocking a friendship. If you enjoy the same topics, but have disagreeing viewpoints that is okay! Lively and respectful conversation can build friendships that can stand the tests of time.

5. Trust your friends.
Though trying new things is good for your friendship, take it slow. Building a new friendship doesn't happen in an instant, it takes time and trust is a must. If early on cracks start to show in the friendship, trust your friend and talk to them honestly, this will make both you and them happier in the long run. A new and honest friendship built on trust is something that will grow strong and last a long time.

6. Commit to one-on-one.
One-on-one time is essential for building a new friendship. There is no need to be exclusionary and block other people out of your friendship, but make sure you have one-on-one quality time so your relationship isn’t built on other people. From sitting and just chatting together to taking a weekend trip, spending time together is a necessity that all friendships need for building confidence in each other and memories for the future. Once your new friendship is strong, this becomes second nature, and you'll begin to cherish your private conversations without excluding others.

If you have any tips of your own, put them in the comments!




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