How to Make Friends with Someone

You've Never Spoken to Before

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1. Smile

Smiles indicate friendliness and warmth.



Facial expressions can be contagious. People tend to unconsciously imitate the facial expressions of people they are interacting with. If you smile, there is a good chance the other person will smile back.

The act of smiling can also affect your mood and help you feel happier. A mutual smile can help boost both of your moods and get things off on the right foot.

2. Greet them with a "hello."

This also will guarantee that they notice you.



If you see them in the mornings or walk past them on your way to class, greet them with "hello."

This will likely begin to spark an interest in them to know more about you and to talk to you.

3. Introduce yourself.

There is a chance that they know who you are or have been wanting to talk to you as well.



You might say "Hi, my name is Henry Locklear. I’m a junior. What’s your name?"

You might want to shake their hand, especially if you are in a professional setting.

4. Ask your mutual friends to introduce you.

If the two of you have mutual friends, it is all the more likely that you will hit it off as well.



If you have mutual friends with this person, a great and non-threatening way to make their acquaintance is to have your friends introduce you to them. This is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to break the ice.

5. Ask a favor.

This is another way to guarantee that you are noticed and a way to start building rapport with them.



For instance, you might ask them something like, "Can you grab a pencil for me?" if they are standing by the supplies desk in the classroom.

You might also ask something like, "Can you let me borrow a piece of paper?" if you have a class with them.

6. Ask a question.

They will appreciate the opportunity to be able to help you if you ask questions



Another great way to begin having small conversations is to ask small, simple questions.

If you’re lucky, they may begin to rely on you when they have questions as well, and then you can spark up more conversations.

7. Make a small statement.

You can also begin the conversation with them by making small statements that don’t necessarily require a response.



Saying things like "Wow, it’s a gorgeous day today," or "This breakfast is so good!" are great ways to speak to them without fear, because these types of statements do not require a response.

However, they will likely respond to you if interested in chatting, so continue the conversation from there.

8. Compliment them.

Compliment the person on their hair, their projects, or anything else about them that you like or admire.



Remember that people respond well to being praised.

Do not resort to flattery, however, because this will make you seem fake and like you are perhaps interested in more than just friendship.

Don’t compliment them too often, however. Once to twice per week is a good amount.

9. Recognize the power of laughter.

Share a funny joke or a witty comment with them. Laughter can create a powerful and lasting impression.



Laughter always helps to loosen people up.

Don't be discouraged if the person doesn't find it funny; it's not the end of the world.

10. Practice open body language.

Practice open body language by keeping your legs and arms uncrossed. Avoid frowning and looking down when they speak, as well.



Another technique to help make friends is "mirroring". This involves mimicking whatever posture or expression that the person you’re speaking to is doing. For instance, if they are leaning their head slightly left, you could do the same while talking to them.

11. Stay calm.

Try not to overthink the situation. Just pay attention to what is happening in the moment, rather than trying to analyze every detail of the interaction.



Though you want to make friends with this person, remember that they may be just as nervous as you are.

Remember that your new potential friend may be shy or not accustomed to being approached by new people.

If you approach them calmly, they are more likely to be calm, as well.

Breathe deeply before you talk to them. Deep breaths help calm you down.

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Co-authored by Dan Hickey