Ways To Improve Your Social Prospects Before You Try Meeting Anyone
When it comes to getting a social circle together, there's a leap that takes place between not hanging around with anybody and having a friend or two. For some this jump is quick and simple. They go out and start meeting people. For others it's not as easy. They may be anxious about putting themselves out there or not particularly motivated to make friends. They could be stuck in a rut, comfortable or otherwise. In these cases every little bit helps. Here are some suggestions to help you gear yourself up toward going after a social life:
Get out of the house and be in the presence of people more often
Even if you don't talk to anyone, being in the presence of other people provides you with a small, vicarious amount of exposure to the social world. It helps your brain fall into that rhythm. It reminds you that a larger social realm does exist outside of your house. Sometimes by just being somewhere alongside other people, you can get a sense of belonging and social connectedness.
Hm, that sounds a bit vague and spacey. I guess it is in a way, but it's something I've observed. If you just stay at home all the time and play video games and browse the web, you can get too caught up in your own head or alternative universes like a cliquish online forum. When you start doing things like seeing a band or attending a fair, your perspective gets pulled outwards and you start thinking of yourself as a factor in a larger whole. Your concerns start to shift to how you're doing in the real world.
I'll be the first to admit this effect is subtle, but every little bit can count. Of course there's always a chance getting out more will make you feel even more lonely and cut off from everyone. Also, when I say "get out of the house", I mean more than running errands, such as taking five minutes to buy new shampoo at the store across the street.
And there's always the chance that by getting out you'll end up meeting someone. The points below, besides from being useful for their own sake, will give you some reasons to leave your place.
Explore your city or town and learn what's fun to do
People with decent social lives usually have a pretty good grasp of what's going on in their community. They know cheap places to eat after a late night out. They know about neat, obscure festivals that pass through town. They know when a good band is playing at a hole in the wall bar. They know about quirky coffee houses or days when you can get cheap tickets to sporting events.
Less-socially experienced people may not know as much about this stuff, because they can spend a larger portion of their time doing things indoors and on their own. Even if they know the basic landmarks of their area, they may still not be thinking in terms of, "This would be a good place to relax and have a good conversation with someone." or, "This would be a fun venue to go out to after volleyball practice."
Take some time to learn the ins and outs of your city for yourself. It'll come in handy when you start hanging around people. You'll easily be able to suggest things to do, instead of being relatively clueless. You'll also likely become a more interesting person in the process of learning about it all.
This article covers ways to uncover things that are going on in your area:
Follow along with events in the world
This is another way you can vicariously be part of a larger group without really knowing anyone. It helps unconsciously tune your mind into the bigger social world. Again, the effect is subtle. You don't have to become a 24/7 news junkie, but keep up with important news stories, or what's happening with certain TV shows or sports. Be up to speed on developments in niches and subcultures that you're interested in.
Get an outside life of your own
Building on previous points: Get out of the house for its own sake. Learn about your immediate surroundings. Also, try to get an actual life going that requires you to be outside of your place. Join a gym. Sign up for classes. See plays or bands. Try reading or working at a coffee shop instead of at home. Participate in an activity that you can do around and alongside other people, but without having to interact with them, if you're not up to it yet. Make a plan to check out a new bar every weekend. If you hate going alone, just drop in for a couple of minutes and then leave. If you don't like bars, do it with something else like restaurants or comedy clubs.
Odds are good all of this will put you in the position to meet some new people. Even if it doesn't, you should enjoy the activities for their own sake, and you'll be doing things to make you more interesting and experienced with life. If nothing else, doing this should help pull you out of your rut and help stop you from seeing yourself as a loser who sits around at home all the time.