You ever try and play Mario Party with just yourself? More like SADNESS PARTY, right? You need FRIENDS in your life, bro. But what if you have no friends? Or your friends kind of suck and you want to upgrade? Then it’s time to start looking for NEW friends, and since people you know already probably have decided if they like you or not, it’s time to make friends with strangers. Scope has an ad campaign where a guy tries this in public.
But what if you are NOT a curly haired comedian? Here are some friend tips for the rest of us.
Show them your collection of things
Do you collect Batman action figures? Minerals (they are NOT rocks)? Rare postage stamps of 1940s pin-up gals? Maybe someone walking down the street might collect the very same thing! I mean, the odds that the interest you specifically choose to show them is shared by a random stranger are astronomical — basically 1 in infinity — but I don't think you should let the ODDS tell you what to do. I mean, what are the odds that, in a world with 6 billion people in it, you'd end up as lonely as you are? See, you've already beaten the odds! Hooray!
Make fun of whatever's around you together
Most people sitting by themselves at a public place are secretly hoping another person will start talking to them. And since you're so desperately, desperately lonely, this is a great way to convert a stranger into a friend. But what do you say? Try pointing out something in your shared environment you can laugh at. For instance, if you're at the library, you might point to the bookshelf and say "Look at this bookshelf over here. Nice books, bookshelf. You're really HOLDING UP your end of the bargain". Or, if you're at the coffee shop, try "Look at this here half and half. It's really HOLDING UP its end of the bargain".
Carry a cane
For many people, it's weird if a guy just walks up and starts talking. But if that guy has a cane, our natural instinct to help those weaker than us kicks in, and we're willing to give them whatever they want, be it a hand opening the door, a seat on the bus, or even another pal to invite to a birthday party. Remember, you don't NEED an injury to walk around with a cane — you can just get one from a thrift store or deceased grandpa!
Get a dog
Being out in public with a dog is the world's best ice-breaker — if you'ere walking around with a cute little schnauser, suddenly EVERYONE wants to come up and talk to you! For some reason, we as a society have decided it's okay to go up to a dog and tell it it how cute it is and rub its belly and give it kisses. But if I were to go up and do that to a girl suddenly I'M the bad guy and I'M in jail and I'M on the hook for 400 dollars in bail money that I swear I'm going to pay you back Jerry honest to God.
Sing them a song
The truth is, most people are sad about something. Maybe their grandmother is sick. Maybe their dog ran away. Maybe this season of Fringe isn't really doing it for them. Whatever the reason, the quickest way to chase away the blues is to hear a jaunty tune, and that's something YOU can provide them! And once you start making people happy by singing to them, they're gonna want to have you around as a friend to do it wthe next time they get blue. Just make sure the initial song you sing them is a happy one, like Jonathan Coulton's The World Belongs to You, and not one that's depressing like The Verve Pipe's The Freshman because that song is about sad and no one wins friends singing sad songs from the 90's.
How do you turn strangers into friends? Let me know on Twitter at @mikeyfromsu or in the comments below!