UPDATE 2023: I’ve fully updated this article with new ways to make friends, more information, etc. Enjoy.
Having a strong support network is absolutely critical if you want a successful life. Not to mention the guys you surround yourself with will shape who you become – you’re the product of the 5 closest people you surround yourself with. If you’re surrounded by successful go-getters, you’ll naturally be motivated to kick ass and catch up to them. If you’re surrounded by fitness freaks, it’ll be damn hard for you to stay a fat, sloppy mess – they’ll naturally pull you up to their level. If you’re surrounded by rich guys, you’ll have a good idea of the financial success that’s possible, and you’ll want the same success for yourself.
Success breeds success.
Conversely, if you’re surrounded by lazy guys who sit on the couch all day, that’ll make it sooo much easier for you to sit around wasting your life too. After all, why would you feel guilty about it when all your friends are doing it to? If you’re surrounded by fat friends, there’s no incentive for you to get your act together and hit the gym. If your friends are too scared to talk to girls, that’ll make it perfectly ok for you to give in to your fears and never hit on any girls either.
Failure breeds failure.
Find Positive People Who’ll Have Your Back
Self-improvement is WAY easier if you surround yourself by others who also on a mission to build awesome lives. The accountability they give you makes all of this shit WAY easier, as I talked about here.
Years ago I was at a point where I didn’t have a lot of mates (certainly no quality mates who really added to my life). After breaking up with my long-term girlfriend at the time, I had to create a social life basically from scratch. I did most of the things in this article, so rest assured this all works.
Over the next year or two, I built up a really solid group of friends in my city who have my back no matter what. I’ve also built up a very solid online support network, including a few Telegram groups, and a couple guys I do Skype calls with every month or so.
Then in 2020 I moved cities to escape communism (yeah, literally) and had to make a brand new set of friends – and again, I used the techniques written in this article.
Yep, bumble has a friendship section not too many people know about. Go into the settings, and change “Choose Mode” to “BFF”:
Then set up your profile & bio to screen for the kind of guys we’re looking for (ambitious guys who are into self-improvement). Don’t stress too much about which photos to use like you would when trying to get laid; just pick a few decent pics and get to swiping.
Then just copy-paste this message to everyone you match with:
“Sup man – I’m Andy. I’ll skip the usual bullshit and awkward introductions – I’m looking for mates who like new adventures, are down for trying new stuff and occasionally just hanging out and shooting the shit. Mostly looking for ambitious guys who have goals they’re working on/things they’re working on achieving – whether that’s working on their body, making money, getting girls, mentoring others, working on mindset stuff or something else. Looking to build a tribe of guys who’ll push each other and have each other’s backs.
If that sounds what you’re looking for, give me a shout and lemme know what goals you’re working on.”
I like using this template because it screens hard for guys who are into self-improvement, have goals they’re working on – you’re screening hard for ambitious guys. Exactly the kind of men we want to surround ourselves with.
Here’s what that looks like (I’m in yellow):
Just like with messaging girls, it doesn’t matter too much what you say – just screen for what you’re looking for. Just copy-paste my exact message if you want.
Then go grab a beer together (or a Coke if you’re a non-drinker like me), shoot the shit and get to know each other. Don’t stress if you’re nervous – that’s normal. The other guy will be too; everybody’s nervous meeting someone they don’t know. You’ll both chill out after you talk for a bit anyway.
I’ve met a few fucking awesome dudes using this Bumble method. It works so well because you’re screening hard for guys who are exactly like us; ambitious go-getters who want to build an elite life. Good shit.
I talk about Meetup all the god damn time because it’s fucking amazing. Meetup.com is a brilliant way to make new friends, especially if you specifically search for positive people (it’s 100% free to use). Types of groups you should search for:
- Masculinity groups – search for keywords like “masculinity” or “groups for men” or “stoicism” or “Self-improvement”, etc.
- Philosophy groups. These people are obviously great thinkers, usually very intelligent and usually into self-development/self-awareness. One of my best mates is a guy I met through a philosophy book club on Meetup – we’ve been mates for 5 years now. Search for “philosophy” or “debates” or “thinkers”.
- Entrepreneur groups. They’ll all be super passionate people who are very focused on self-improvement and success. These type of people usually deal with rejection very well (starting a business = tonnes of rejection) and are overall resilient, tough people. They also tend to be a great networking resource.
- Sports groups – generally healthy, social people. You won’t find any lazy couch potatoes here. Hiking/camping/outdoors groups are also brilliant for meeting fit, healthy people.
- Book clubs – similar to above, usually great thinkers.
- Other random groups. There’s a tonne of other groups on Meetup, including cooking classes, pub crawl groups, general social groups, trivia groups, movie groups, barbecue groups, etc. The people in them will be more of a mixed bag, but it’s easy enough to find some quality mates if you go to a few of these groups.
Forums, Groups, etc
You can jump onto self-improvement forums like this one, or any similar forums (a couple of my clients have made friends through the Fastlane Forums, the Skilled Seducer Forums). Basically, any places where hardworking dudes hang out. Post a thread saying, “Looking for guys who live in [name of your city]” and see who’s keen to grab a beer and hangout. I’ve even had a few guys in my group coaching program meet up with each other and become solid bros. I myself have made 3 friends in real life through forums.
You can also make a bunch of online friends (including guys who don’t live in your city) through the forums I listed above. Use those (and other) forums for advice, support, and networking. Ask to swap Telegram/Instagram/social media with people and you can build a group of online friends who are on the same path as you. I myself have about 15 really solid mates who don’t live in the same country as me who have my back, push me to achieve greatness and pick me up when I’m feeling down.
Not to mention if you ever do some travelling and visit their country, you’ll have solid bros you can show you around, talk to girls with you, hit the gym with you, etc.
Use Your Current Friends to Make More Friends
This is an easy one – text/talk to all your current mates, and say, “Yo, I’m trying to be more social and make more friends. Got any other decent mates you can introduce me to/hangout with as a group?” Add in the caveat that you’re looking for quality friends, not just random acquaintances.
I’ve used this before to great effect, and met a tonne of cool guys through my current friends. Everybody knows a few awesome people they can introduce you to.
Like most things in life, you’ll find that making quality friends is a numbers game. You’ll probably have to meet quite a lot of people before you find guys that are really worth keeping around – the majority of guys will be good casual friends but not much more than that. Luckily, it gets easier once you’ve met a few awesome dudes and your standards increase. You’ll know what qualities to look for and won’t waste as much time on guys who don’t really contribute much to your life. You’ll also meet more mates through your current ones.
Make Friends at the Gym
The gym is a kickass place to make solid friends – everybody in there is obviously very focused on self-improvement. More importantly, if they’re in the gym then they’re people who take action instead of just sitting around talking about it. Definitely people worth having in your life.
Go up to any guys that are roughly around your strength level or roughly the same size as you, introduce yourself. Doesn’t need to be fancy, just “Hey bro, this is a bit random but I’m new here and looking to make friends. I’m [your name]. [Shake hands].” (Note: The “I’m new here” line can be used pretty much any time you want to make friends. Doesn’t really matter if you’re new to the gym/city/whatever; just use the line anyway.)
You can also ask for a spotter (especially on bench press), then get chatting with the guy. If you hit it off, ask to add him on Facebook/Instagram/etc. Congrats, you now have a new mate.
Say Hi to Random People
You can also literally just go up to strangers and tell them you’re looking to make new friends:
Yes, I have done exactly this, just like he does in the video. You’ll find most people are ridiculously nice and very inclusive, and very keen to grab a beer with you and hangout.
You can then ask those new friends if they can introduce you to their other friends (the first time you hangout with your new friend, just say, “I’m really looking to expand my social circle. Reckon you could introduce me to any of your other mates at some point?”)
Congrats! Now you have a social circle of friends.
Cut Negative People Out of Your Life
First things first, if you’ve got anybody in your life who drags you down, you need to stop spending time with them (or drop down to a more casual relationship). A good rule of thumb is:
Does this person bring more good than bad into my life? Are they a net positive benefit to my life, or a net overall negative?
Be ruthless with this; if you’ve been buddies with someone for 10 years but they bring you down, are overly negative all the time, belittle you, talk shit behind your back, sponge off you, use you, etc – it’s time to seriously reduce the amount of time you spend with them. Life’s too short to waste it on people who aren’t helping you.
Some people will be easy to cut – the ones who are very obviously a bad influence. Others might be a little more in the middle. For those people, write out a pros and cons list – what positives do they bring to your life? What negatives do they bring? If they’re overall more of a negative influence, cut them. Or at least cut down on how much time you spend with them, and how much influence you allow them to have over your life.
I’ve cut out a tonne of people who weren’t adding to my life, and now I’m surrounded byonly positive people. I literally don’t have a single negative influence in my life – which is absolutely the way it should be.
The Same Applies to Girls
All of this applies to girls you date too. After you get through your newbie phase, you should aim to only spend time with girls who add to your life. If a girl is hot but bitchy, don’t spend your time on her – there’s plenty of hot and nice girls out there. Every second you spend with a girl who’s negative is time you could have spent with a better girl.
There should be nobody in your life who’s a detriment – every person you give your time to should be adding something to your life. You’ll find life is a whole lot smoother – and much more fun – if you’re surrounded by positive influences.
Update: A few extra tips:
First tip is SCREEN HARD. Use the screening template I gave you above (tweak it so it’s in your own words) to screen HARD for guys who are into self-improvement and actually work hard.
Second tip is BE PATIENT. It took me YEARS to build my current network of ass-kicking warriors.
Third tip is NETWORK through your current friends. Every time you do find someone who kicks ass and is a solid friend, ASK THEM TO INTRODUCE YOU TO ALL OF THEIR AWESOME FRIENDS. You will need to network in order to build a solid tribe; meeting friends through other friends is the easiest way to do this.