How to Meet New People

How to Make Friends

Sometimes meeting friends can be daunting, especially when you suddenly find yourself in a new city or for whatever reason totally without friends. Making new friends can come easy to some people, but to others it might take more work. If you're stumped for where and how to meet new people, this list of suggestions is sure to inspire you.

Doing New Things

Group of friends talking and laughing outside.

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Perhaps the best way to meet new friends is when you’re getting outside your comfort zone and doing something new. Getting involved in a new hobby, taking a class that makes you stretch your mind, or just making a point to do something different than the usual are all good ways to connect with someone new.

First of all, you'll be meeting new people you probably would never have crossed paths with this way, and second, you'll be in the mood to experience something out of the ordinary. A new class or project will automatically help you give out a vibe that says you're open to learning and conversation, which is the perfect way to start a new friendship off the right way. Here are eleven suggestions for how to do something new.

Meet Friends Every Single Day During Your Daily Routine

Friends talking over coffee.

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Making friends doesn’t need to be complicated, often you can meet new people just by changing a few things in your daily routine. For example, instead of going through the drive-through for things like:

  • prescriptions
  • your morning coffee
  • fast food

park that car and go inside. If nothing else, it helps you make small talk. Standing in line and seeing other people on a regular basis gets you in the habit of conversing, being polite, noticing things about people, and making connections. Plus, if you spot someone you know casually, seeing them out like this is a good way to start up a conversation and get to know them better. Here are six ways to meet people during your daily routine.

While Traveling

Friends outside taking a selfie.

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If you're introverted like me, meeting new friends while traveling can seem like a really intimidating thing. But there are actually several organizations and websites that will help you connect with others. It's amazing to me how important the Internet has become in the last few years when it comes to friendship. A few years ago, I might never have even attempted to make friends while traveling, because I'm just too shy.

Book Club

Messy table during book club with friends.

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Speaking of introverts, I'll bet you thought that we had less opportunities to meet friends than extroverts. Not so! If you're into books and authors, there are several great ways to connect with new people. One of them is by joining a book group. Of course, you don't need to be introverted to enjoy a conversation about literature. The great part about joining one of these groups is that you'll meet a surprising variety of people.

I've found that if I join a book group that I wouldn't "normally" have joined, it helps me read books that I would not have picked out myself. There have been some very nice surprises this way for me in terms of different people I've met and the types of things I've been able to read. For example, last year my book group read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. This would never have been something I'd have chosen myself, and yet because of the book group I had to read it. Turns out, I loved it. Not only that but I've since gone with friends to see the movie. It is these types of things that can help you meet friends. Here are some tips for making the most of the book group experience.

Meet a New Friend in a Work Environment

Friends laughing in the office.

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I've met a lot of my friends at work and I know many of you have as well. It's hard not to get to know the people you spend at least eight hours a day with. But meeting people this way isn't just limited to time in the office or break room.


Friends talking at the laundromat.

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If you're going to be bored at the Laundromat, why not make a few friends? I used to spend every Saturday doing laundry, and in the beginning I brought a book with me and didn't say much to the other people. But as time went on, I got to know a few of them. (This is where extroverts can help people like me come out of my shell.) Rather than keep my nose in my book, I took a break and chatted with some people who turned out to be my neighbors. I never realized it until I made small talk with them. Here are a few tips for making your Laundromat experience friend-worthy.

At the Gym

People meeting and shaking hands in a gym.

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Oh, I know, you want to do your workout and then leave. But if you're looking for new friends, the gym is a good place to find them. One way to do this is by taking a few exercise classes. Another way is to look for run or walks in the your neighborhood, which are often posted in the gym.

Revive an Old Friendship

A group of friends hugging on the beach.

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If it's new friends you seek, why not try looking at some of your past friendships? You can learn a lot about nurturing, arguing and communication this way (and pick up a few tips on how to do things better), but you can also decide if one or two old friendships might be worth starting up again. Friendships don't always end on negative terms. Sometimes friends just drift apart or begin to have nothing in common. But that can change as each friend's life has changed. 

Meet Friends Through Different Websites

Woman waves as she video chats on a laptop.

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The Internet can help introduce you to people, and many of these folks will become friends at some point. A lot of us spent so much time in front of the computer that it makes sense we'd spend time getting to know people that way. 


Volunteer team puts their hands in a circle.

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Volunteering is a good thing to do all the way around. It helps build your self-esteem, it forces you to connect with others, and it gets you outside of your normal routine. Why not make friends while you help someone else? You'll meet passionate people who can show you a different side of things. 

At Church

Young men discussing seriously.

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Going to church or another close-knit group is a good way to meet other like-minded folks, no matter your religion. If you make this activity a routine, you are likely to encounter people on a regular basis, sparking friendship.