They may have nothing against the person, but the next time they're planning an event they'll think, "Paul never comes out when I ask him, so no point in letting him know this time. It's one thing to hang out with someone once, or only occasionally.
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You could consider them a friend of sorts at that point. For that particular person maybe that's all you need in a relationship with them, someone you're casually friendly with and who you see every now and then. However, for someone to become a closer, more regular friend you need hang out fairly often, keep in touch, enjoy some good times together, and get to know each other on a deeper level. You won't have the compatibility to do this with everyone, but over time you should be able to build a tighter relationship with some of the people you meet. Once you've made a regular friend or two you've also got a good base to work from.
If you're not super social in nature, one or two good buddies may be all you need to be happy.
Meet new friends
At the very least, if you were feeling lonely and desperate before, having a relationship or two should be enough to take those feelings away. Sooner or later you'll end up meeting your friend's friends. If you hit it off with them then you can start hanging out with them as well. You could also become a member of the whole group with time. You can also continue to meet entirely new people.
Having friends will make this easier as they'll do things like invite you to parties or keep you company in places where there are new people to potentially meet. If you join one new club, hit it off with three people there, and end up hanging out with two of them long term, then you've made two new friends. If you stop there then that's all you'll have. If week after week you're coming up with new ways to meet people, and then following up and attending lots of get togethers, then you'll have a pile of friends and acquaintances eventually.
It's up to you when you feel like stopping.
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There's no law that says everyone has to have dozens of people in their social circle either. Many people are perfectly happy only having a few really close relationships. If you only have a couple of friends and decide you want more though, you can always get out there again. On the link below you'll find a training series focused on how to feel at ease socially, even if you tend to overthink today.
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It also covers how to avoid awkward silence, attract amazing friends, and why you don't need an "interesting life" to make interesting conversation. Click here to go to the free training.
Now I'll go into some broader concepts that apply to making friends as a whole. I think the points below are just as important as the stuff I've covered already, if not more so. A huge principle when it comes to building a social life is: Take Initiative. It's a big mistake to passively wait for other people to do the work of befriending you.
It's great if it happens, but don't count on it. If you want to get a group of friends, assume you'll have to put in all the effort. If you want to do something on the weekend, don't sit around and hope someone texts you. Get in touch with various people and put something together yourself, or find out what they're doing and see if you can come along.
1. Find some potential friends
Don't worry too much about seeming desperate or needy. Wanting friends means you're a regular, social person, not some weirdo. Take the attitude that it's about you and you'll do what needs to be done to build a social circle. Who cares if a handful of people think you're a bit too eager along the way if it all eventually works out? It's a lot like dating or trying to find a new job.
What you get out of these things depends a lot on how much you put into them. Other people are often harmlessly thoughtless and preoccupied in the sense that they'd be happy if they hung out with you, but they wouldn't think to ask you themselves. Sometimes you have to take an interest in them before you appear on their radar. Similarly, some people are more lax and laid back than you'd like about returning your emails or calls. They're not consciously trying to reject you.
They're just a little more loosey-goosey about that stuff than most. If you're inexperienced with making friends, you may see the process as being more drawn-out and complex than it really is. Often all you have to do to make a friend is meet someone you naturally click with and hang around with them enough. You also don't have to know them for months before applying the 'friend' label to them. One characteristic of more social people is that they'll throw the word friend around pretty loosely when describing their relationships.
But it almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sure, if you've just met someone it may not be a deep, intimate relationship, but you can still hang out with them and have a good time. If you're lonely your initial goal should just be to get some sort of social life going. Of course, steer clear of anyone who's truly toxic.
The benefits of being out socializing, as opposed to moping around at home, outweigh the fact that they're not your perfect match. At the very least, it's easier to make even more friends when you've already got a few. Also, if you're forming your first-ever social circle, you probably don't totally know what you like or want in other people. You have to see what different types of people are like in a friend capacity firsthand.
As a general rule, if you more-or-less get along with someone, actually become friends with them first, and then decide if you want to be friends. If you're picky, you can come up with reasons not to befriend just about anyone ahead of time. But when you're already hanging out with someone, and you've skipped over your pickiness, you often find you like their company, even if they wouldn't have been good 'on paper' in your mind beforehand.
I also give this advice because studies show lonely people tend to be more negative about others in general. Less-naturally outgoing types can also be more picky about who they choose to spend their time with.
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If you tend to be down on everyone you meet, you need to make an effort to consciously override these feelings. Plus, don't have an skewed self-image that demands you can only hang out with a certain caliber of people. Be realistic about yourself and your circumstances. If you don't totally like yourself you may also be averse to hanging around people who you see as too similar to you, as it can act as a mirror that reflects your shortcomings back at you.
This may be justified if you have some irksome traits and understandably want to avoid others who have them, but often you may be turning away legitimately good people who just happen to have some characteristics that tweak your insecurities a little. Sometimes you'll join a club or be introduced to your friend's friends and hope to meet a bunch of great new people.
Then you get there and the experience is disappointing. You may feel like you don't jell with anyone, or like they're ignoring you in favor of making in-jokes with each other. While other apps can help you meet a small amount of people at one time, meetup is great for joining a running club, becoming a member of an open mic and writers club, or being a part of a group that meets regularly, like a book club.
It's really simple and free! Sports lovers, unite!