There are many reasons to expand your social circle. Maybe you want to make new friends; maybe you’re bored and looking for people who share your interests; maybe you want to get laid.

In 2016, I had just moved and barely knew anyone. I was bored, lonely and miserable; most of my Fridays were spent eating pizza and watching crappy movies alone.

In truth, I desperately wanted to have a large social circle, go out and feel like I belong. But how do you meet new people when talking to strangers sends shivers down your spine?

Turns out, there are ways – even if you’re as socially awkward as I was 4 years ago. Here are 3 simple and very effective ways to make sure your life is always full of people.

Start Going Out

When it comes to growing your social circle, showing up is more than half the battle. The people you want to have in your life won’t magically appear on your doorstep.

Problem is, the comfort zone is veeeeeery comfortable! I know first-hand how tempting it is to stay at home – and alone – rather than go out.

That’s why you should start with venues you’re used to or can enjoy. If you’re the quiet type, spend a few hours at a coffee shop or library. If you’re into cooking, sign up to a class.

I have a friend who goes out to have some coffee and read a book every evening. He’s shy and introverted, but he’s made dozens of friends just by being around other people. Do the same by leaving your house more often.

Snowball Your Contacts

Let’s say you already have people you enjoy being with in your social circle: friends, family, workmates. Why not get to know their friends? Your interests, values and ideas are very likely to match. Get to know your friends’ friends, then their friends, etc etc – and watch your social circles explode.

Snowballing your contacts takes very little work. Just show up to family barbeques, Friday nights out and birthday parties. You’ll meet lots of new people, each one of them pre-selected as “fit for friendship” by people you trust.

Smile and the whole world smiles with you

When I was going through my lonely phase, I felt like the world was out to get me. I made mean faces when people looked at me – and wondered why nobody was ever nice.

Don’t make the same mistake; be nice to the people you meet in everyday life. A smile and some genuine interest will get you much further than you think.

So there you have it; 3 easy ways to meet new people without going too far out of your comfort zone. Use them, act natural and thank me later.

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