Yet some of us have an easier time meeting new people than others, so I wanted to re-post some pointers I threw into a recent article. It was originally meant for daters, but really applies to everyone who wants to meet anyone.
There are three criteria for forming new friendships: proximity; regular, unplanned interactions; and openness/vulnerability.
If you become a regular -- whether at 7pm Monday/Wednesday pickup basketball or Tuesday night karaoke at a certain bar or frequenting a specific coffee shop, becoming a regular will help you satisfy one of the criteria for making new friends.
2. Get involved.
Part of the reason people have fewer friends and meet fewer people than ever now is because our social circle consists of existing friends and their friends. We're not volunteering. We're not going to church. We're not members of community organizations.
Entertainment increasingly takes place inside the home, where people watch Netflix and login to OkCupid.
No wonder we're so darn lonely. No wonder it's "so hard to meet new people."
3. Learn how to be more playful.
Almost everyone I've ever dated is someone I met while playing -- basketball, volleyball, rock climbing, snorkeling, scuba diving, attending a book reading, etc. When we play, we feel more social. We feel energized. And we're activating many of the same neural pathways as the human sexual response does (see also: Why a Terrifying First Date is Better Than a "Nice" One).
Problem is, playfulness isn't a trait -- it's a skill. And most millennials don't really know how to play. But the great thing about skills is that you can learn them! Get started today.
4. Go for walks.
Not only is walking for two minutes for every hour of sitting and/or fifteen minutes after every meal one of the healthiest, best things you can do for your body...
It's also a great way to meet new people -- people in your neighborhood. People who work near you. People you could be friends with or fall in love with.
Love is a numbers game. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to fall in love. And if you spend your fifteen-minute breaks walking around the block instead of scrolling through your newsfeed, who knows what amazing thing could happen?
5. Break your social media addiction.
We are accustomed to instant arousal. Instant (but passive) entertainment. Be an active participant in your own life. Break the addiction -- either by setting aside time each day to walk, socialize in real life, or something else, OR by downloading a plugin that prevents you from wasting too much of your life online.
You will be happier, healthier and more creative. And you will be more likely to meet new people. Which feed into each other, creating an awesome cycle.
Contrary to what Everyday Feminism would have you think, networking isn't an "entitled white person" thing. It's beneficial to everyone -- especially women and people of color.
This will help you expand your professional opportunities, but it will also help you meet more people. Don't go to networking events to hit on people -- that's a little weird. Just go with an open mind. You never know what can happen.
7. Stop (or cut back on) watching porn.
Not only is porn kind of bad for you (it leads to loneliness, sexual dysfunction, arousal addiction and worse sex) and kind of unethical and coercive (at least, from a human subjects/IRB perspective)...
But it also makes you less likely to meet new people. Why bother going out (which takes energy) and trying to meet new people (and risk rejection), when you could just stay home and jerk it?
If you watch less porn, you'll be more motivated to try to find what you want in life... in life. Instead of online.
8. Improve your charisma.
Charisma isn't an art -- it's a science. The science of truly engaging with people and making them feel great when they're around you. Which will make them want to be around you more.
To get started, I recommend These Specific Behaviors Will Make You More Charismatic, Starting RIGHT Now. If you like it, you should read The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism, by Olivia Fox Cabane.
I hope at least one of these pointers will resonate with you -- now get out there and enjoy your summer!
I leave you with this: