The Shy Person’s Guide To Making New Friends

Improving your social life is a lot easier than you think.

Matt Lillywhite


Photo: Jonathan Borba/Unsplash

Having grown up with social anxiety, I used to find it extremely difficult to make new friends. Deep down, I was afraid that other people would judge me for the insecurities I saw in myself. So naturally, I thought I was better off alone.

But over the past couple of years, I’ve managed to change my life for the better. I’m now extremely confident and find it easy to create meaningful relationships with anyone I meet.

And if you want to do the same, you can start by adopting the following strategies that will exponentially improve your social life. Each of these insights changed my life and relationships for the better. I’m sure they will do the same for you, too.

Give Someone A Compliment.

About a year ago, I was having a conversation with a girl that I met on a flight from Vancouver to Calgary. We were about the same age and seemed to get along really well.

As we collected our stuff from the overhead lockers upon landing, she turned to me and said that I “have an amazing smile.” Those few words made me feel incredible.

As we walked together towards baggage reclaim, we exchanged cellphone numbers and said that we’d keep in touch. And sure enough, we held our promise. To this day, we’ve made an effort to speak on FaceTime for a few hours every week since we first met.

If you want to make someone feel special, give them a compliment. Tell them that you love their smile, enjoyed the conversation, or anything else that you want to say. Because when you genuinely care about what other people do and say, they’ll probably want to reciprocate. Dale Carnegie said it best:

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Don’t Worry About Being Awkward.

I often spent so much time worrying about what I’d say in a conversation that I rarely ended up having…