This week it’s Campus Week at Get Great English. I know the term hasn’t started yet but think of it as a little time to prepare before packing bags, unpacking, moving into halls of residence or a flat.
Today’s post is about making friends. I’ve posted about this before but here are some more tips to help you get the friends you want. It’s useful for university students but also for everyone else, too.
Listen as well as talk
Look for similar tastes but be open to the unknown
Be aware of your body language
- Open posture: don’t cross your arms or create a barrier; keep your arms by your sides.
- Eye contact: make eye contact with everyone you are speaking to, but don’t stare. All you need to do is show you are paying attention and checking they are also paying attention to you.
- Widen your eyes when someone says something interesting: they will notice you are listening and will try to talk to you more.
It’s a cliché that to make friends you should be yourself but it is true. You have to be open to people, honest about who you are and be relaxed. Don’t worry about impressing people; being yourself should impress people enough and if it doesn’t, then those people don’t deserve to be your friend.
One of the things most people like about their friends is that they are good listeners. This means not only listening but always responding. Ask questions to have your new friend expand on details, and don’t rush to give an opinion unless you are asked for one. It may also be a good idea to hedge your opinion to make it weaker than it may really be.
Universities are multicultural places and attract people with diverse backgrounds and interests. You may be drawn to people wearing T-shirts of your favourite band or sports team but don’t be afraid to talk to people you think you have nothing in common with. If you’re both at the same university, and maybe on the same course then you have something in common already. Ask more questions, but don’t get too personal with someone you don’t know very well, yet.
Body language is a huge part of communication, especially when making a first impression. Some of the psychological tactics you should be aware of to appear more friendly are:
If you follow this advice I’m sure you’ll make new friends at university very easily. Remember to relax!