How to Make Friends (and positively influence each other)
Maybe you are incredibly personable and work in a large organization. Or maybe you are still in school and have a large group of friends. Hopefully, those friends are mostly bright and highly motivated, and push you to explore new ideas and expand your horizons. For the rest of us, though, we need to focus on how to meet interesting new people and on making great new friends.
Joining clubs and other organizations where you can meet people with shared interests is a good place to start.
Sharing something in common is the best ice-breaker when meeting people; even if you are shy or introverted, it’s always easier to talk to someone about something you are both passionate about. You would be amazed at the array of groups that exist: clubs for people who love science fiction, Laurel and Hardy, Sherlock Holmes, vintage movies, jazz … the options are endless.
Meetup groups abound in large cities around the world, so that’s a good option too. You can find meetup groups you might be interested in at meetup.com and you can join specific online networking groups on LinkedIn.
You can also attend conventions tailored to your interests. Maybe you are a Star Trek fanatic or you’re obsessed with drones — conventions for every topic imaginable are springing up around the world. See this article, “The Rise of Cons” from the Wall Street Journal that discusses this phenomenon: http://on.wsj.com/1UCKneE.
However you go about meeting new people, the key to establishing friendships as well as finding valuable mentors, is to get involved in something that involves working on something together.
In other words, it’s great to introduce yourself to someone new but it takes a common purpose to drive the kind of interaction that promotes lasting relationships. You could, for example, start your own meetup group with your friends and new acquaintances to design something related to your shared interest, or you could even consider launching a commercial idea — a startup — and invite your new acquaintances to join you.
It really doesn’t matter; just find something that everyone cares enough about to commit to participating and dive in; you will find out which people you really want to befriend and you’ll also learn a lot and have fun at the same time!