How to Make New Friends (Middle School)

Age Group:
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1. How to Find People to Friend

  • Find others who have similar interests (Clubs, sports, extra-curriculars)
  • In public areas, look for people who aren’t sitting with a large group of other people but who also don’t look completely closed off
  • Go to public events in the community for things you enjoy and look for others your age

2. How to initiate interaction

  • Ask them questions about themselves, don’t talk about yourself too much unless they ask
  • Watch for body language that they are not interested in talking with you
  • If they are doing something, become interested in what they are doing and tell about your own experience with similar things if you have any.  Just don’t sound too boastful
  • Don’t push for making more plans after the first contact, let that interaction be enough for now.  But, be receptive if that person asks you to make additional plans

3. How to encourage a friendship

  • Find ways to reconnect with that same person again (sit near them again or visit the same event again).  Make sure you honor that person’s privacy and space though by not trying to be near them all the time.  Give it some time.
  • Follow up on things that the person said during your last visit.  Ask them how projects are going or how a certain situation that you talked about ended up.
  • Watch for body language that says they aren’t interested in talking with you.
  • Don’t take it personally if the person isn’t receptive to interacting with you again.  You will try these techniques with many people and some won’t be interested.
  • Ask them more about themselves and add relevant info about yourself.  Don’t make the conversation all about you or your interests though.

4. How to maintain a friendship

  • Once you have interacted casually a few times, ask the person if they would be interested in participating in an activity that you both enjoy
  • Make plans and follow through
  • Make sure to take the other person’s feelings and interests into consideration when making plans
  • Don’t insist on hanging out or making plans too frequently, that person has other friends as well
  • Don’t invite yourself along to things.  If the person invites you, that’s great!  But if not, just come up with other ways for the two of you to hang out
  • Invite others who have similar interests along as well