How to get more friends in minutes

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The Fast Friends procedure is best used when talking one-on-one and face-to-face. Ideally, the questions are asked in a way that is consistent with how friendships naturally develop.

1. Get to know each other’s interests

When you meet someone who you click with, take the initiative to exchange contact information and hang out again. But don’t pester them with texts and phone calls—this approach can make you seem needy and put them on edge.

Instead, spend time talking about your shared interests and getting to know each other. Start with small talk about the weather or what you did last weekend, and then gradually progress to more personal questions.

Ask open-ended questions, such as “How did you get into your hobby?” or “What do you think about the new TV series that just premiered?” Make sure you respond to the person’s answers, and don’t be afraid to reveal a little about yourself in return. This is the way that friendships develop, and it’s also how police interrogators and psychologists get people to open up during a conversation. It’s a powerful tool that can be used to make friends quickly. You just have to practice it.

2. Ask open-ended questions

Research from psychologist Arthur Aron shows that asking deep questions about beliefs and values can create closeness among strangers. The most effective questions are open-ended and can reveal the responder’s passions or quirks. For example, “who or where would you haunt if you were a ghost?” can show that the person has a sentimental or vengeful streak.

However, these questions can be uncomfortable or scary, and you might find yourself closing off conversations rather than digging deeper. To avoid this, it’s best to only ask these questions once you have gotten to know each other on a more superficial level through easier but still personal questions (such as “what’s your favorite color?” or “do you prefer tacos or burritos”). Then you can use follow-up questions and prompts that encourage deeper conversation without feeling invasive.

3. Stay in touch

Staying in touch is a vital part of maintaining relationships. It also keeps you connected to loved ones and improves your mental health. Set reminders on your phone or calendar, or use a tool like Do Happy or Important People Organizer to keep track of friendship maintenance tasks. Try not to let things slip through the cracks, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t connect as scheduled. If they’re a car ride away, start planning dinner or a day trip a few months out and mark it on your calendar.

Mutual self-disclosure and sharing experiences are powerful bonding tools, but you can also show you care by calling, emailing, texting, or social media messaging. Make an effort to remember birthdays and special events and regularly ask how they’re doing. This shows that you’re invested in their lives and ready to be a friend. Keeping in touch across distances and time zones can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort.