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How to make friends IRL

...and not alienate people

How to make friends IRL
Do's and don'ts if you ever find yourself without an Internet connection

AT WORK
We get it, your colleagues are not your friends. Or are they? How do you make that guy across the room become your work husband? Through staged run-ins, of course.
How to make friends in real life
Do:
1. Create a space that's conducive for conversation. If you're in an open office, don't stack up your files and folders until you can't see your prospective desk buddy.
2. Stage casual run-ins in the bathroom and pantry. Start with a nod of acknowledgement, a slight wave, then a full-on, mega-watt smile so inviting, your colleague will be the one to make the first platonic move.
3. Offer to buy them coffee. Nobody — no matter how unfriendly — will turn down a free caffeine kick.

Don't:
1. Ask them if they want to be your friend. There's a rite of passage here — colleagues first, friends second.
2. Be a suck up. With or without online "likes" and "pokes", suck ups are annoying at best, revolting at worst.
3. Be a dick. This applies whether or not you have Internet connection.

IN THE DAY
Assuming you're the sort who actually spends their weekend out of bed, there's nothing like making new friends in the great outdoors. 

How to make friends in real life

Do:
1. Ask them for a tissue, a light, or directions. It's nice to be needed.
2. Say that they look familiar. Cliche in a bar, appropriate in a niche gig series where you end up seeing the same people.
3. Ask them an opinion on something. Everyone likes a chance to be heard, plus it'll actually lead to one of those "deep, meaningful conversations" people are always bragging about having.

Don't:

1. Tell them they should smile. Nobody owes you those expression lines.
2. Be a dick. Let's just say this rule applies across all walks of life, at all times and purposes.
3. Tail them everywhere they go. That pretty much reeks of desperation.

AT NIGHT
Who was the genius who demanded us to be social creatures at night? After an eight-hour work day, the last thing you're expected to do is make small talk — but hey, it's nothing a good drink can't fix.

How to make friends in real life

Do:
1. Compliment them on something, but make sure your eyes stay up there. You know what we mean.
2. Ask them for recommendations on what to eat and drink. Everyone's an authority on something these days.
3. Listen intently. You'll be surprised at how hard it is to focus on one person in a crowd, and how appreciative this one simple trait will come across.

Don't:
1. Wink. It's the worst thing you can do.
2. Mumble. Enunciate, enunciate, enunciate. It exudes confidence, even if that something you just quoted was from Buzzfeed.
3. Try too hard. We can all see right through it.

Read the digital millennial's guide on how to survive without the Internet.

Adibah Isa

  • Illustration: Angel Hendrajaya

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