How to make small talk and make friends

I've spent years researching and studying social skills and I can't wait to share some of the most effective social influence strategies with you today. Before we dive into the strategies, let me tell you more about my experience...

As a natural introvert, I used to struggle with making friends and meeting people in new social environments. Sometimes I'd get so nervous that people would ask me questions and I almost choked to find the right words to say. One time, someone asked me if English was my first language. This made me so angry, so I knew I had to dive deeper to see how to solve these social barriers.

Now here are the strategies that you can use to make effective small talk in new social settings and make friends, even if you're a shy or introverted person:

Strategy #1: Get out of your comfort zone and be around new people!

This may seem kinda obvious, but you can't have small talk and make new friends if you're hanging out at your home by yourself all day.

If you're into health and fitness, go to your local gym to take some group fitness classes or if you're into writing and technology, go to to find a group where you're bound to meet people with like-minded interests and values.

This strategy is all about getting into action and going to places where you're bound to meet like-minded people.

Dale Carnegie says, "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."

There are a few ways to answer this, but I'd like you to employ two tools:

The first tool is preparation.

Without preparation, you'll end up like a silent goose. It's true, geese don't speak English.

In your small talk toolkit, you'll want to prepare at least 5 questions that you can ask of others and 5 stories you can tell others to keep people engaged and interested in what you have to say. Don't wait until you're in the new social environment to prepare these, prepare your questions and stories before you go out to meet new people.

Strategy #2: Keep an open mind.

You never know what kind of conversations or types of people you'll meet. By keeping an open mind, you'll allow yourself to be available the topics and experiences that arise in the present moment.

Remember, in your small talk toolkit, you want to prepare with at least 5 questions and 5 stories, and you also want to keep an open mind and be available to anything that presents itself in any social setting.

When you gel with the people you meet, you gotta close the loop and keep in touch with them to keep the friendship going.

Strategy #3: Keep in touch!

But Max, how do I keep in touch? It's simple, make sure you exchange phone numbers or email addresses. Then make it your number one priority to schedule a coffee date or activity together with every new person you meet.

Keep in mind that you don't have to be friends with everyone, you just have to friends with the right people. If you start building friendships with people who don't align with your values, don't be afraid to move on and go find some new friends.

You want to build bonds and friendships with people who support you and enjoy hanging out with you as much as you enjoy being with them. Making amazing friendships is all about mutual respect, honesty, open communication and reciprocity.

Want more tips and strategies to win friends and influence people?

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