How to Have a Social Life

Four Methods:Becoming a More Social PersonStarting to Build ConnectionsMaking Relationships LastUse Technology

Are you gearing up for your third Saturday night date with your trusted kitten this month? If so, then it may be time for you to start putting yourself out there a little more. Of course, getting a social life is easier said than done, and you may feel shy or nervous about making new friends and finding a new routine. But having a social life doesn't have to be so hard. Read on to find out how to do it.

Method 1
Becoming a More Social Person

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    Make your social life a priority. There are some reasons why your life may be lacking in the social life department. It's likely that one of them is that you haven't made socializing a priority, favoring work, school, or your romantic relationship over getting out into the world and making friends. If going out to the bars every night seems exhausting and unfulfilling at the end of the day, there are lots of other ways to make friends. Because friends are after all, one of the main sources of meaning and fulfillment in a person's life.
    • Though you may be slammed with work and/or school, you need to tell yourself that the next time you have free time, you should devote it to a social activity instead of more work or more school.
    • Of course, you need your sleep. Don't go out and socialize if you're grumpy and exhausted. But try to manage your schedule so that you have some time to go out while you're feeling energized each week.
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    Get ready to say yes to invitations. Chances are, you've gotten used to rejecting invitations, whether they've come from your neighbors, classmates, or co-workers. Sure, your co-worker Martha's weekly bowling night may not sound like the most exciting way to spend your Friday, but it's better than your current plans...which involve you, a tub of fro-yo, and a 30 Rock marathon. Get used to saying "Yes" to things unless you have a really good reason to say no.
    • Part of this change will come from adjusting your mindset. The next time someone gives you an invitation, instead of scrambling to think of excuses to say no, consider it a positive thing, and think about all the benefits the experience may have for you.
    • You don't have to say "yes" to a person who you think is creepy or weird, of course. But lets say you think your neighbor Jen is nice but a little boring, and she invites you to a BBQ at her place. Not only could you see that she's more interesting than you thought, but it would be a great opportunity to meet other potential friends.
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    Don't be afraid of rejection. Another reason people don't socialize as much as they may want to is that they are afraid of being turned down, or are convinced that people secretly don't like them. Well, if you want to make close, lasting friendships, as well as make your daily life more fun, then you have to put yourself out there more, even if you're afraid of getting burned.
    • Sure, rejection sucks. But you know what else sucks? Spending a weekend hanging out with your cat.
    • Remind yourself that the worst thing that could happen is that you might not hit it off with a person, and could never hang out with that person again. Is that really so bad?
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    Add value to a social interaction. Think about your strengths as a person, and the things that might draw others toward you. There are a number of ways to add value to a social interaction, whether it's by being a generally fun, funny person to be around, or by being genuinely interested in what people have to say and being a good listener. So, if you're just standing there, adding nothing, you're not adding value. Make sure you contribute something, no hijinks required.
    • You may have a number of things to offer to different people. One person may be blown away by your intelligence, while another would rather talk about music with you. Find what works for every person.
    • Don't get nervous if you've been quiet and haven't found anything to contribute to a social interaction. You'll get your chance.
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    Keep things positive. You know who loves hanging out with people who complain too much or spend all of their time walking around with a sour look on their faces? No one. Even if you're in a terrible mood or think there's no justice in the world, try not to let it show when you're interacting with people. Start off by talking about light, positive topics, and you'll find yourself laughing in no time. People are much more likely to want to hang out with you again if they have a positive experience and feed off of your positive energy.
    • This doesn't mean you should hide your true feelings or not let people know what's really on your mind. You can open up and be positive and negative with people, but you should work on building casual friendships before you get too serious.
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    Don't be too eager. Though you should make socializing a priority and be excited by hanging out with new people, you shouldn't have "Hang out with me!" written all over your face. When you're hanging out with a new person, you should act like you might never see that person again until the end of the day, when the time to exchange contact info will come.
    • Don't invite a person you just met to do nine million things with you, especially if some of them are pretty friend-intensive, like hanging out with your family. If you both mention a movie you want to see, then sure, you can ask if that person wants to check it out with you, but don't start inviting the person to join every aspect of your life at once.
    • Though you may be tempted, don't say something like, "You're really cool -- I hope we can be friends," or the person may be a little weirded out.
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    Be more open-minded toward new people. One of the reasons you may have trouble having a social life is because you tend to think that all new people are boring, stupid, or mean. If you tend to think that no one is good enough to be your friend, or that you have nothing in common with almost anyone you meet, then you may have to rethink the situation. Instead, try to look for all the good qualities of a person you meet, and consider all the things you might have in common, instead of focusing in on all the differences you may have.
    • If you tend to judge and think negatively of new people, then it may be a defense mechanism, a way of keeping yourself from being rejected by rejecting people before they've had a chance to get to know you.
    • If you really didn't think you have anything in common with a person you met, try talking about something completely different; if you were talking politics, switch to sports. Sure, you may have widely different political views, but you may find that you have both had a life-long obsession with the 49ers. Who knows, maybe you could end up being sports-watching buddies.

Method 2
Starting to Build Connections

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    Draw on your current acquaintances. If you've moved to a completely new town where you don't know a soul, then this may be trickier. But chances are, you've been living in the same place for a while and just can't seem to hit it off with anyone. If that's the case, then you should think about the people you already know who you may be overlooking. Here are some ways to do it:
    • Click on "Friends" on the lower-left hand side of your Facebook homepage. You'll be able to click on a list of people who live within 10 miles (16 km) of your hometown (if you've listed it). This doesn't mean you should reach out to people you barely know, but see if you're surprised to see if any people you were once close with have ended up in your hood.
    • Look through your phone and make a list of people who you'd like to hang out with. This can be a bit of a stretch. Now, make sure they wouldn't be too surprised to hear from you. Then send them a text suggesting a low-pressure hang out, like grabbing coffee.
    • Look around your work or classes. See if you've overlooked anyone who might be a potential friend. Remember to be open-minded.
    • Know thy neighbors. If your neighbors are really friendly and always invite you over, accept the invitation.
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    Pick up some new hobbies or interests. If you have a problem with socializing because you're too busy to socialize, then you shouldn't make your schedule more busy. However, you should rearrange it so that you have time to pursue new hobbies or interests that could lead you to meet more people. Here are some things you can try:
    • Has your friend been inviting you to join her book club for months? Say yes. Or start your own club.
    • Take an acting or improv class for beginners. Not only will it help you become more social in public, but you'll also meet a lot of dynamic people.
    • Join a sports league, like soccer, volleyball, or tennis. You'll get your endorphins up while meeting some cool new people.
    • Take an art class. Sure, you may be focused on your art during the class, but you could make some great friends during breaks.
    • Volunteer in your community. This is another great way to meet new people.
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    Offer more invitations. Remember that friendship is a two-way street. Not only should you accept more invitations, but you should make invitations too. So, once you've found someone you (at least sort-of) click with, you should invite that person to hang out. The more concrete or personalized your plans, the better. If you just say, "We should hang out soon," it'll never happen. Here are some things to consider as you make your invitation:
    • Be concrete. Don't just say "We should grab coffee some time." Instead, say, I'd love to grab coffee one morning. How does next week look for you?
    • Don't offer anything too personal or intense at first. Ask the person if he or she wants to grab a drink instead of eating a fancy four-course meal. The person may worry that you'll run out of things to talk about.
    • Don't invite the person over your place. Invite the person out for lunch at a restaurant, not on your back porch; invite the person out to the movies, not to watch a movie at your place. If you invite the person over to your place first, you'll come on too strong.
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    Go on dates. Romantic life is part of any social life, whether you've been with the same partner for years or you're just part of the casual dating scene. If you haven't dated anyone in months or years, and it's not because you're heart-broken but because you're afraid of making the effort, then you need to start making some changes. Sign up for an online dating site, attend singles events, or ask your acquaintances or friends to set you up; there's nothing wrong with asking for help.
    • Even if the dates don't lead to romance, you may end up making a new friend, or meeting other potential friends along the way.
    • Dating is a great way to put yourself out there, overcome social anxiety, and learn to connect with a wider variety of people. Just don't jump into an obsessive relationship right away, or your social life will get even worse.
    • As you search for a partner, find someone who is social and has lots of friends, so you can meet more people.
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    Network. Use your job or school to network, improve your career prospects, and to meet more people. If your job is having a work networking event, whether it's through a volunteer day or a happy hour, don't turn down the opportunity. Though you should build professional relationships at work, you can make some real friendships too. The same goes for school; if you're invited to an event where you can meet other people in your field or major, take it as an opportunity to make new friends and meet people who share your career goals.
    • You shouldn't think of the people at work or school as just your "work friends" or your "class friends" only. Some of them could become real, life-long friends. This doesn't mean you should try to be BFF with your boss.
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    Hang out with more social people. Maybe one of the reasons you don't have much of a social life is because you only have two friends, and neither of them like to leave the house. Though you shouldn't ditch your hermit-like buddies, you should make an effort to hang out with more people who have a lot of friends, love to mingle, and generally like to have a good time with a variety of people. These people will not only be fun to hang out with, but will lead you to meet more people.
    • Don't hang out with a social person you don't really like. Just use "sociability" as a quality you look for when you're on the search for more friends.

Method 3
Making Relationships Last

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    Get more personal. Starting to have a social life is one thing, but if you want to keep your life going, then you have to make your relationships last. Though you should start slow with new friends, and stick to safer topics as you get to know one another, you can't just rehash the same superficial territory if you've hung out more than a handful of time. You need to learn to open up, to reveal a little more about yourself, and let the person reciprocate.
    • Don't reveal everything at once. Start introducing more personal information into the conversation little by little.
    • As you try to build a deeper relationship, you should also think about the activities you do with a person. If all you ever do with a new friend is drink a lot and go out dancing, try inviting the friend to dinner and a movie instead.
    • Invite people in to more spheres of your life. As you develop closer bonds with people, you can invite them to share your hobbies, see your place, meet your brother, or do whatever will help them get to know a different side of you.
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    Don't fall off the grid. One of the most important things you can do is to stay on the grid, keep attending your commitments, and continue to hang out with people. If you met a new friend and had two successful coffee dates, don't let two months go by without reaching out to the person, no matter how busy you are. With a new friendship, it's important to keep moving forward.
    • If you miss your last three book clubs, you have less of a chance of connecting with the people there.
    • If you want to be a real friend, then you'll have to stick to your commitments. No one will take you seriously if you have a reputation of being a flake.
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    Favor quality over quantity. This may sound counterproductive if what you're really trying to do is get a social life, but when it comes to having real friendships, having two or three close friends you can really rely on is more important than having thirty acquaintances. Though having acquaintances can help improve your social life, if you connect with a few people on a deeper level, then you'll be more likely to hang out with each of them at least once every week or two, which will greatly improve your social life.
    • It's okay to have close friends and acquaintances. Not all acquaintances have to turn into sincere friendships, and that's okay.
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    Let people see the real you. Though you may have tried a little harder or hidden parts of your personality when you first went on the friend market, if you want to make your relationships with new friends last, you have to drop the act. If you're having a bad day, open up to your friends; if you're worried about the future, let them know you're concerns; if you have a goofy sense of humor, let it out.
    • Don't be afraid. If you want to have meaningful friendships, then you have to put yourself out there.
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    Remember that having a social life isn't all about having fun. Sure, there are the parties, the trips to the beach, and the funny text exchanges that crack you up in the middle of your work day. But having a real social life, and having real friendships, means being their for the laughter and the tears. Working out the difficulties of life together is what will bring you closer to your friends, and will make you take your relationships to a deeper level.
    • If you want to be a real friend and to make strong connections that lead you to hang out with people, then you have to learn to be sympathetic, be a good listener, and learn to recognize when your new friend is upset and just wants to talk.

Method 4
Use Technology

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    Get a Facebook. It's simple, easy, and free. Start by adding your current friends and family members with Facebook. Try to make friends and start a conversation, but don't make others uncomfortable. If most people use something else, like Twitter or MySpace, use that instead.
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    Get texting on your cell phone. If you have parents that won't pay for it, convince them. Texting is a good way to talk make small talk with people. Many people love to text, but you might not, so make sure you know before you get into the habit of doing it.


  • Don't feel awkward because you think that you're putting people in an awkward situation. That's just make things worse! Just observe how the other person talks, listen to what they say and have a few responses in handy to save a situation!
  • Be brave and keep smiling.
  • Invite people into your current conversation, if you know the other person/people would feel comfortable with it. For example, if you're talking outside and you see a friend walk by, go, "Hey, (name)! What are you doing? Have time for a little chat?" Then update him/her on your conversation if he/she says yes. Help make people feel welcome to chat, especially those who are shy.
  • Even if you want to stay unnoticed at parties for some reason (like wanting to avoid a specific person), don't be a wallflower. Don't hang all alone along the wall and sadly/broodingly/creepily stare to the distance. People will notice you - in a wrong way! - and think you're one of those aforementioned creepy outcasts. Few people can tell apart coldness and shyness. It could be hard to recover from that kind of reputation (although possible with effort and support). However, the best tactic is to avoid invoking that spooky image in people's minds in the first place.
  • Be a smooth talker! Be nice, but not so much so that you don't defend yourself against bullies. Be sure to have some good comebacks up your sleeve.
  • Practice a good conversation by talking in a mirror, talking more often with people who you already are familiar with, or simply think of what you could say overnight before you start talking.


  • Don't expect anything from anyone. Not even a reply to a compliment.
  • Boasting is not recommended, especially if you are meeting a new person. Most likely you will come across as a fool desperate to impress and find company.
  • Don't ever be desperate. If someone treats you badly, don't go running after them because you want a social life. That just makes other people think you'll let them walk all over you, and you'll lose respect. Bad idea.
  • Don't agree on everything, but don't disagree either just for the heck of it.
  • Don't just look at one person when you're talking to a whole group. Look around at all the other faces.
  • There's a difference in having a conversation and just playing 20 questions. Asking questions is fine but make sure you're adding something to the conversation as well!
  • Don't compliment people 24/7. It's nice, but after a while you'll seem like 1. a suck up, 2. someone really desperate, 3. a weird person who makes a living out of complimenting people or at worst 4. a creepy, shady sleaze with an ulterior motive. Compliment on things you truly think deserve a compliment, and don't do it constantly.
  • While saying 'yes' can open many opportunities to have more fun (for example, going to a college party after being invited)and move forward in life, it's equally vital to know when to say 'no'. You would never streak in the middle of the school hallway just to win a bet, would you?
  • This may take some time and some hard work, but don't give up. Good things can come with price tags.
  • Talk to people, not at them. Ever met a person, who couldn't seem to talk without shouting being loud and bossy? Did you feel like you'd want to meet them again? No...? Precisely!
  • Example of social life you give a respect the people who speak in your front and after speak your friend in front and it's your turn to speak so that's we call "Social Life".

Sources and Citations

  • Leil Lowndes' How to Instantly Connect with Anyone
  • Leil Lowndes' How to Talk to Anyone

Article Info

Categories: Social Gatherings