Top tips for making friends

Making friends isn't always easy. If you find it difficult, here are some tips to help

making friends

You can have different types of friends.

Some friends are good for having a laugh with, or sharing your favourite hobbies. And other friends can be there when you want to pour your heart out.

The number of friends you have isn't important. What matters is having friends that you're close to, who can support you and who won't try to hurt you or bully you.

You might be a young carer and have less time to make friends, or you may feel shy in front of other people.

But these things don't have to stop you making friends.

Things to remember:

  • it's scary going up to someone new but you'll gain more confidence
  • it's good to smile
  • if someone's friendly to you, try to be friendly back
  • it can take time to make friends
  • don't be hard on yourself if you freeze up - you can always try another time.

find things to share

Lots of friendships start because people have things in common. You could:

  • look out for people who have similar hobbies and interests as you
  • take something to school to share at break time, like sweets or a new game
  • share a song or video that you like.

Sharing something shows that you're warm and generous, and can be a great way to start a conversation.

use your body language

When we communicate with other people, we mostly do it using words. But what our body is doing while we talk is really important too.

We don't always notice what we're doing. But our body language says a lot to other people.

If you look bored or anxious when you're talking to someone, the other person will probably notice.

Using positive body language can really help when making friends.

When you talk to someone:

  • smile
  • make sure you speak clearly and confidently
  • look people in the eye
  • try not to cover your mouth with your hands when you speak.

get out there

Sometimes when we get into a routine of doing the same things, it can be hard to make new friends.

Try new things:

  • join a club either inside or outside school
  • volunteer (Vinspired has lots of good ideas)
  • change your daily routine - perhaps you could go to a different shop or walk a different way home.

Talk to someone new
If you see someone having lunch on their own, why not go over and sit with them? You could ask how their day is going and start a conversation about what you both like to do at the weekend.

what kind
do you like?

Ask on our message boards

Starting conversations

Questions can be a good way to start a conversation with someone. But it's also good to say other things which aren't just questions.

You could make a statement about music such as: "I like that singer, but I don't like their music videos." 

Ask questions:

  • about them - It's a good way to show that you're interested and want to connect with them
  • about a film, show or musician - they might like them too, and you can bond over this
  • avoid "yes" and "no" questions - try to ask them something that needs an explanation, starting with what, why, how and describe.

It's important to listen

A good listener is someone who lets the other person have their turn to talk. It can help to concentrate on what the other person is saying.

Try not to get distracted by other things, like looking at your phone. When the other person has said something, try to add something to the conversation based on what they have said (to show you've listened).


Join the message boards

give a compliment

It can feel great getting a compliment. Saying something nice can be a great way to start building a friendship with someone.

You could tell someone you like:

  • their hairstyle
  • their shoes
  • the way they laugh
  • their skills at a certain sport, like football or hockey
  • the fact that they're good at a certain subject at school
  • their sense of humour.