If you struggle to hold conversations or make friends because you’re shy, awkward, or just don’t know how to talk to people, but don’t want that to stop you from having a social life, we’ve got you covered! This is a list of 10 ways you can improve your social life, so that you never feel like you don’t have any friends, because everyone will want to be your friend! Keep reading to learn how to get out of your comfort zone and up your social skills!
1. Make the most of out first day of class introductions
As college students, we all know during the first day of classes, there’s bound to be that one professor who forces us to introduce ourselves to the class. The first day of class is always full of anxiety, and it’s good to reach out to others, so neither of you feel lost or alone. Learn how to make the most out of those introductions and befriend a classmate who’s introduction you were drawn to. Maybe you both have something in common like being the same major. Ask them for their number and build a study group with a couple of them, and you’ll make friends within your class that you can rely on for extra notes or help. You might even find lifelong friends as you expand your college network.
2. Get involved in clubs and organizations
Joining clubs and organizations are a great way to improve your social life and make friends in college. Campus life has plenty to offer for all kinds of interests, and you’ll find people who share those same interests. From Greek life to the French club to all the different kinds of student associations, take advantage of all that your campus has to offer and get involved. You’ll be able to attract and even recruit other people with the same interests and have them join, expanding your organization and your social life.
3. Unplug from technology
As great as social media is, there’s nothing better than face-to-face interactions when trying to improve your social life. Even just having your earphones in and listening to music stops you from interacting with people. If someone is trying to talk to you, how are you supposed to hear them if you’re too busy on your phone or have music blasting in your ears? Learn how to put your phone away when you don’t need it, and be open to all kinds of social interaction that could be happening around you.
4. Stop fearing rejection
A lot of us who have social anxiety are afraid of being rejected by the person we’re talking to, which stops us from wanting to open up and continue a conversation. Stop worrying about whether people will like you or if you’re good enough. The people who are worth being in your social life won’t care if you’re different, and they’ll accept you for who you are. If you continue to fear rejection, you place yourself in a box that doesn’t allow you to come out. Nobody’s perfect, and everyone has insecurities. You’re not alone. Embrace yourself and remember that not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay. Once you realize that, you stop focusing on things you lack, and start putting effort into your strong suits, which will dramatically improve your social life.
5. Don’t complain all the time
Nobody wants to hear you moan about all the negative things happening in your life. Although it’s good to let out a little frustration here and there, you don’t wanna be pinned as a Negative Nancy or a Pessimistic Paul. You attract people who bring the same type of energy, so instead of focusing on the bad, focus on the good. Other people like hanging out with those who bring positive energy into their life. It’s okay to complain and vent every now and then, but don’t make it a habit to whine about everything going on in your life.
6. Don’t just talk about yourself
Yes, what’s going on with you matters and is important, but so is what’s going on with others. Be understanding and listen to others when they’re speaking to you. Nobody wants to talk to someone who just allows words to go in one ear and out the other, or someone who constantly talks about themselves. Other people’s problems and feelings are valid, so in order to improve your social life, you need to be able to listen to those problems and feelings, and offer help and advice in return. Remember, friendships are a two-way street. Show interest in their life, and they’ll show interest in yours.
7. Compliment people
A great way to improve your social life is to offer compliments to people. It’s always nice when someone notices something good about us, and giving compliments shows people that you’re caring and friendly. They’re also a great way to open a conversation with someone. If you start with a compliment, you’ll notice that the conversation will begin to flow as you find out about each other’s interests and commonalities. Next time you see someone who’s wearing a t-shirt of your favorite band, compliment them on it, and you might end up finding a concert buddy.
8. Pay attention to your body language
If your body language says “don’t bother me”, then you can be sure nobody will want to talk to you. Non-verbal communication is very important when trying to improve your social life. Try not to keep your arms crossed all the time, and make sure you look relaxed (even if you don’t feel it). It’ll help attract people to want to come up and talk to you because you’ll look friendlier and more approachable.
9. Be open-minded
It’s good to have an open mind when talking to people and making friends. If you keep yourself close-minded, it’s easy to come off as an asshole or not understanding. Remember that not everyone is going to share the same opinions and feelings as you, so you need to be able to be accepting of that. If you learn to be nonjudgemental and receptive to new opinions and ideas, people will find it very easy to talk to you, and you’ll have a wide variety of friends.
10. Take the initiative
Don’t wait for people to come to you, be the person that speaks first. I know it’s hard at first, but don’t let anxiety take over you. Start small if necessary. Take the initiative to invite someone out for coffee and practice making small talk. Eventually, it’ll become easy for you to talk to people, and your social life will begin to improve rather quickly. Once you start to feel comfortable making conversations and putting yourself out there to make new friends, people will be attracted to your energy and will want to be your friend.