Easy Ways to Make Friends in High School
High school is one of those awkward periods in your life when making friends can be hard. Hormones are raging, everyone’s trying to figure out who they really are (rebelling against who they thought they were/their parents thought they were) and everyone wants to be liked/appear cool (sometimes so badly they try to put everyone else down, just so they can feel better). On top of it everyone’s trying to figure out what college to go to, if any. It’s like stress central.
If you’re concerned about making new friends in high school you aren’t alone. Fortunately there are some tips that can make it easier. There are actually three types of tips to help with this.
Firstly, you have to become comfortable being you. Secondly, you have to learn some people skills. Thirdly, there are things to do and places to be where it’s easy to interact with people.
You don’t have to be super confident to make friends, or love every aspect of who you are — we attract friends we have things in common with no matter who we are — but it helps in attracting friends who truly see you for who you wish to be. If you already feel confident — skip to part three!
PART ONE: BEING YOU AND BEING CONFIDENT
Find Your Own Sense of Confidence
You might not be the kind of person who a certain group of people like, or you might feel you are liked for all the wrong reasons. Stop for a moment. Decide on who you are and learn to like that person. What everyone else is thinking doesn’t matter so long as you know who you are and like that person.
People who are confident tend to make friends more easy. There’s something about people who are happy simply being who they are. They don’t hide away in a corner petrified of what others will think, nor do they need to scream on top of their lungs to get noticed. They may be quiet, or they may be bubbly, but they are themselves.
Gain Confidence Easily
To help gain confidence make an effort to every day think about what you are good at, what’s good in your life and what you like about yourself. Whenever your thoughts slide off in the direction of looking down upon yourself, or thinking about what others think about you, simply step back into that little place inside where you just are and you’re OK with that.
Another tip is to set goals doing things you find a bit uncomfortable and then doing them. That way you bust your own fears and that will make you feel confident.
Setting small, achievable, goals in general helps, as it makes you happy being you every time you achieve a goal! It’s a total feel good factor. Write some down every day and tick them off. Like doing maths homework, doing five minutes arm exercises, calling your gran to show you care…simple things you can tick off the list by the end of the day and feel totally awesome about having achieved them.
Also, letting your exterior be a reflection of your interior helps — get the clothes and the hairstyle that makes you feel you are truly you. Not the style that gets the most attention, or makes you hide the most, but the one that really truly reflects the beauty in you. When people look at you they should be able to really see you!
Another thing to bear in mind is looking after yourself. Eating well, sleeping enough, spending time outdoors, doing things you truly love and getting some exercise every week will do wonders for your mood, which in turn will help you attract more friends.
Remember that the happiest people aren’t the ones that are best at everything, but the ones that enjoy their lives. Always focusing on finding something fun to do, instead of moping about what’s not working in your life, will help you become happy. And happy people naturally become confident because they are enjoying their lives.
In short, as soon as you start moping, shift your thoughts and get up and do something you love!
Read a Confidence Boosting Book
If you want an easy read that can help you boost confidence, read Don Miguel Ruiz book The Four Agreements and follow it up with The Mastery of Love. It might just change the way you see yourself and everyone around you! A bit deep, but worth it.
PART TWO: PEOPLE SKILLS
Learn People Skills
There’s an old book called How to Make Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. People still refer to this book today because it works. Why? People skills truly are a skill.
Think of how you feel when you walk into a shop and someone says: “Hi there, welcome! Lovely dress you are wearing, can I help you with something, or do you prefer to browse?” with a big smile on their face.
That feels good doesn’t it? You feel welcomed.
Compare that to walking into a shop where someone looks up from the counter, sneers at you and looks away.
Simple things like saying please and thank you works wonders too.
If curious to find out more, read the book!
To meet people you have to get noticed. You don’t have to talk a lot, or be bubbly, you simply have to join a conversation when you have something to say, put your hand up when you know an answer and so forth. For people to like you, they have to see you.
People are drawn to people who are happy. Don’t walk around smiling all the time for no reason, but do smile as often as possible.
Show Some Love
Do you compliment people when compliments are due? Half of the time we don’t even know why people are friends with us, because they don’t tell us. They think it’s obvious they like us, because they are friends with us. But you’d feel so much better if ever so often they’d compliment your kindness, praise your smarts, tell you that your outfit is awesome and so forth.
If you aren’t used to complimenting people, try for five weeks to once a week tell a stranger in a shop that you love their looks, their haircut, their handbag and so forth. Great conversation opener too as you can then ask where they bought the handbag, etc.
And no, don’t compliment the people in school who’d be sure to turn a compliment around to insult you instead. Save it for the people who actually deserve it.
PART THREE: MEET PEOPLE
Great Minds Think Alike
The best place to meet people in high school is a club, or class, that you love. Once you share an interest with someone — have something in common — you have something to talk about. And hanging out with people who like the same thing as you do, is much more fun!
Partake in Activities Where You Bond Easily
OK, so even if drama isn’t your favorite subject of all time, or you like basketball but you don’t love it, theatre and sports are great ways of bringing people together. Unlike drawing class, they force you to interact.
So find activities that you enjoy where you know you will be doing things together as a group, or at least ever so often do group projects.
Join a Study Group
Even if you prefer to study by yourself most of the time, joining one study group won’t hurt. It will allow you to meet others and get to know them. Besides, if you once in a while bring cookies, you might get more fans than you can handle…
Whether you volunteer through a school program, or find something outside of school, it’s a great way of meeting more people. Choose something where you get to interact with people your own age too.
You could even start your own initiative, like bringing together a group of you that help teach kids in another school, go hang out with the elderly (seriously much needed!), put on plays with the elderly, or children, etc.
Not only it is a great way of meeting people, it will make you feel good too!
When talking to someone about an upcoming test, ask if they’d like to study together with you for it. When talking about what you’re doing that afternoon, ask if someone wants to join you in whatever it is you’re going to be doing (like going ice skating, going to the mall, etc.).
Look Outside of School
If you’ve known everyone in your school since the dawn of eternity, getting new friends can be hard as everyone already have an idea of who they think you are. Truth is, if they haven’t seen your heart and soul, they don’t know. At any rate, making friends outside of school can be great. Join a course, attend a workshop, join a sailing club, start doing yoga, or dancing…whatever makes you happy. Just be sure to do it in a place where you’re bound to meet more people.
Even if you don’t click with everyone you don’t meet, just getting out and being around people will help you feel less lonely. Keeping yourself busy and interacting with others will also help you overcome shyness, etc. By the time you get to college it will be a lot easier to find people you click with as you will study with people who love the same things you do and college campuses are generally a lot bigger than high schools! More people, more clubs, more everything. And by that stage you can join meet up groups, InterNations and all the other events organizers in town that make it easy to meet people with whom you share interests.