6 Ways to Overcome Your Shyness and Meet People

friends, shy, shyness, socialBeing social is good for you. Your emotional and even physical health depends on social interaction. Social relationships can help you deal with depression, stress, and just plain old loneliness. But some people have a hard time figuring out how to be more social, and where to go to meet and make new friends.

Here are six ways to get started:

1. Join a club

There is a club for almost every possible passion, from anthropology to zoology. Check out your local alternative weekly’s “events” listing; many of the ongoing events will be club meetings. If all else fails, start your own club.

2. Attend a Meetup

Meetups are semi-informal gatherings of like-minded people, often at a bar or restaurant, who get together to just chat and get to know each other. Meetup.com is the place to go to find meetups in your area.

3. Take a class

Taking a class is a great way to meet people – while learning something new at the same time.

4. Teach a class

Nothing is more social than sharing your own hard-earned knowledge with people who can benefit from it most. Community colleges, adult extensions, and local government organizations (such as Parks and Recreation) are always on the lookout for people to teach either full-blown courses or shorter workshops.

5. Look up local bloggers or twitterers

There are a number of services to find blogs by location, such as Feedmap.net, Outside.in, and PlaceBlogger. If you’re on Twitter, you can use the advanced search function to find Twitterers “Near this place”.

6. Go to conferences

Seek out local conferences, take a stack of business cards, and go spend a day in the expo hall, which is usually free or cheap. Hand your card out to all and sundry, and collect theirs as well. At the conference itself, make a point of asking vendors what their product does.

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