How to expand your social circle

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

The importance of social support

Many readers have complained to me about the small number of friends they have. Those people told me they want a way to expand their social connections and to know more people.

First of all i said earlier that social support is extremely important for a person's well being. People who don't have a powerful social support system are more likely to suffer from psychological problems such as depression.

It's totally OK to have a friend or two, after all intimacy isn't about the number of people you know, but if your friends are always busy then you might need to expand your social circle to make more friends.

So how can a person expand his social circle?

The first thing you need to do to expand your social circle is to hang out at least 3 times a week. The process of meeting new people is random and that's why you need to increase the number of your handouts in order to increase the chance of bumping into new people.

Next you need to be an active person on social media in order to strengthen your relationship with the people you barley know. Many of the people you barley know can turn into close friends. Of course you shouldn't try to turn every person into a friend else you will seem desperate. This is why you need to choose the ones who seem friendly.

As you get closer to those people, through social media and other tools, they might allow you into their own private circle. The key of expanding your social connections is to get to know few people who can introduce you to others. All people are connected and so by knowing few people you will eventually reach a larger number of people.

Join group activities

No matter where you live there will be some kind of a group activity that can help you know new people. The fact that no one looks desperate in group activities , since each person has a reason to come apart from socializing, makes it easier for friendships to form during those activities.

A Yoga Class, a book club or even an educational course can all be sources of new social connections. You should certainly count those activities as hangouts. So if you hangout twice a week in addition to going to one activity mid week then you are already fulfilling the requirement of hanging out three times a week.

Avoid isolated places

When you hangout make sure you go to the popular spots instead of isolated places. The reason is simple. When you go to a popular place you are more likely to meet an a acquaintance of yours. During a conversation with that acquaintance you might end up finding a common interest or making a near term future plan.

Because that person is just an acquaintance arranging something on the phone would have looked desperate and needy but as you meet that person randomly and make an arrangement thinks will look much better.

Turning Acquaintances into friends

The best thing you can do to expand your social connections is to turn the right acquaintances into friends. Of course this will only happen if you have enough acquaintances and this won't happen before you start hanging out more often and meeting new people.

Once you find the right acquaintance , the one you feel comfortable the most around, you can then work on turning that person into a close friend. Shortly that person will introduce you to some of his friends as well and the cycle will go on.

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