The city can be a lonely place. It’s not that easy to reach out and speak to people when you don’t know anyone. Everyone seems to have their own clique, and they’re not letting anyone else in. So how does anyone manage to make new friends?

Reach out in yoga classes 

Compliment someone on their leggings. Ask your teacher about a pose you find difficult. It takes time to build a friendship, but they all start out with tiny exchanges like this. Don’t be afraid to reach out, even if it’s just to comment on the fact that you’re dying after all those chaturangas.

Go to meditation events

While sitting silently in a room with a bunch of strangers might not seem like the obvious route to friendship, it can bring you into contact with people from all walks of life. Events like Just Breathe and Mind:Unlocked are a great way to spark friendships (without using booze as the initiator). The best part? You already have something to talk about – meditation. Don’t worry if you’ve never done it before, these events are suitable for total beginners.

Swap Instagram handles 

There’s always that moment. It’s the end of your day retreat, and you’ve clicked with a few people. Then it’s time to go home, and everyone disappears back into their own world. Ask for their Instagram name! Stay in touch! It doesn’t take much effort, and most of the time, everyone else is hoping for the same thing. Worst case scenario, you follow someone you never see again.

Search Meetup.com for socials that suit your interest

Yes, it will be awkward and terrifying to begin with, but just remember that most people turning up to these events are in the same boat. If you don’t like it, you can leave. No great loss. The potential for making a lot of friends in one go is huge at these kind of events, so be brave and show up.

There are many ways to make friends, but all of them require a little bit of bravery. If you’re finding it hard to reach out at all, try taking it one interaction at a time. No one conversation will lead to an immediate friendship (or dislike), just like one burger won’t make you fat. Little steps will get you there!