If you’ve started a new school, university, or sports team it is normal to be nervous. Everyone already knows each other. Nobody knows you. You’re the weird new person. Well maybe you’re not weird.
What is your game plan? Should you reinvent yourself, pick a fight with the toughest guy and date the most popular person? Those are quite risky and your crippling social anxiety might hold you back from following through on that plan. Attitude has been delivering programmes about social skills for years, so here are five tips on how to be the new person that even the shyest new guy can master.
Get amongst everything
If one of your goals of starting somewhere new is to make some friends then the most basic thing to do is get amongst every opportunity. Do you play indoor netball? Not usually but you do now. Can you play the triangle? Of course you can. Join a jazz ensemble. Are you passionate about hiking? Doesn’t matter. Just sign up for the mountaineering club. It’s a simple numbers game. The more things you do, the more people you will meet, and the higher your chances are of meeting someone you get along with. And who knows, you might have fun along the way and your life just got more interesting.
You might not think you are very intriguing, but you can be. The most interesting people are interested in other people. That’s because people often forget exactly what you said and the stories you told but they never forget how you made them feel. So make them feel listened to. The best way to do this is to ask people good questions about their lives and be interested in what they have to say. They will always remember you as the interesting person who they had a great yarn with.
Don’t forget your roots
As important as it is to impress these new people, there are already people who like you. Never forget your day ones. When you get home after a long day of being the new kid on the block, you are back with your own kind. They know you better than anyone. It’s more important to impress your family than it is to impress new people you don’t even know.
Be a G.C.
Be a Generous Chap. If you’ve started hanging out with someone then be cool and offer a token of your friendship. You can’t buy people’s friendships. But you can buy coffee. You could buy someone a coffee and then they may or may not be persuaded to be friends with you. Maybe the coffee had nothing to do with it. Maybe it had everything to do with it. It won’t hurt your chances of making friends though.
Think happy thoughts
The best life hack of confident people is this; they tell themselves that they belong everywhere. This is something anyone can do. Imagine how confident you are going to be on your first day somewhere new if you honestly believe that you belong there already. You get what you focus on. If you focus on making new friends you will be more approachable and more confident. If you focus on avoiding being rejected then you won’t really get to know anyone and no one will ever get to really know you. So think happy thoughts and being new will be a lot more fun than scary. Being new is awesome. You can take risks, make mistakes and ask tonnes of questions. The most seasoned professional started off as a rookie. You will be the new person… but not for long.
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