Self Help: making friends in a global pandemic

Ellynn Mayo | @ellynnspeaks

For an introvert like me, it already feels difficult to make friends in college. Adding a global pandemic threatened to make the possibility of friendship totally hopeless for me… but friends (or future friends), all hope is not lost! You just have to get a little creative nowadays.

We all may look like strange penguins to unassuming dogs. We all may suffer from the dreaded mask-ne. Just hang in there, and I promise, you will make at least one new friend with these tips (even if that friend is me)!


The Old “Shut Up and Drive” Technique:

Countless movies have shown that this is a surefire way to make friends. Simply find your way into your target’s car. You can do this in a few ways: some have been successful by hiding in the backseat and scaring the shit out of the driver at the most opportune time. Others see the target’s door ajar and slide into the passenger seat. You may not have a target, and that’s alright. Just don’t end up with a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas situation, or you could get scarred for life.

Bottom Line: State the phrase “shut up and drive” when your target questions you. Instant pal.

Friendship Bracelets:

There are these super cool bracelets that essentially force any person you choose into an alliance with you. Take any material you don’t mind wearing for eternity. Fashion it into a wrist adornment. Common friendship bracelets are made out of braided cord, velcro, duct tape, human hair, or a locked metal contraption known as “handcuffs.” Handcuffs have become increasingly effective for ensuring your target hangs out with you.

Bottom Line: Remember — friendship bracelets are FOREVER. Choose your target wisely.

Ask Someone to Talk About Themselves:

Nobody wants to learn about you and the things you have to offer in life. People like to talk about themselves, so why not just ask a perfect stranger to give up precious personal details? Plunk yourself down in a seat near someone (while wearing a mask of course) in a coffee shop, library, or (if you’re really daring) restaurant. Bring out a list of every personal question you can think of. You might ask for their social security number, mother’s maiden name, or the location of all of their valuables.

Bottom Line: If the stranger gets antsy, remind them that this is solely for friend-making purposes.

Laugh at Everything:

Maybe you’re the kind of person who needs a really funny friend. Once you find a funny person, laugh at every single thing they say: with enthusiasm. Sooner or later, your laughter will flatter them. Your laughter will become a drug. They will become addicted to hearing you laugh at them. They will need you, constantly, or their need for validation by hearing your enthusiastic laughter will remain unfulfilled.

Bottom Line: Document the slow appearance of your six-pack abs.

Stand Outside with Hobbies:

You probably have some weird, obscure, or cool hobby that you don’t show to anyone. Maybe you’re super into bullet journaling. You might be in the “baking is a lifestyle” category. Perhaps you crochet socks for babies. Maybe you play the didgeridoo. I don’t know. Find some way to do that strange hobby in a well-ventilated public space. Make a big show of it, but act nonchalant.

Bottom Line: You want people to see that you’re quirky, but you don’t want to look like you want people to see that you’re quirky.

If none of these work, then I have to say, it’s hopeless. You will never make friends. Best of luck to you.

DISCLAIMER: KJHK and its affiliates are not liable for any crimes committed using this article as inspiration. Please wear a mask and practice safe distancing at all times.


KJHK 90.7 FM