I've always been bad at meeting people and socializing, so I asked a friend for some advice. It was really helpful and I'd like to share in case it can help someone. Text in comments.

"I think it's very tough. I'm a great conversationalist, but struggle with meeting new people and making new friends. I think what has worked best for me is to find a common interest, no matter how small, and build on that. I listen to and study people a lot to find out what interests them, whatever they bring up in conversation, and i try to bring that thing up, even if i know very little about it. People really like when you know and ask them about their interests. It makes it easy too because they do all the talking once you get them started. Breaking the ice gets a little tough sometimes because people are so guarded now days. Like at church, i know some of the guys like fishing, so i bring that up around them a lot, or i have a group of guys that like golf. The more you talk about what they like, the more relationship they feel and they'll start talking about things you like. I have found that actually meeting people is just making eye contact, putting on a friendly smile and saying hi, I'm ----, and shake their hand. Sometimes i am awkward and I'll just try to play it off as being silly, but ultimately as long as your trying to be friendly, it doesn't matter what the other person thinks. There are a lot of rotten people out there who will think your weird for trying to be friendly, and they're not worth your worry. Basically, people want to feel comfortable and talk about themselves. Find a way to get those two things going and making friends will come much easier. I've been wanting to check out places to help with making new friends like young adult groups at bigger churches. It would probably be easy because a lot of their staff are trained to connect people with similar interests. I would like to start something like that at our church as we grow a little bigger.

But yeah, up front, being observant can go a long way. After the introduction you can immediatley ask them a question, maybe about their kid, the clothes they wear, or about a situation that y'all may have shared together like a worship service, or the service at mcdonalds. Sometimes you can tell how a person reacts to something and kind of mimick that emotion, like if something is funny laugh with them. It puts them at ease.

But finding people with common interests will be the easiest people to talk to and get to know better. I've looked into kayak, fishing, and golf interests groups on facebook, but haven't had any luck meeting people yet."

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