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Getting to know you

How to get to know someone online

No one said making friends was easy, but follow this simple guide and, before you know it, you could bloom into a social butterfly. Getting to know someone is the first step and this will help you achieve your goals.

  1. Ask questions that require more than a one-word response. You do not want to put the other person in a position to be able to say yes or no. Instead of asking, "Are you doing anything this weekend?" ask, "What are you doing this weekend?" Now the person will probably answer with an activity, for example, "We're going to the beach" and now you have something else to talk about! If they're not doing anything interesting this weekend, don't worry, just ask them what they would rather be doing.

  2. Keep conversations active by listening and responding. If you are chatting via video, nod your head. Display appropriate facial expressions. Smile. Look your new friend right smack in the eye. If you are in a voice chat, make meaningful sounds to show you're listening, and appropriate noises to show you understand, find something funny etc. Even if you're in a room where only one person can speak, you can show your response in the text chat window, some programs like Skype, even allow you to use emoticons.

  3. Don't forget to respond. Show an interest in what the other person is saying. If your new potential friend is interested in something you know nothing about, Shakespeare, for example, ask them about it. Why was Shakespeare so famous? What plays did that guy write, again? What century did he live in? Convince yourself that you want to know, and soon you will be having a very engaging conversation, but don't just explode with conversation and interest one day at random. While occasionally this can leave a positive impression, a lot of the time people will wonder if you're trying too hard. Casual asides to a person leading up to conversations are the better way to go.

  4. Plan activities that allow you to spend quality time together. Making consistent contact with the other person - either by phone, e-mail, or in person - will let them know that you enjoy their company.

  5. Be honest about your own interests and opinions. This will help the other person get to know you as well.

  6. Keep their interest, tell them the most interesting things about yourself and your family and your likes and dislikes, but do take a hint; if you can tell the person is tired of talking to you , for example, looking away, gazing off into the distance, giving curt answers etc. then stop! Just excuse yourself and go find something else to do.

  7. Offer to share something nice. Simply sharing recipes, or jokes can help to cement an online friendship.

  8. If it's not working out, give up. There are some people you really won't want to get to know. If you discover a certain person is not for you, then just leave the conversation politely. There's a whole world of people out there (7 billion and counting), so there's no need to be bored or annoyed, just because you are desparate for a chin wag.

Adapted from Wiki How - All text shared under a Creative Commons License.