making friends as an introvert.
Use our tips for making friends with your housemates, coursemates or strangers in the street.
As you get older, making new friends gets harder and harder. Moving on from those solidified social circles formed in secondary school is challenging, especially if you have an introverted personality or struggle in social settings.
join a club you enjoy.
If you struggle to find topics of conversation when meeting new people, joining a new club or society opens up a topic for you that you will have in common with someone. If it’s something you enjoy and are passionate about then you’ll find you can talk about it with ease. Or, if you’re new to this activity, ask someone who looks like they’re experienced for advice and tips.
find common interests with someone.
Getting to know people’s hobbies, likes and dislikes can expose interests that act as common ground. Once you’ve shared something you both like, you can use that to form a friendship. You both like baking? Great, schedule in one day a week where you bake together. It's a win win.
perform an act of kindness.
A great way to break an awkward ‘stranger stage’ barrier is by doing something kind for someone else. Is one of your housemates feeling homesick? Make them a hot chocolate or ask if they want to watch a movie. Showing kindness is often reciprocated and you’ll be making drinks for each other every day in no time!
frequently visit a coffee shop.
Although not the most cost-efficient option, you’ll find a lot of people will continuously go to a coffee shop that they enjoy and you may end up meeting other regulars. Chat with the staff about the weather or how busy the line is (although maybe don’t spark an indepth conversation with a queue out the door). Eventually you’ll move past the ‘hi, how are you’s’ and make some established friendships.
get a job.
Work colleagues can easily become friends due to the amount of time spent together in close proximity. If you apply for a job in customer service you can practice your social skills on people you’ll probably never see again too! Make sure you grasp opportunities for after-work drinks or eating lunch together, it might be awkward the first couple of times but the ice will be broken.
chat to your housemates before moving in.
Your University will allocate accommodation prior to moving in, giving you the opportunity to meet your future housemates virtually. Make sure you reach out to them and introduce yourself and a bit about you. You can use their social media presence, if they have one, to find out more about what they like to do and see who you think you can see yourself getting to know. You could even meet up with someone prior to getting to University to calm your nerves.
Making friends sounds stressful, but remember that everyone is probably feeling the same. Your first few weeks at University will fly by and you'll be laughing about how nervous you were before you know it.