Making friends should note be difficult if you know these 8 simple tips:

1. Go on a friend date

Most of us have at least heard of the “blind date,” the idea of letting a friend play matchmaker and set us up with someone we’ve never met.

If you’ve just moved to a new city, have a friend set you up on a totally platonic date with one of their friends who lives nearby. You’ll have less to lose if the potential match doesn’t work out.

2. Be real

It’s time to get super clear on what you love to do. Because when you pursue hobbies and activities you enjoy, you have a good chance of meeting people with similar interests.

Check out that local lecture on modern literature or sign up for a sushi-making class. Each event is a chance to meet a whole roomful of like-minded buddies.

You can also volunteer your time and talent with a nonprofit that resonates with you or download Meetup to find nearby folks with similar interests. And if you can’t find the group you want, why not start one? A little vulnerability could lead to lifelong connections.


3. Get up close and personal

When you’re just starting to get to know someone, foster intimacy by talking about something deeper than the sucky weather. Gradually disclose something meaningful about yourself and see if your new friend will do the same.

If you need fodder, each of you could answer the question “If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?” This technique will have you bonding in no time.


4. Be persistent

While not everyone has the courage to do it, most of us know how to pursue a crush. Swipe right. Send flowers to their office. Invite them to a concert of a band you know they’ll love. Ask them to check “yes” or “no” under the question “Will you go out with me?” on lined paper.


5. Make a plan

It might sound superficial, but the next time you go to a party, tell yourself you want to leave with three new friends (or maybe just one).

That way, you’ll be more open to meeting people and starting in-depth conversations instead of just smiling at the person ahead of you in line for the bathroom.


6. Smile

Seriously. We’re including smiling on this list because it’s a way more powerful tactic for making connections than you might believe. For one thing, smiling takes you out of your own head and makes you think more about the image you’re projecting.


7. Don’t take it personally

We pretty much know what it means when a romantic partner tells us, “It’s not you, it’s me.” But if you invite a new pal to coffee or a movie and they turn you down, don’t freak out.

Maybe they really are busy with work. Maybe their family relationships already take up too much time. Consider that it really isn’t you after all. Perhaps you can take a rain check and try again in the future.


8. Think differently

It’s possible that up until now, all your friends have been 20-something women who work in fashion. But why limit yourself? Variety is the spice to life and all that.

You could just as easily hit it off with someone 20 years older than you who works in finance. Be open to forming new relationships with co-workers, neighbors, and classmates, no matter how different from you they appear to be.