Got any plans for tonight? If you’re gearing up for another solo Netflix sesh, you’re not the only one: loads of Londoners have been turning to old mate Google for advice on finding pals in the capital. And after our 2018 City Life Index found that one in three Londoners has felt lonely in the last 24 hours, we can’t say we’re surprised.
The good news is that the internet is full of suggestions. A quick search will reveal tips that range from the practical (joining a sports team or going to meet-ups with folks who share your interests) to the eyebrow-raising (friendly swingers extending open invitations to their wife-swapping clubs). You’ll also find a healthy number of Redditors extolling the virtues of chewing your face off in a nightclub chillout room.
But, according to Sarah Stein Lubrano at The School of Life, making new friends is not about what you do; it’s about having great chat. Specifically, being brave enough to get deep.
‘It’s important not to stay on the surface in a conversation, because you don’t really make a friend that way,’ advises Stein Lubrano. ‘In our class on “How to Be Sociable”, we encourage people to think about “conversational crossroads”, where you can move from having a surface conversation to talking about feelings. That’s how important connections are made.’
So, lonely Londoners, the secret to making friends is to crack that frown and really open up to people. Though maybe don’t try it on the tube tomorrow morning.