As we grow older, we tend to lose contact with childhood and college friends, who’ve shifted to different cities and gotten different jobs. They have less and less in common with you with every passing year. Suddenly, you find yourself completely out of touch with them – they’ve drifted out of your life and they aren’t coming back. It’s sad, but it happens to everyone. What’s worse is that after a certain age, it gets harder to make new friends or meet new people. Fear not! Although your friends are not replaceable, here are 7 easy ways to talk to strangers and turn them into comrades:
- Walk your dog
People love dogs. Unfortunately, everybody doesn’t have their own dog, either due to lack of time or objections from family members. Walking your dog on the beach or in a park is the easiest way to start a dozen conversations a day. Bonus points if you have an unusual breed that raises questions!
I used Uberpool for the first time a couple of weeks back and I’ve already met five people from my neighbourhood that I didn’t know existed. Shared cabs are great for networking, because you have to spend at least fifteen minutes together with a stranger. Having trouble starting a conversation? Begin by talking about the traffic on your route!
This may not sound like fun, but if you choose the right organization, it definitely is. Are you religious? Volunteer at your nearest temple or church. Animal lover? Help out at a shelter for a week. You’ll surely get to meet people, plus you’ll have at least one major interest in common with them. Just make sure to volunteer at a place you genuinely care about.
- Join the gym
Whether you’re thin, potbellied or muscled up, get a gym membership and go there regularly. Talk to people about weights, lower body abs and whatever gym-goers chatter about. Help them out, and get help from them in return. At some point you’ll transform into a fitness expert and every newcomer will reach you first for help.
- Take weekend classes on any subject
It never hurts to learn yoga, self defence, or a new language. Hey, do you speak Mandarin? Start taking classes and you’ll have a bunch of people to talk to.
- Get a DSLR and practice photography in your area
People with professional cameras who aren’t tourists always attract attention like flies. Take pictures of everything – stray animals, sports cars, graffiti. Ask permission from the local flower vendor or tea seller for a picture of their stall. You may not make friends every time, but you’ll definitely have a nice chat!
- Do a postgraduate degree
If you don’t already have a Master’s, get one. Not only will you boost your career, you’ll also find a group of very useful professionals to interact with.
Now there’s no excuse left for not talking to more people!
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