Be Prepared To Put Yourself Out There
Ok, you’ve made the decision; you’re going to make some new friends. Now, they’re not just going to knock on your door, so you’re going to have to make an effort to get out there, talk to new people and most-likely do something new thing. This might be a huge step for you, so mentally prepare yourself for this new challenge. It might take some time, but it will be so worth it.
Join A New Club or Activity
Chances are you mightn’t have encountered new friend material in your normal day-to-day life up until now, no worries. Try joining a new club or activity. We would recommend trying something in school and something out of it as well to really broaden your friendship horizons.
Try find something that you are interested in as then it will be easier to find common ground with someone. Sports, gym classes, drama societies, book clubs, youth groups, walking clubs…there is a lot out there once you start looking.
Challenge yourself to chat to two new people everyday
Try sit beside someone new in class daily if you’re allowed or stand beside someone new as you wait for class and try chatting to them. P.E class can be a great chance too! And if you have joined a new club or activity try to briefly talk to someone new each time you go. You’ll find yourself getting more and more confident and natural friendships might begin to develop.
Struggling to find an icebreaker?
Find some common ground, like school or whatever activity you’re currently doing and then let the conversation flow from there.
People like to talk about themselves, so ask some questions. Just be careful not to bombard your new acquaintance with too many questions, you don’t want them to feel like they’re being interrogated.
Compliments are also a really good way to start, something like “I really love your bag, where did you get it?”.
Take It Slowly
Ok, well done; you’ve started to talk to some new people, that’s a really big step!
Don’t feel like you have to share your life-story straight away, keep conversations sort and sweet and then build on them from there.
The next time you see your new potential friend great them with a friendly smile and hello and ask them a question, like “How did you find the homework?” or “Did you enjoy the last session”, something nice and easy.
Don’t Be Afraid To Approach Groups
It may sound super daunting, but you have a much better chance of striking up conversations if you approach a small group of people. Unless they are the absolute worst, of course they’re going to chat to you, and would you want to be their friend if they weren’t inviting? People are generally receptive to someone who’s on their own and will try to make them feel welcome.
Build yourself up with affirmations
An affirmation is a positive statement that reflects how you want to think about yourself, a situation, or a desired outcome. For example, tell yourself “I am likable,” “I will make a lot of friends,” and, “I am fun to be around.” Write down some of your own affirmations and practice them on a regular basis until you believe and showcase what you tell yourself.
Don’t be tempted to be someone else to try fit in, it will cause you more stress in the long-run and it can make it much harder to establish genuine friendships. You are perfect as you are.
Read More: Shake Your Shyness: How To Stop Being Shy
Don’t Be Upset If It Doesn’t Work Out Initially
Putting yourself out there and it not working out can be a big confidence knock, but have some perspective on it. Not everyone you meet is going to be instant bestie material. You’ll get better and better at starting conversations and less nervous the more you try. Not everyone you come across on your quest for friendship is going to be a good match, and that’s ok.
Have you any tips for making new friends in secondary school?