The people you meet in college could stick with you for a lifetime. However, the problem comes when we are most often solitary. We don’t know how to make friends in college as an introvert.
Possibly, you might get along with classmates during lectures. But you might be seeking a stronger connection.
You want someone to study with, talk about world events, and go to a few places together.
Fret not. You don’t have to go through college without friends just for being a little shy.
Here are 7 tips for developing lasting friendships in college, even if you are introverted.
- 1 1. Let people know you and then escalate
- 2 2. Be friendly — but not overly friendly
- 3 3. Be careful with your first impression
- 4 4. Take the initiative with simple things
- 5 5. Join a club or take part in college activities
- 6 6. Improve your conversationalist skills
- 7 7. Keep trying even if you don’t succeed at first
1. Let people know you and then escalate
Making friends in college takes time. At first, you might make a lot of acquaintances. And it’s ok. You are on the right track.
Besides, no one forced their best friend to be their best friend. It doesn’t work that way.
However, what you can do is make it easier for potential friends to find you. Even if you have a hard time being in public, make your best effort in doing the following:
- Interact with people in your classroom
- Ask them their opinion about your last reading
- Say hi to EVERYBODY — shake hands with all the boys and call everyone by their name if possible
Only then you’ll be on people’s radar. Grow your interactions when you feel it’s convenient.
You can escalate your efforts by asking if they have a study group. Or suggest eating lunch together.
If someone asks you a little favor, or you can do something helpful for someone, do it.
2. Be friendly — but not overly friendly
Don’t let your desperation to make friends change your personality.
No one likes people who want to like everybody. Be only as friendly as it is natural for you to be.
People who work too hard for attention might appear a bit needy, which could scare some people away.
Be friendly, smile, but don’t try to force connections. Don’t try to be everybody’s number one friend. More people will get close to you that way.
3. Be careful with your first impression
The first thing you say to new people in college will stick with them for a while. Your first impression will be somewhat like an identity.
Ironically, acting a little low profile at first might be ideal. That way, you can build your image brick by brick.
Talk to everybody, but be careful with topics like politics, religion, pineapple pizza, etc.
4. Take the initiative with simple things
With so many people on campus, you may need to take the initiative sometimes to let other college students know you are interested in being their friend.
Ask both men and women to be friends on social media, and ask them their phone number too. Offering a little help might work too.
These small actions often start a friendship. Or at least you two will say hi to each other now and then.
Don’t be afraid to ask other students for their social media. No one in college stops making friends after a certain number.
You just have to ask, and 9 out of 10 will agree.
5. Join a club or take part in college activities
Maybe you saw this one coming, but it’s a super reliable way to meet new people. Plus, human beings are wired to find a tribe.
Join a club even if you are not great at something. The idea is to break the routine. Besides, you can get good at almost anything with enough practice.
College activities are likely to be the conversation topic the whole week or more. Go with someone you already know or by yourself. Everybody will start with zero friends.
If you can make at least one friend, it’ll be a win for you. After all, not even the most extroverts are friends with the whole campus.
Say yes to trying new things even if your body asks you to stick to your comfort zone.
6. Improve your conversationalist skills
Having good conversations is a skill you can learn. And it’s easier than most introverts think.
With the help of a couple psychological tricks, you can make people like talking to you.
- Talk about their hobbies: we all like to talk about ourselves, but you can build strong friendships by talking about other’s interests.
- Call them by their name: everyone loves hearing their name. Do it every now and then.
- Praise them — with honesty, not adulation.
- Avoid arguments.
You can learn about making friends from Dale Carnegie and his excellent book.
7. Keep trying even if you don’t succeed at first
Here’s where I get a little boring, but you have to know who Robert Green is. He wrote 48 Laws of Power, where he says that one must not isolate.
Finding a good friend will take time. You must remain consistent.
Having two or three friends has the potential to improve your life, which makes leaving the comfort zone worthwhile.
Don’t isolate, and don’t build fortresses around you, as Robert Greene says. Even if your introverted nature tells you so.
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