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Friends are the most valuable asset of a person’s life. They are with you in your happiness to celebrate or even when you are down and need someone to lean on. Research has proven that a good social life bolsters your immune system and aids you in beating stress and depression. Friends are the anchor of your old age when you begin losing the people you love. A good buddy can be an outlet to your inner turmoil as pain shared is half the pain already.

You might be looking for friends if you have recently shifted to a new city or just started your freshman year. Do not fret, just follow these tips and you are good to go.

1. Be presentable-
Nobody likes to be around a shabby personality, it is a major put off. Make sure you look right and smell good. A deodorant/perfume is not just to “attract women” but makes a good impression on eveyone around you. It is simple, if you look good, you feel good and improve your confidence in meeting new people

2.Have a good attitude-
Make a good first impression and do not be afraid of rejection. Pay attention to your body language. Do not slouch or fold your arms. Make eye contact and do a firm handshake while introducing yourself to a new friend. Learn to smile as it makes you look more approachable and less intimidating. Make appropriate physical contact such as a clutch on the arms as it makes the person feel more comfortable around you.

3. Learn the art of small talk-
Pay compliments on what appeals you in the other person such as their clothes, but do not flatter. Also, everyone likes their name so try using it frequently when talking.

Introduce yourself. Make a comment about the surroundings or the occasion. If you see a group talking, try to get involved by giving inputs.

Watch the news and stay updated so you can have things to talk about. Learn a story by heart, like about the time you went to Goa and tried adventure sports. This can serve as ice breaker.

A good way to prepare for small talk is visualizing yourself going up to meet someone and imagining the things you'd say while anticipating their response.

4.Have a good qualities others can emulate
Be polite and humble. The first step of making friends is letting go of your ego. If you have a good sense of humour, use it. Keep the conversation light. To make the friendship go further, be reliable and trustworthy.

Learn to genuinely listen to what the other person is saying and be attentive, don’t look disinterested or bored.

5.Go to new places-
Do something you care about. Volunteer at a pet shelter or NGO or join a hobby class that you like. Attend art galleries, book readings, open mics, music recitals or be a member of a club. Here you’ll meet people with similar interests who you have something in common with. Join toastmasters club as it is a great way of bonding and improving your communication skills. Facebook too can be a great way to connect with people of similar interests by joining groups which are relevant to you.

6.Speak to someone new everyday-
Try talking to someone you haven’t met before every day. It can be as simple as asking for the time to someone who's in front of you in the line. Approach a shy person and make them feel comfortable. You can even talk to a friend of your parents or a relative you always avoided. At first you will be hesitant, but as you pursue this habit, you’ll get over initial hiccups and talking to people will seem less of a task to you.

6. Don’t brand people-
Do not be too choosy. Start with being friends with someone who you find approachable and gradually enlarge and broaden your friend circle.

If you constantly label people, you will never make a meaningful relationship. A barrier will form between you and them. So, be yourself and treat everyone equally as potential friends. Remember that you are not better than anyone and no one is better than you.

7.Do not stick to one person-
Once you make a good friend, don’t just stick to him or her. No matter how god a friend is, always make other friends so you do not feel lost without them. Be affable with everyone as you’ll never know who you will need and even make into a good friend.

9. Extend invitations-
Once you get familiar with someone, ask them for their plans and if they’d like to join you for coffee. If you have extra tickets to a museum, concert or show, invite them over. Also, try to accept as many invitations from your side as possible.

1. Do not be pushy.
Be patient. Know that forging a strong bond takes time, so don’t come on too strong. Do not ask acquaintances why they didn’t invite you for parties.
If someone is being too rude or unfriendly, they are of poor character and you don’t need them in your life. Don’t hang out with people you don’t like for the sake of having friends. Instead enjoy your own company and the right people will be attracted to you.
Remember that friendship is a two way street and after taking initiative, you should not be the only one doing the asking. Else, it is best to move on and move on to greener pastures.
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