Be Friendly

Friendly people are always excited to meet new people, appear approachable to friends and acquaintances, and are the kind of people who can just start chatting to a person on an airplane, in line at the drugstore, or when they're stuck on the bus. Sound hard? It doesn't have to be. Being friendly is all about making people feel comfortable in your orbit -- like you actually like talking to them. So how do you pull it off?


Being Approachable

  1. Smile more. You don't have to give every person you see a huge grin to be more friendly. However, making a goal to smile at least 30% more on a daily basis, whether you're smiling at people you know, complete strangers, or acquaintances who cross your path,smiling will make you look like a much more approachable, friendly person. Remember when you passed that guy you met that one time and he looked in the other direction and pretended you didn't exist? How did that make you feel? If you want people to feel good about talking to you, then you should smile more at them.
    • You can also make a goal of smiling more during the course of a conversation.
  2. Have open body language. If you want people to feel like you're approachable and open to talking to them, then you have to master open body language. Here are the things that you can do to make people want to talk to you more:
    • Keep your legs together instead of crossed
    • Have good posture instead of slouching
    • Keep your arms at your sides instead of crossing them
    • Lean forward toward other people
  3. Drop the distractions. Another way to be friendlier is to notice everything that's going on around you instead of trying to beat the new level of Candy Crush on your iPhone. If you're tapping away at your phone, burying your nose in a book, staring at your computer, or even just picking at the paint on your fingernails, then people will think you have better things to do than to talk to them. Instead, look ahead, smile, and be ready for what the world has to offer you. You'll be surprised by how many more people think you're friendly and how quickly they come your way.
    • Tapping away at your cell phone is rude especially when you're actively engaging in conversation with people.
  4. Make eye contact. This is something you should work on whether you're just saying hi to a person who is walking by or talking to someone face-to-face. You don't have to stare into a person's eyes 100% of the time to be friendly, but you should work on making as much eye contact as possible when you're listening to people, so that they feel like you care about them and that they're actually worth your time. When it's your turn to talk, you can look around a bit more.
    • If you're walking down a hallway and it's just you and another person, why not look that person in the eyes and say hello instead of staring at the floor or pretending to be fascinated by your own fingernails?
  5. Laugh easily. The ability to laugh easily is another trait of the friendly person. You don't have to laugh at everything a person says or you may sound fake, but you should make an effort to laugh about 20% more, especially when people are trying to be funny, say something kind of funny, or just when you feel people need a boost of support and confidence. Laughing more will not only give your conversations more of a positive vibe, but the people around you -- even the people who are just walking by -- will see you as a more friendly person.
    • Laughing and smiling more? Now that's a potent combo.

Mastering Friendly Conversation

  1. Master small talk. Knowing how to make small talk will go a long way in making you more friendly. Maybe you have a hard time making small talk because you're too busy, distracted, or just shy. But it's not as hard as it sounds. All you have to do is make the person feel comfortable, find some common ground, and reveal a little bit about yourself. If you get more comfortable, then you can start digging deeper and discuss more personal issues.
    • Some people think that small talk is completely superficial, but it's not. All good friendships and relationships start out with a bit of small talk. You can't just jump in and talk to a new person about the meaning of life, can you?
    • You can even make small talk with your check out person just to be nice. Make a comment about the weather, say something about the addicting tasty guacamole you're buying, or compliment that person's jewelry. It'll make you feel more positive and it'll make your day go by faster.
  2. Ask people questions about themselves. If you want to be friendly, then you have to show a real interest in people. They have to see that you really care about who they are, what they think, and what they do. If you want to be friendly, then you have to ask people a variety of simple questions that show them you care. You shouldn't ask anything too personal or they might get offended, though; stick to some of the same topics first and move on from there once you know them better. Here are some great topics to try:[1]
    • Pets
    • Favorite sports teams
    • Favorite hobbies
    • Favorite bands, books, or movies
    • Favorite food, drink
    • Siblings
    • Weekend trips
    • School or work
    • What they’re trying to achieve in life
    • Favorite vacations or where they would like to travel to
  3. Compliment others. Complimenting people -- when you mean it -- will make you seem and feel like a much more friendly person. Just a small compliment given at the right time will make people think, "He/she's really nice!" and will make them feel more comfortable and happy to be in your presence. You don't have to compliment anything too serious, especially at first, and you can just say something nice about the person's jewelry, outfit, haircut, or even say that the person has a great sense of humor.
    • When you're talking to someone, ask yourself, what's one awesome quality this person has that I would like to compliment? You should come up with one pretty quickly.
  4. Use people's names when you talk to them. This is a simple yet effective trick to making people like you more and to seem more friendly. If you use people's names, you show them that you care about them and that you can really distinguish them as individuals. You don't have to overdo it to get the point across. Just saying, "Hi, Ellen!" when you greet the person, or saying, "You're completely right about that, Ashley," in the course of a conversation will make you seem like a friendlier person.
    • If a person you've just met tells you their name, using it once or twice throughout your conversation will make you remember it for next time.
  5. Know when you're giving people the cold shoulder. Some people are unfriendly without even realizing it. If someone has given you a big "Hi!" and is approaching you while slowing down, this is because that person wants to talk to you; if you just say "hey," and keep walking, then you'll look rude. You may think that you're just giving off a neutral or a busy vibe, but that may often come off as unfriendly.
    • If you don't hold doors for people, smile at them when they smile at you, and avoid looking in the direction of people you don't know even if they're standing right next to you, then you'll be looking rude without even knowing it.
  6. Focus on the positive topics. When you are talking to people, try to stick to the uplifting stuff. Instead of complaining about work or school, talking about something bad that happened to you, or just generally being negative, you should mention something awesome that happened to you that week, something you're looking forward to, or even something funny you saw on TV. Talking about more positive topics will make you seem more friendly in everyday conversation because you'll look like a fun, upbeat person that other people want to talk to.
    • You don't have to pretend to be someone else to avoid discussing unpleasant topics throughout the course of a conversation.
    • Sure, if something terrible happened to you or if you really feel like griping, go for it. But try to say at least three positive things for every one negative thing so you still seem like a positive person.
  7. Open up. Part of being friendly is making yourself a little bit vulnerable and sharing something about yourself with others. You don't have to reveal your deepest, darkest secrets, either. Mentioning something slightly embarrassing, goofy, or just offbeat will have a winning effect on people and will make them think that you don't take yourself too seriously and that you're comfortable talking to other people. Here are some things you can open up about:
    • Childhood pets
    • Wacky vacations
    • a prank you played on your sibling
    • A funny mistake you made
    • Something you've always wanted to do
    • Your experience doing something offbeat for the first time
    • A story about your family

Kicking Up Your Social Game

  1. Make an effort to talk to new people. This is another cornerstone of being more friendly. You may be really shy or you might just think that new people aren't worth your time or that they all have something wrong with them. Well that changes today! Start making conversation with strangers sitting next to you on the plane, people at parties, or friends of friends that you run into. Make sure you read the situation and that the person actually wants to talk to someone new, and then proceed with a big smile on your face.
    • You don't have to talk to every new person who comes your way, but the more you do it, the more comfortable you'll feel.
    • Introduce yourself to people you don't know. If you're in a group of friends and a new person who other people know comes on the scene, take the initiative.
  2. Give more invitations. Part of being more friendly means showing that you want to spend more time with other people. How do you do that? You invite them to do stuff. Start small by inviting a group of people to a movie, a free concert, or to grab coffee or ice cream some time, and see how much friendlier you feel after they eagerly accept your invitation. Make a goal of inviting people to do more things with you at least once a week and you'll be living a more friendly life.[2]
    • Get brave. Invite acquaintances to hang out one on one and turn your acquaintance into a real friendship.
    • Throw a party. Invite an eclectic crowd of people and have fun introducing them to each other.
  3. Accept more invitations. Another way to be more friendly is to say yes when people ask you to do stuff. You may be afraid of hanging out with people you don't know that well, you may be too busy, or you may just prefer to hang out with yourself, a bowl of Cherry Garcia ice cream, and Snookums, your pet ferret. But you have to get over all that if you want to be friendly and start accepting people's invitations to go to the movies, dinner, or to a party.[3]
    • You don't have to say yes to something that sounds completely horrible. But the next time you really want to say no, ask yourself what is behind your impulse. Are you afraid of something new? Socially anxious? Or just feeling lazy? These aren't the greatest reasons to miss out on a good time.
  4. Have a bustling social life. If you want to be more friendly, then you have to spend more time with your friends. Spending more time around other people will make you be a more socially aware and sensitive person who is used to talking to other people. You should try to fill your calendar with parties, social engagements, group hiking, biking, or swimming trips, and other fun friend-filled outings if you want to be more friendly more regularly.[3]
    • To have a bustling social life, you have to make your social life a priority. Don't let work, school, or other commitments get in your way -- not too much, at least.
    • It's important to have a busy social life, but you should also remember to save some time for yourself. You'll need to decompress, especially if you're not used to spending so much time around other people.
  5. Practice being friendlier to people you don't like. This may be a tough pill to swallow. You don't have to become BFF with your greatest enemy to work on being more friendly to people in your orbit -- whether it's your uptight math teacher, your crotchety uncle, or that kind-of quiet girl who is on the fringes of your social circle. You'll feel surprised by how good you'll feel about being nicer to someone instead of giving the cold shoulder, and that person may surprise with friendliness in return.
    • Make a list of five people that you have always treated sort of coldly. Find ways to be nice to each of these people -- even if they don't deserve it. Forgiveness is a key quality to being more friendly. Holding grudges can make you angry on the inside, and that may affect your attitude on the outside.
  6. Overcome your insecurities. Part of the reason that you may not be the most friendly person in the world might be because you're lacking confidence and think that people will judge you any time you open your mouth. Ask yourself what lies behind your distrust or coldness to other people and see if it has to do more with what you think of yourself. If that's the case, then work on loving the person who you are, loving what you do, and addressing the flaws that need some work.
    • Of course, overcoming your insecurities can take years of hard work, but recognizing this as one of the sources of your problem with being friendly can make you be more willing to be nice to others. Remember that they may be just as insecure as you are, maybe more.
  7. Befriend people of your age and stage. "Age and stage" refers not only to the age of a person, but to the stage of life that person is in. A stage of life could be being a college student, being a young professional, being a middle-aged mother, or being an older person who spends more time alone. Finding people who are around your age and your stage will make you more likely to find time to hang out and will give you more things to talk about.
    • So, for example, if you're a young mother, join a young mothers group and you'll be on the way to making some amazing new friends.
  8. Show a genuine interest in people. This is the key to not just looking friendly, but to actually being a friendly person. A real friendly person actually cares about others and wants to make them feel comfortable. A real friendly person is concerned when others are upset and uplifted when others are happy; a real friendly person doesn't talk to people just to look cooler or to have more Facebook friends. If you really want to be friendly, then you have to remember this whenever you talk to people. If you actually care about them -- they will be able to tell.[4]
    • Of course, you can't possibly take an interest in everyone in your orbit. But the more you try to be nice to people, the more natural it will feel.
    • Remember that being friendly has nothing to do with being fake. And that it has everything to do with being more approachable, treating people with respect, and giving off a positive energy.
  9. Surround yourself with friendly people
    • when you are around happy people others will feel alright to approach you when with your friend or acquaintances
    • being involved with violent and/or rude people makes others wary about approaching or talking to you as they may fear being confronted by that person or those people or they may simply assume that you are the same as them because you just hang out with them


  • Don't be shy. Say hello to people you haven't talked to in a while. Just keep in touch; it will be appreciated.
  • Look at yourself in the mirror and think positive thoughts about your appearance. If you like yourself, others will too.
  • Try to use people's names. A hint for remembering names is to repeat their name every time you see the person.
  • Make a conscious decision to like people you meet. - It will produce positive verbal and body language that will bring the best out of people. (People are as friendly as you are.)
  • Don't be rude or insulting; remember to be kind and polite.
  • Everyone has something they really love, be it a hobby, a pet, or a band. Try to find common interests with the people you meet.
  • Be genuine and curious! Find their passion through open ended questions.
  • Try to be friendly to everyone, not just people you want to be friends with.


  • If you are overly friendly, you could end up just seeming plain creepy. This will just scare people off and will make people have a negative first impression of you.
  • Be careful with your sense of humor. Telling a joke which seems funny to you may not be funny to everyone else. It's very easy to upset someone without realizing it. What you consider a joke or 'banter' can easily be offensive to someone else. This can cause you lots of problems in the work place or in other social settings, such as community club and school.

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Sources and Citations