Worried about meeting new people
Not everyone finds meeting new people and making new friends easy, for some it can be a difficult and nerve-wracking experience. So it is a normal feeling to feel worried about meeting new people. However, meeting new people can be really interesting; you can end up having great conversations, discovering new things and making good friends.
Ways to meet people
You might feel nervous or anxious at first. It is normal to overthink about how you should act, what you should say and how people will think. Everyone feels like this at times.
However, it’s important to talk to somebody you trust if you feel like your feelings are affecting your ability to meet new people and make new friends.
Here are some tips for meeting new people:
- You can join an after school club.
- Visit your local youth centre.
- Sign up for a programme like the National Citizens Service or Duke of Edinburgh.
- Accept invitations when people ask you to do things – you never know who else might be there.
- Go social events where you meet new people.
- Volunteer (check out your local charities or community events).
Do you get nervous when meeting new people? Here are some helpful tips for dealing with your nerves.
- When you’re nervous, it’s easy to get tongue-tied or say things you think sound stupid. Above all, building your self-esteem and going easy on yourself can often calm your nerves.
- If you’re at an event with lots of new people, find the people you already know first to relax a bit before meeting others.
- If you don’t know anyone and are feeling a bit nervous, chat with a friend on the phone to feel a bit more comfortable.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, worried or anxious then why not try one of our helpful apps or websites.
Smile and make eye contact
You’re more likely to be friendly to someone who smiles at you, so try it yourself. Opening yourself up to people can make them feel more comfortable and more likely to be friendly in response.
- It’s a good idea to ask the other person something about themselves to start things off. Try not to get too personal.
- The first time you meet it’s a good idea to stay clear of talking about religion, sex, politics or death.
- You could start by asking where they go to school/college, or if you’re at a party, ask someone how they know the person throwing the party.
- From this starting point, you can find more things to talk about. Listen to their answers and ask follow up questions. This lets people know you’re interested in what they’re saying.
It’s always impressive if you can remember someone’s name after meeting them for the first time, and helpful if you need to make introductions.
Tips on remembering names include:
- repeating the name immediately when you meet someone, and trying to use it as much as possible in conversation
- writing it down or save it on your phone (when you get a discreet chance)
- thinking of a famous person who has the same name
If you forget someone’s name, don’t panic. Just be honest, admit you’re not great at remembering names, and ask them to repeat it for you again.
When you come across as relaxed and confident, it’s likely the person you’re meeting will also feel more relaxed.