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The New-age Guide to Building a Social Circle from Scratch

Guide to Building a Social Circle from Scratch
Are you planning to build and expand your social circle to enhance the quality of your life? Though at the beginning initiating a group may seem difficult, it is not impossible. Here is a step-by-step practical approach to starting your own social circle.
Madhushree Kelkar
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2017
"Wherever we are, it is our friends that make our world."
~ Henry Drummond
Since the time we lived in caves, to this day, we have craved to belong or be part of a group or club. Being part of a group has its benefits and of late, people strive to be part of a social group solely for the benefits it entails. But sometimes we are faced with a situation where we have to make our own group. For instance, if you have moved to a new town or a major chunk of your friends left the group. Whatever be the situation, a lot of people face this fairly common issue and don't know how to put together a social circle for themselves. Some people seem to make friends easily while others find it difficult and just give up preferring to live alone and unhappy. I am sure you would agree that this is not the way to live and would love to have a social life filled with energy and fun.

Now, building a group of like-minded individuals may seem a tough task. You may have to participate in social events which may not interest you, or spend extensive time with people whom you particularly dislike. However, treat this socialization as an investment of your time, money and emotions for long-term returns.

The benefits will be evident over a period of time as your social circle will expand. The basic step to forming your own social group is to set specific goals and have a strategy to achieve them. This SocialMettle article will provide you with some concrete steps and a few tips which will help you in building your own social circle from scratch.
Identify Potential Friends
New friendship
Jane Hi Carla, I am Jane, Mike's cousin. We met the other day at the mall, remember? How are you doing? I really liked your choice in fashion. If you are free today, can we go for a shopping trip?

Carla Sure! I am doing good, how are you? I am free today, so let us meet up at the mall at 5 P.M. Sharp?

Jane Hey thanks! See you in the evening then.
It is not necessary that you have to build a social circle with all new people. There are potential friends in acquaintances whom you knew but have lost touch over a period of time, friends of friends you have met before, people who wanted to be friends with you but you did not bother, some relatives, family friends, etc.

These are people who are already known to you and so, you will be able to get along with them easily. Also, rekindling old friendships will slowly allow you to gain access to other friends of these people. Many people are comfortable conversing only with familiar people rather than a total stranger. Hence, it is advisable to start with old acquaintances and then move on to make new friends.

Sometimes when you shift to a different area, change your school or job, you are left with no choice but to make new friends. However, if this is not the case then you can identify people from your acquaintances who can form the very base of your social circle.
Attempt to Make New Friends
Friends in office
Sean Hi, I am Sean. Do you visit this library often?

Jane Yes, I am doing my research and often come here for references.

Sean Cool, what kind of research is it? I am majoring in psychology.
Trust me, you can make friends anywhere, at school, your workplace, the gym, hobby classes, nightclubs, etc. It is not necessary that you should know people before you approach them for a conversation. For example, you are traveling by bus and a girl comes and occupies the seat next to you. This is your window of opportunity to strike a conversation and make an acquaintance.

I have seen people shying away from a prospective friend because they are unsure of how the other person may react. But if you want to start a group, you will have to let go of these inhibitions. Maybe those people are also thinking about the same thing when it comes to approaching you. So, forget all your fears, go ahead and start talking to them. This way, other people will feel that you are friendly and approachable.

It is important that you are open to the idea of making new friends. Unless you completely accept the need for it, you will not make the first move and approach someone. Especially, introverts face a challenge when they have to initiate a casual conversation. Always remember, unless you take the first step, your goal will never be accomplished.
Take Things Slow
Friends and laptop
Carla Hi John, I just called to ask if you need any help with your Physics assignment?

John Actually, I was going to call you up. I have a few doubts. Hope, I am not disturbing your study schedule. It's just that these few questions are bothering me. Can you help me out, please?

Carla Sure. I have just finished my assignment, tell me what are your doubts?
One thing to remember here, forming a group of like-minded friends is a gradual process, which will require conscious effort on your part for a considerable period of time. Hence, it is advisable to set small goals and accomplish them before aiming for the larger ones.

You should first start by befriending individuals and then go on to form a social group. You will be surprised how these small goals help in paving the path for larger goals. For example, instead of setting an unrealistic target of having a group of ten close-knit friends by the end of the year, start by aiming for at least 2 good friends in six months.

A social circle is based on the values of trust, comfort and friendship, and it may take sometime to develop. Merely calling a person in the night and pestering him with your problems is not going to make him your 2 A.M. pal. In fact, it will drive him away, so do not forget to take things slow.
Participate in Multiple Activities
Group of friends
John Hey, our hiking group is meeting tomorrow at the Café. So be there at the regular time.

Max Sure, sounds fun! I am excited and nervous for my first meeting. I hope, I will be able to make new friends.

John You will enjoy meeting new people, as they are very easy to get along. Don't worry, you will be just fine. We will be discussing our next hiking session.
In order to meet people and make new friends it is advisable that you get involved in activities like bowling, hiking, any sport, or enroll yourself in dance classes, theater groups, public speaking, personality development classes, etc. You can even volunteer for some social cause or community work, through which there will be greater possibility of meeting like-minded people.

You can also check out websites which allow people to meet up for a wide range of interesting activities. You can even write reviews about films, restaurants, gadgets, books etc., on various forums and websites in order to connect with a number of people. Not only will this allow you to frequent different locations but it will also act as a platform to meet new people and make friends.

Through these activities you can have a group or a friend circle of your own. It can either be an activity specific social circle or can be a mixture of all your friends. A person with multiple interests is at an advantage because he can have different circles or groups which do not overlap each other.
Be Open, Fun-loving and Outgoing
Enjoying couples
Jane Hi, I am Jane. How are you doing?

Max Hi, I am Max. Welcome to the finance department of ABC firm. When did you join?

Jane I joined three days back, and was completing my induction.
Now that you have made friends, it's time to charm them with your personality. Imagine a person who always laments about the problems he faces at work, when in company of his friends. Sharing your concerns is okay but you should not overdo it, as it will act as a people repellent. A person who is morose and has a negative outlook does not have too many friends.

Usually, people want to be around people who have a happy disposition. They get attracted to their spontaneity and humor. Many people like to be with individuals who see problems as challenges and have a positive approach towards life. Such people like to enjoy the company of people who are enthusiastic and outgoing, and like to actively pursue various interests. Whenever, they find out what a fun person you are, you will become a part of all their social plans.

You have to be approachable and friendly in order to make friends. If you give cold responses or your body language suggests that you do not like the other person, it will be very difficult for you to make friends. The best way is to reach out to people yourself, in a friendly manner. For example, if you are new to the job, take an initiative to introduce yourself to you co-workers and make new friends. The more the people like you, the better are the chances that they will invite you to be a part of their group.
Attend and Throw Parties
Nightclub party
Jane Hi Max, I have organized a party at my place tomorrow and you have to come.

Max Hey thanks, can I bring my cousin along? She is new to the city.

Jane Sure! See you both tomorrow!
According to the mere-exposure effect, if you are familiar with someone, there are chances that you both will like each other better. So when you are invited for a party or a get-together, don't shy away from attending it. In fact, make the most of the opportunity by making new friends at the party. A party or get-together is an excellent place to expand your social network, so see to it that you accept every invitation.

Well, lets face it. Every relationship is based on a give and take mechanism. Hence, if you are attending other people's parties, you are expected to host parties and get-togethers as well. It is a social protocol. You can arrange an event or get-together and call different groups together. This way your social circle will have a wider group of people with varied interests.

People always like to be associated with a person who keeps hosting parties. This will make you popular among your group. You can ask your friends to tag along their friends as well. This means that you will get introduced to new people. These people will in turn, invite you to their parties. This will enhance your social circle considerably.
Start Groups or Clubs
Party and friends
Carla Hey, I have started a photography club. As you are good at it, you are invited to be our first official guest speaker.

John Hey thanks, I will be there. Let me know the theme and the schedule.

Carla Thanks so much for accepting. I have called a small group of friends. I will mail you all the details.
It is not only important to meet new people but focused actions should be taken towards turning these acquaintances into strong friendships. For this, you need to take an initiative to bring your acquaintances together by arranging an activity of common interest.

It could be something as simple as watching the Super Bowl finals together, arranging a barbecue, a musical jam session, etc. You can also contribute towards the betterment of the community by starting a cleanliness drive and involve your like-minded friends in it. Common interests often boost the chances of forming long-lasting friendships.

People like to be around positive people, especially those who have leadership qualities. By initiating a group like this, your planning and organizing prowess will be on display. For example, you start a music club which meets once a month. Not only will like-minded friends join, it can also snowball into something really big.
Utilize Social Media
Group chatting
Jane Hey there! I have started a new group for adoption of stray animals and have created a page for it on Facebook, do join it!

Sean Jane, the page looks fabulous. I have already joined it, a couple of my other friends are also keen to join.

Jane Thanks so much, they are welcome to join in!
With the advent of social media, networking has taken a different form all together. Staying connected with each other is a lot easier now. Today, communication is easy and quick through profiles and chat on social media websites. You should use this medium to create a social circle.

By this, I do not mean start sending friend requests to complete strangers or add random people. It can be very unsafe, especially after considering the rise in number of cyber crimes. What you can do is join forums of your interests or rather create such forums where people can discuss on desired topics.

After few months, all of you can have a get-together. Here, you will have an opportunity to make many new friends. Also, social media is an excellent way to keep in touch with your friends as you can 'ping' and 'poke' them anytime.
Sustain and Strengthen the Social Circle
Friends with guitar
Carla Hey Jane, let's meet-up over a coffee. It's been awhile since I met you.

Jane Sure, let's catch up this Saturday afternoon.

Carla Ok, see you soon.
Building a social circle is not a one-time activity. You need to keep in touch with these people on a regular basis, hang out with them and allow the bond to strengthen. It is going to take repetitive efforts from your side to get into someone's circle or build your own.

Apart from parties, get together and events, you can also meet for a casual conversation over coffee. It is not essential that the entire group meets every time. That can happen once or twice a month. You should also find time for individuals within the group.

Knowing people is only laying the foundation of friendship, what matters the most is to be reliable and available whenever they need you the most. People tend to think of you as their friend when you help them out with something. Whether it's your friend's break-up or a photography exhibition, stand by his/her side and offer your help. If your social circle stands on the strong foundation of friendship, it will last for a longtime.
Few Tips
★ See to it that you speak with everyone at a social event.
★ Compliment people, they really like it.
★ Be nice and genuine when interacting with them.
★ Keep smiling and make eye contact when you are talking to people.
★ Try to mix groups of people who will get along with each other.
★ If someone is trying to make you feel bad, ignore it and let go.
★ Have friendship with super-connectors who have lots of friends.
★ Give recommendations and advice to people who ask for it.
Work consistently towards building new friendships and strengthening old ones. Introducing one friend to the other will form a friendship circle which will definitely help you in living your dream social life.