It’s you with not only your words but you with your voice tonality and body language – which some say is over 90% of communication – on the same wavelength as your words. It’s you coming through on all channels of communication. Being your genuine self – the one where you build bridges and are open and giving – will give you better results and more satisfaction in your day to day life because you are in alignment with yourself. And because people really like genuineness.
- Invite friends over to your house. This is a great, low-key way to practice your social skills in a location that you feel comfortable. You can control the number of people, the activities, and the amount of time you are hanging out. If you are especially shy or have trouble initiating conversations in a group, practicing at home is a great way to improve your sociability.
- Have a dinner party or invite a person to eat with you at lunch.
- Host a sport or TV watch party, allowing you to tune into the TV if there is a lull in the conversation.
- Maintain your current relationships and friendships. Most relationships only get better with time and age, but they take some work to maintain. This helps you realize what is important to you in a friendship and the types of conversations you enjoy having. These skills will transfer over to your new friendships as well, and your old friends are often the ones who introduce you to new friendships.
- Talk to your friends once a week or month.
- Keep making plans with old friends.
- Go places that you feel comfortable. You don't have to go to a super fancy restaurant if it's not your style. This can lead to shyness and a difficulty fitting in with nearby people. You must go places where you feel good, as it will be easier to find similar people to be friends.
- Love outdoor adventure? Head to your local rock wall and ask for a belay partner to make an instant connection.
- Love music and concerts? Read your local newspaper for live music venues and check out a concert
- Love art and culture? Go to small art galleries or shows in your area and ask the artists about their work, or other people's opinions on the show.
- Check out local meet-ups for people with similar hobbies. Ask around town about craft classes, book clubs, and discussion groups that fit your interests. Many newspapers and online town blogs have exhaustive schedules of common meeting places, and new websites like Yelp and Meet-up are social media sites that aggregate meetings by interest or hobby.
- Join a recreational league or team to meet other people. Contact your local Parks & Rec department and ask about adult and children sports leagues. Most departments have teams made up of similar people looking to make friends, so don't worry about joining without a team of strangers -- you won't be the only one.
- There are also a variety of single sports, like tennis and bowling leagues, that fit any person's hobbies.
- Go volunteering. Volunteering is a great, low-key way to meet people from all walks of life. You have a natural conversation topic in the work you're doing, and you can keep coming back to the same sites to know people better. There is no commitment, and you can show up as often as you'd like.
- Check out the SPCA, Red Cross, and American Cancer Society in your area, as most counties have at least one of these offices with volunteer opportunities.