How To Make Friends And Connect With People In Challenging Times

By Max DuBowy • August 29, 2016

It can be difficult to make friends living in a big city, especially when you don’t know many people.

I know what it’s like to be new to a city without knowing anyone. I moved more than ten times before I turned 18 years old and always had to start fresh in each new environment.

Over years of experience and studying social skills, I discovered that it’s possible to make friends without even trying. There are just a few strategies that you have to use on a consistent basis.

That’s what I’ll outline a few simple steps that you can apply right away:

1. Be seen without trying to get attention.

You don’t have to say anything witty or interesting to get people’s attention, all you have to do is place yourself in environments where people will see you.

This can be done anywhere you go, such as the supermarket or your yoga studio.

2. Use the power of listening.

There’s an interesting phenomenon that occurs when you listen to other people, they’ll keep talking. Just keep giving them good eye contact and show with your body language that you care.

Listening is an instant mechanism to build trust and likeability.

3. Think about what you can give to the other person.

So often we think about what we can get out of others when we try to make friends, but that thinking needs to be flipped around.

Try offering a piece of helpful advice or invite someone you just met to grab coffee or lunch with you the following week. Don’t ever stop thinking about how you can add value to others.

4. Always have three good stories to tell other people.

When you have at least a few stories to share with others, you’ll never run out of things to talk about.

Try being honest and vulnerable with your stories such as sharing a story about a struggle or challenge.

Recently, my dog passed away, and I’ve used that story in my conversations with strangers. You wouldn’t believe how many people empathized with my story and then opened up to me about their story of heartbreak and loss.

5. Smile like there’s no tomorrow.

It may not be natural for some of us to smile, but a smile is one of the most attractive things that someone can display when they’re meeting new people.

I highly recommend you experiment smiling at a few new people you meet and then try looking sad in other instances - take note of which relationships develop better. I guarantee that with the people you smile toward are the relationships that evolve instantaneously.

Think about these 5 strategies as tools that you always keep in your back pocket. They’re always available if you want to connect with people instantly and develop true lasting friendships.

Want more tips and strategies to win friends and influence people? Head over to to download my FREE Self-Acceptance Checklist and you’ll discover how to connect with anyone you want, make friends and love yourself unconditionally.


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