If you want to make good friends, you have to be friendly and be approachable. A good friendship can do you so so much good. You can live a much better life just by having people you can call friends.
You can deal with day-to-day troubles easier if you have people to confide in. The company of friends makes celebrations much better celebrated. Even rising at the top of your career can become smoother if you have friends you can help with support, ideas, and even connections. You can never go wrong with having trustworthy friends.
Everyone makes friends in different ways, but aiming to be plainly friendly and approachable to others are the best ways to go about it. Everybody loves a friendly face and no one will hesitate going up to a person who looks approachable.
Just by having these two characteristics, you can drastically improve your social life. Not only will approaching other people become easier for you, but you can also be approached first.
If you feel like your “friendly” and “approachable” traits need to be improved, continue reading this article. Today, you are going to learn the tips and ways on how to be friendly, how to become more approachable, and finally, and how to use them to build friendships.
How To Be Friendly
You need to know this before you continue. It doesn’t take much effort to be friendly. But in this day and age, those who remain friendly despite the horrors of the world really are the strongest. Friendly people should be treasured and appreciated. Not everybody chooses to be friendly. You are a good person for actively trying to be one. You don’t just make good friends by being friendly, you can influence those you meet to be better people.
Here are a couple of ways you can apply to be a more friendly person:
1. Wear a smile. Always
A smile is the best thing a person can wear. Smiling frequently can help you appear more friendly, and it can cause you to be in a better mood. A lot of studies have done on this, and scientists have concluded that something as simple as smiling causes our bodies to release hormones that make us happier. So just by smiling, you can become a happier person. Once that happens, being friendly toward others will become more natural.
People will also have a more comfortable time being around you if they know you’re a positive person. A smile is an indication that you’re happy with where you’re at and who you’re with. Your positivity can even influence others. The people you’re with will start to smile more if you do it first. You can influence the happiness of the group by doing something as simple as wearing a smile.
2. Greet people and start conversations
Don’t be shy to approach people first. Great a person if you see one standing alone in a corner. Engage in a conversation with them. Get to know them personally. By taking your time to go up to a person and getting to know them, people will see you as the “friendly-type”. It’s one of the best reputations you can have.
If you’re just walking down the street, or in a mall, or anywhere for that matter, whenever someone looks your way, greet them. Something as simple as a “good morning” or “hello” will be enough. So long as you take your time to greet that person, you are already actively being more friendly.
Do this as an exercise so when you actually go to a social gathering to socialize. You will have gotten so used to greeting people wherever you are that greeting people in parties will be like second nature to you.
3. Be mindful of your body language
Be mindful of how you stand. Don’t slouch or cross your arms. Let your body project your feelings. If you slouch, you’ll appear uncomfortable. Crossing your arms is a sign that your guard is up. If you want to appear friendly in public, just relax.
People will avoid making eye contact with you if your body language is off-course. They may think that you don’t want to be there or are avoiding interaction with others, or they’ll think you’re just plain awkward. The goal of being friendly is to socialize more and socialize better. You won’t have the chance to socialize if people avoid you or think you’re trying to avoid them.
Let your arms free. If you feel uncomfortable with doing nothing with your hands, just place them in your pockets. Keep your head up and smile. When someone meets your eye, nod, and smile. If there’s music, you can even move around to the beat. Let others know you’re enjoying and that you’re a positive person just through your body language. That’s what you should aim for here.
4. Don’t be afraid to break the touch barrier
This may seem very hard for you if you’re uncomfortable with body contact, but breaking the touch barrier is something you need to do more if you want to be more friendly. Touch can say so many things words can’t. Non-sexual touching is a sign that a person is comfortable with another person. You can simply tap the shoulder of another person, or grab their arm slightly, and they will feel easier being around you.
When someone tells a joke, you can grab their arm as you’re laughing. If you’re giving someone advice, you can place your hand on their shoulder. When telling your own story, if the story demands you to hold someone else, don’t be ashamed to do it. Acknowledge the fact that touch can bring about emotions and there’s nothing wrong with using it as a tool to connect with people. You’ll appear more friendly and people will be more comfortable with you.
You also have to take note that this is something you should be mindful of. Break the touch barrier, but never go too far. That may go without saying but it’s something that needs to be emphasized. Limit your interactions to friendly touches and you should be good.
5. Do your best to make everyone comfortable
Go out of your way to make sure everyone in your group is comfortable being there. If someone at a party is isolated and no one is approaching them, approach them yourself. If someone is who’s part of a discussion is quiet, encourage them to speak up. You are acknowledging the fact that they mustered up the courage to attend that social event by building them up. They will feel grateful to you for helping them ease up a bit.
Make sure you find out as much as you can about them when approaching someone who’s isolated at a party. Know their name, profession, interests, so on and so forth. This way, when you introduce them to a bigger circle, you’ll know how to introduce them.
You can say something like “Hey everyone, this is Mike. He works in accounting. Don’t ask him to do your taxes now”. By doing something like this, you’re making them feel included. You’re letting the others know that he can be a part of this group and that you vouch for this person. You’re the transition from isolation to being a part of a larger group. You’ll appear very friendly AND people will appreciate you so much more.
6. Be empathetic towards others
You are an amazing company to have around if you can put yourself in the position of others. This is the essence of being empathetic. You can relate to the person you’re talking to, you can talk to them the way they should be interacted with, thus having better conversations just by using your empathy.
Empathy is a friendly person’s best tool. Being a proper friend is tough if you can’t relate to other people, after all. You can really get to the bottom of what the other person is feeling and how they want to feel by paying attention to their body language and facial expressions.
You can figure out if they’re happy or sad even before asking them questions about it. Start asking if it’s necessary. Something as simple as “How are you doing, buddy?” goes a long way. If someone is feeling particularly gloomy, they will appreciate the fact that you took the time to ask them how they’re feeling.
You can also figure out where to lead the conversation if you know how the person is feeling. If they’re sad, you can direct the conversation towards happier grounds. If they’re already happy to begin with, you can heighten that by making them happier. This is how you can be friendly by using your empathy.
7. Host your own parties
You can also appear more friendly by hosting your own parties instead of just attending parties hosted by others. This way, you’ll be seen as someone who really likes by around other people. You’re the kind of person who wants to be surrounded by friends and wants to make friends. You’ll appear friendly.
People love being invited to parties. Even if they turn the invitation down, they’ll appreciate the fact that you thought of them. In the essence of this, invite as many people as you can if you host your own party.
Invite your close friends and people you met at parties. Gather different circles of friends and make those two circles connect. Be a harborer of friendships. Make sure you offer food and drinks people will love. People will have a great time and they’ll appreciate you for being a courteous host.
If you can’t host your own parties, you can even simply ask other people out. Invite your friends to go out and have drinks, or have dinner, or watch movies. You can do anything so long as you’re the one who’s inviting, so take advantage of that. People will appreciate this just as much,
8. Be kind and respectful to everyone you meet
This is a very important rule of thumb, regardless if you’re trying to be friendly or not. Be kind and respectful to everyone. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they do, treat everyone the same way: with kindness and respect. If it’s how you want to be treated, do unto others what you want others to do unto you.
You can also effectively improve your overall mood if you start acting kind and respectful towards everyone. You flush out anything negative you have in your system just by doing this. Therefore, you’ll feel more inclined to be more friendly towards others.
If others see your acts of kindness, then good. It’s good for your reputation as someone friendly. If not, then it doesn’t matter. Keep being kind and respectful whether eyes are on your or not. Keep doing this until it becomes a force of habit.
9. Give compliments
Don’t shy away from giving out compliments. Compliment other people on how they look, how they act, or for their thoughts. You can say something good about everything about a person. They’ll feel good for being complimented, and you’ll appear friendly for giving out the compliment.
You can use compliments as conversation starters too! For example, if you see someone wearing an incredibly beautiful suit or dress, you can go up to them and spark up a conversation, using a compliment as a starter. Say something like “Hi there, my name is x. I love your suit! Where might I get myself one of those?”.
You are actively starting the interaction and already lifting them up by doing something like this. The conversation can then proceed as usual, but they will always remember the fact that you started the conversation by complimenting them.
10. Be genuine
This is the most important part of being friendly — you need to be very genuine about it. Don’t be fake when you’re being friendly. A lot of people will be able to see through this, and you might even despise the act if you do it in the long run. However, you’re genuine about being friendly, it will all flow naturally. If you actually want to be friendly, then you can be friendly. You’ll make great friends and people will find you highly likable.
Just think about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Why are you doing your best to be friendly? Why read this article? What’s the purpose of your research and why are you taking your time to study all of this? If you want to have a better social life, connect with people better, build friendships, and cause an overall greater impact in your life, then you’re already on your way to being genuinely friendly.
If you hate socializing and you’re trying to be friendly, it will never work. Maybe it will, but it will never be genuine. The first thing you should do is realize the importance of having great friends. You need to know that it can affect your life in a positive way. Then, you need to know that being friendly is one of the best ways to meet great people.
You want to be friendly because you want others to be happy when they’re around you. You want them to be comfortable. You’re trying to friendly not only for your own good, but for the benefit of others as well. Just think about all of this and being friendly will come fast, easy, and natural for you.
How To Be Approachable
Once you figure out the ins and outs of how to become more friendly, you can then move forward and do your best to be more approachable. While being friendly and being approachable go hand in hand, learning each of them individually can help you become better at socializing.
People will see you as a friendly person once you’re done interacting with them or if they’ve heard about you. But being approachable means others will want to go up to you even before knowing what kind of person you are. People will be attracted to be near you, like pieces of metal on magnets, if you appear to be approachable.
Making friends and interacting will come so much easier for you this way and people will actually be curious to get to know who you are. With that said, here are ways you can become more approachable.
1. Stop staring at your phone
Our phones are a major part of our lives now. Everything from contacts, pictures, business emails, and even music are all stored in these little devices. We use them to communicate with the ones we love and reconnect with those we thought we’d lost. Because of this, these little handy devices can be considered as tools for socializing, but you won’t need them much if you’re actually out in public.
Don’t glue for eyes to your phone when you’re in a public social setting. The goal is to socialize, not get stuck in social media. Bringing up your phone at a party and continuously staring at it for the rest of the night will make everybody else not want to approach you. You will appear guarded and unapproachable.
Place them in your pockets and don’t reach for them unless it’s really necessary, like an emergency of any kind. You may also use your phone for any talking points, like if there are things you want to show to the person you’re talking to and it’s on your phone. Afterward though, put them back in your pocket and continue your conversation without your phone.
2. Show interest in others
Always keep a curious mindset. In a way, everyone you’ll meet will be a person of interest if you keep a curious mind. Ask others questions about themselves constantly. Show that you care about knowing them. Listen when they’re talking.
You can always know more about a person if you pick up on verbal cues and asking them further or certain things that they’ve said. For example, if someone says something like “The food here reminds me of my mother’s cooking. They’re amazing!”, you can immediately realize that they must love their mother’s cooking.
By saying the food at the party is amazing, you can deduce that their mother must cook amazingly too. You can show interest by asking something like “Your mom must cook well! Do you see her a lot?”
Always seek to know more about a person when you’re engaged in conversation with them. They will appreciate your interest and attentiveness. They will be more inclined to approach you later on simply because you’re a delight to talk to. Others will realize this too, thus making you a more approachable presence moving forward.
3. Allow yourself to be vulnerable
You need to be able to open yourself up if you want to be more approachable. That may be going without saying, but it’s something you need to practice if it’s something you’re not that used to. You allow yourself to be more relatable, and thus more approachable if you allow yourself to be vulnerable.
The best way to do this is to just be straight and start opening up to others. Be yourself. Be genuine about who you are. Show others the actual “you”. You don’t need to put on a mask and be this extraordinary person for others to like you. Being “human” is enough. That way, they’ll relate more to you. They’ll be more comfortable with you. People will approach you more.
You can start by telling others true stories about you. Tell them about your childhood, your dreams, and aspirations, the things you love, a few embarrassing secrets, the works. Everyone has those too. So let them see the real you. No masks and facades. Everyone else will do you the same favor. They’ll be open and vulnerable to you too. So be more open, and be more vulnerable. In doing so, you become more approachable.
4. Work on your humor
Adding humor in your social arsenal is one of the best ways to make people approach you more. Be a source of laughter and people will have an amazing time being around you. You’ll be the person they’ll turn to if they’re feeling down, or just having a bad day.
The best thing you can do for developing your humor is studying stand up comedians. Who best to turn to but the people who do it for a living, right? Watch as they entertain the crowd with jokes and how the stadium their in fill with laughter. These guys are masters at making people laugh and you can learn a lot from them.
You don’t necessarily have to “borrow” their jokes. Just study how they structure them. Follow their setup, build-up, punchline formula. This is usually how their jokes go:
- Setup – They set-up a story. “I was in the coffee shop the other night” or “I was in the bank a few days ago” are all fine setups. This is a way to establish your story and setting a scene.
- Build-up – Lead the story towards the ending. You can start saying what happens in the event and build up your punchline.
- Punchline – Finally, land your punchline. A great punchline is something people don’t expect. They expect it happening one way and your punch line is the other, better, funnier way.
Most comedians follow this three-step formula when telling their jokes and stories. Go on video streaming sites, search for stand-up comedians, and find one that fits your style of humor. You can then use them as inspiration.
5. Body language
This point was brought up earlier, but it’s also very important here so I’ll make this point very brief.
Your body language will dictate how approachable you are. As mentioned earlier, if you appear guarded, no one will want to approach you. But if you’re relaxed, open, and free, people will feel more comfortable approaching you. Take everything you learned from that point and still apply it here.
If the goal is to be more approachable, adjust your body language in a way that makes you open, but cool at the same time. People won’t hesitate to go up to you and spark up a conversation with you if your body language is this way.
6. Dress and groom well
Keep a very cool, stylish, and clean wardrobe. Dress the best way you can wherever you go. You also need to groom yourself. Be clean. Get a proper haircut, have your nails trimmed, shave accordingly, so on and so forth. Do your best to be the best looking version of yourself wherever you go and people will flock to you.
They’ll do this not only because you look attractive, but also because you look clean. A person who’s clean is someone who looks after themselves. That screams “approachable”. You don’t only want to act like you’re approachable but also look like it. People will want to go up to you at first sight if you take the time to look as great as you can.
If you feel like you don’t have the best taste in fashion, don’t hesitate to ask for help from others. Sellers and stylists from clothing stores will also be happy to assist you if you ask them for an opinion on garments.
7. Be more open-minded
Always keep an open mind when socializing with different kinds of people in public. You have to realize that not everyone will have the same beliefs, opinions, and mindset as you. People think differently and a lot of people will have different beliefs. Just because theirs aren’t in line with yours, doesn’t mean you should criticize them. In fact, it’ll be so much better for your social life if you get to know everybody else’s beliefs.
When a conversation comes up and someone says a personal opinion, don’t cut them off. Let them speak up their minds. Open your mind and allow information to come in. Who knows, you may learn a thing or two you didn’t know about before. Maybe they have some interesting insights that’ll make you more knowledgeable.
If an opinion gets said and it’s different from yours, don’t criticize. Maybe you’re the one in the right, but maybe you’re the one in the wrong. It can only be one of two ways but you should never approach these scenarios aggressively. If you keep an open mind in critical discussions, people will like having you in those discussions.
In keeping up with this, you should also never just throw away your belief systems just because others tell you to. You also need to be able to stand your ground when it comes to things you believe in. Just think of it this way: you listen to what they have to say with an open mind, so expect others to have the same courtesy whenever you voice out yours as well. This creates a healthy discussion and those who pay attention to you will appreciate the fact that you’re true to yourself.
8. Always keep your cool
Don’t be overly-aggressive in social settings. Always keep your excitement to a level that’s just right. Don’t be too passive either. Once again, a level that’s just right. You have to let the people around you know that you’re feeling what the atmosphere calls for but you never go too far with your reactions. That’s what you should aim for when it comes to reacting to things. Keep your “cool”, as they say.
People will find you highly interesting if you’re someone who can keep a composed emotion. People will actually see you as someone “cool”. You don’t overexert yourself in celebration, you also don’t act like you don’t care. You’re a level that’s just perfect.
Be sure you’re able to find that kind of reaction. The most important thing you have to remember is to just avoid being too crazy and avoid being too passive. A couple of genuine smiles, a few nods, and maybe a cheer or two will do. Not too crazy, not to passive, just enough. Just “cool”.
9. Be a better storyteller
To structure your story well is one thing, but to TELL it amazingly is another. You need to be able to tell your stories properly. I am not referring to the content of the stories themselves, but how you actually tell them. Make sure you are heard. Make your voice proper and clear without being too loud.
If you’re telling a story that requires a little bit of action, then move around. Don’t be shy to use your body in conveying a story. Paint your audience a proper picture with not just words, but also actions. People will be more engaged in your story and listen to you more if you do this. Look at them in eyes when you’re talking to them. If you have multiple listeners, let your eyes travel from one set of eyes to another. Make sure you engage all of them! They will be scrambling to go back to you for more.
You can create a wonderful connection with other people just by doing this. You speaking properly and them listening intently. They’ll subconsciously want to hear more from you and thus will feel more encouraged to approach you in the future.
10. Give helpful advice
You can also be the source of guidance for those you meet. Whenever a person is going through a rough patch, you can help them get through that with your company and your words. You can simply be there for them and they’ll appreciate it. Be a good person and be a good friend. You’ll be more approachable than ever if you can do those things.
Just say a few appreciative things about a person if they need it. Build them up. Remind them of the good things. Talk to them in a way that directs their mood to the positive side. Better yet, make them laugh. Crack a joke or two. Tell them a funny story. Use everything you learned from being funny and telling better stories. Make them forget their worries around you and they’ll be glad to have you as a company, and they’ll be more than happy to be your friend.
Study and Practice, Then Go Out There and Socialize
If you want to speed up your process even more and learn more things, study the other articles on this site and check out my book here. Once you learn all my methods from the book, you’ll need to start practicing. Apply what you learn so you can see the results in real life: more friends, better interactions, and a lot of fun with new and old friends.