If you want to meet new people, try joining a group that is focused on your interests. This can be as simple as a book club or a hiking group.

Long lines can offer opportunities to talk to the people in front of or behind you. If you’re comfortable, try to sit next to someone that you think you could easily talk to.

Go to the movies alone

Movie night with friends or family is a fun and social activity, but going to the movies alone can be just as enjoyable. You can enjoy a great film without worrying about the needs of others, and you can choose whatever you want to see. It might feel a bit awkward at first, but that’s because you’re accustomed to seeing movies with other people.

When you’re watching a movie with friends or family, they often have their own opinions about the film. This can change how you think about it, so you might come away with a different opinion than the one you went in with.

Another problem with seeing a movie with other people is that you’re not always sure where they will sit. If you go to the movies alone, you can choose your own seat and avoid distractions like chatty friends or the rustling of popcorn bags.

Go to the gym alone

If you love to sweat it out at the gym, this is a great way to meet people. However, some people get gym anxiety and are afraid to go there alone. They worry about how to use all the equipment and don’t know what to expect when they go there.

Luckily, there are ways to overcome this. First of all, choose the right gym for you. Make sure it has everything you need and is conveniently located. Also, try out the different classes and group workouts that are offered at the gym. Some are more women-friendly, while others are better for powerlifters.

Another trick is to go at quiet times. Most people hate long lines, but they can be a great opportunity to talk to new people. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most gym-goers are more than happy to help you out, especially if they see that you’re nervous. They’re used to seeing new people at the gym and are usually willing to give you pointers.

Go to a meetup

If you’re looking for a way to meet new people, try going to a meetup. You can find political discussions, book clubs, and even slam poetry at local centers. Almost every city has a center that hosts such activities, and you can be sure to meet many interesting people.

Make it clear that this is a non-work related event. If you have a specific topic you’d like to discuss, let the organizers know ahead of time. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to stick with a smaller meetup, which will have fewer attendees and more room for discussion.

It’s important to remember that not everyone at a meetup will be interested in you. Some will be purely there to socialize and may not be open to talking one-on-one. This is okay, and it’s not your fault. Just smile and be friendly. You never know if they’ll want to hang out later. If they do, then that’s great!

Go to a conference alone

A conference can be a great opportunity to meet interesting people. But you have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone. Thankfully, there are a few ways to make the most of it even when you’re attending alone.

Start by finding other solo attendees. They’re usually hanging around the edges of sessions or chatting on Twitter using the conference hashtag. If you see one, introduce yourself and strike up a conversation. You can also try to find a fellow lone wolf by checking out the conference program and book of abstracts ahead of time, and making a list of the talks that sound interesting.

Don’t be afraid to skip a session that isn’t speaking to your interests. In fact, it’s often more productive to do so than slogging through it for the sake of networking. Finally, don’t forget to take the time to follow up with your new connections. You can do this by creating a spreadsheet with their name, job title, contact details and the conference at which you met them.