Ask Someone to Hang Out

Asking someone to hang out can feel like a big step at the start of a new friendship. It may be a classmate, a coworker, or someone you met at a party. Even though it feels scary at first, asking someone to hang out doesn’t have to be stressful. Let someone know that you’d like to hang out sometime in the future, or ask them to hang out at a specific event. Be bold by inviting someone to join you on a spontaneous outing.


Offering a General Invite for the Future

  1. Ask in a casual way. If you have been planning to ask them for a while, don’t come on too strong. Keep yourself calm so that when you ask them to hang out it doesn’t come across as desperate. Take a breath and use your regular conversational tone.[1]
    • You’ll sound too eager if you say, “You are so cool and I really want to spend more time with you.”
    • Be casual when you ask a classmate by saying, “Man everytime we talk, this guy is droning on in the background. We should chill outside of class sometime.”
    • If you had fun with someone at a party, say, “It’s been a great meeting, do you want to catch up later on sometime?”
  2. Use a specific common interest as a reason to hang out. You may have a hard time asking someone to hang out without a specific reason. If you’re asking someone you know you have a common interest with, use that to your advantage. Tell them it would be fun to do the activity together sometime.[2]
    • If you always talk to a coworker about the Walking Dead, ask them if they want to come over and watch it with you. You know you’re both free when it’s on, and the hangout has a set time frame so they can split when it’s over.
    • You might meet someone that works out at your gym. Since you are probably there around the same time, ask them if they’d want to work out together. Say, “We could both have a spotter and push each other to work harder.”
    • Say to someone, “I’ve noticed we always seem to be painting in this studio at the same time, would you want to meet up and actually paint together sometime?”
  3. Be confident that they will say yes. It’s no good to ask someone to hang out if you tell yourself they won’t want to. Get in the mindset that you are fun to hang out with and that the person you ask will say yes. If you are confident in yourself and make a direct ask, the person will be more open than if you seem timid when you ask.[3]
    • Don’t say, “You’re probably busy most of the time and have a lot of other friends already, but we could hang out sometime if you want to it. It’s okay if you would rather not.”
    • For an example, think about a co-worker you’d like to hang out with. Catch them in the break room and say, “We should find something cool to do outside of this place sometime.” It’s simple, shows your interest, and leaves things open to developing.
    • If you’re in a weekly club with someone, say, “You know, we meet up here every week. Let’s grab some food after the meeting sometime.” Again, it’s direct and shows that you are assuming they would be interested.

Suggesting a Specific Time to Hang Out

  1. Tell the person some times that work for you. When you ask someone to hang out, make sure you have a few times in mind when you know you’re free. Think of three dates within the next two weeks that you’d want to do something. Offer those dates to the person and ask if they are free during any of those times.[4]
    • If you ask them to hang at an unspecified time in the future, it’s less likely to happen. If you give them three dates, there’s a decent chance they’ll be able to say yes to one of them.
    • You might have one night a week that you always keep open in case something comes up. Tell them you’re usually free on Tuesday nights and ask if next Tuesday would work.
    • For example, “I’m looking for something to do in the next couple of Saturdays, would you want to hit the shops downtown and then get some lunch?”
  2. Invite them to an event that is coming up. If you already have a party or get together planned, even if you aren’t hosting it, invite the person to come to the event. Since it is happening at one specific time, if they aren’t able to attend, they are only turning down the event and not you. This is also less pressure than a one-on-one hang out.[5]
    • If you are having a Super Bowl party, invite them to join you. It’s a common event, it’s set at a specific time, and there will be plenty of people to interact with.
    • Maybe you don’t have anything specific that’s coming up. Plan something with a group of friends for the purpose of inviting the person you want to get to know.
    • It doesn’t have to be a private event. Ask the person if they want to go to the town festival and walk around together. They would probably go anyway, and it’s a laid back, public event.
  3. Make plans for the following weekend. Throughout the week, people may have set schedules, but they are often more open on weekends. If you typically only see people in a weekday environment, ask them to do something over the weekend. This gives you morning, afternoon, and night times to work with.[1]
    • Weekends are good because people are often more open to late nights on Friday and Saturday, and they may have more free time during the day on Saturday and Sunday.
    • Weekends also offer more events like community theater, farmer’s markets and festivals, concerts, and parties.
    • Say, “After this long week, I need to blow off some steam this weekend. Would you want to hit up the shooting range on Friday after work?"

Being Spontaneous

  1. Ask them to go to an upcoming meal. If you are at work or getting out of class around lunch time, ask the person if they want to eat lunch together. If you both packed your lunch, you could sit and eat together. Otherwise, ask the person if they want to go out for lunch together. This works because you both need to eat and it’s a low-pressure way to hang out.[5]
    • It doesn’t have to be an immediate meal. Ask someone to grab dinner when you get off work or meet up in a few hours when you finish what you’re doing.
    • If you leave a party late at night, ask if they want to grab some late night food at a nearby diner.
  2. Transition from class or a meeting into hanging out. If you’re with the person at work, a club meeting, or class, ask them if they want to do something when the engagement is over. Ask them while you’re in the meeting if they want to hang out afterward, or ask them right when it is over if they want to go do something.[6]
    • They may have things going on back to back, but a lot of times people will be free when a scheduled event has ended. Take advantage of this gap in their schedule.
    • Say, “I’ve got a couple of hours to kill when the class is over, do you want to go walk around the quad?” This is a simple way to hang out and it’s a low-pressure ask since it’s spur of the moment.
    • When you’re heading out the door after work or an organization meeting, say, “I’m going over to Poor Richard’s to grab a drink. Do you want to come hang out?” Getting a drink after work is common, so this type of question will seem normal to them.
  3. Invite someone to go wherever you’re going. Anytime you’re about to do something and you see someone you want to hang out with, ask them to join you. Since you are going to do it no matter what they say, it’s not a big deal if they turn you down. If it’s a person you see every day, you have unlimited options of what to invite them to.[1]
    • This works when you are on your way out of the dorm to see a movie, leaving your apartment complex to go for a hike, or leaving the office to play ultimate frisbee.
    • Get in the habit of inviting people to come along with you wherever you are going. After a while, they will get used to you asking and eventually they will say yes and join you.

Sources and Citations