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I take art classes non dedicated to school and there are a lot of other teens there but I have trouble making friends because everyone is doing their thing and I don't know when is the right time or how to approach someone.

I have talked a bit with some kids but that was about it after those small convos we had we didn't really talk after that. And I don't know if I should say 'hi' to them because I don't even know their names. So my question is:

What should I ask them to start a conversation and how do I keep it?

  • There are a couple of things that will help improve your answer. What country/culture is this? Are these students the same gender or different? Do you know these students outside of class or are you looking to be able to know them better outside of class? – baldPrussian Sep 5 at 23:12
  • Do you have trouble sensing when others are smiling at you? Are you able to ask for their names and introduce yourself, too? – Yosef Baskin Sep 9 at 15:20
  • Why do you need to find friends espacially in this class? – guest Sep 15 at 21:42
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I use the following technique in a bouldering gym where I used to go. I approach to someone and I ask them "Hi, I see you easily climb that wall, will you show me how do you climb this route?". Always they make a comment about climbing and then they climb the route I asked them. After that I make a flattering comment and ask their names while deepening the conversation about climbing. Next session I can greet them by their names and then repeat the cycle. After that is easier to talk other stuff with them.
In your case, ask them about their art, give them all your attention and try to ask something else about what they said.
The purpose of this approach is that you are not saying "hey, lets be friends", which might be invasive for some people. You're only talking about a technique. Only later you'll be friendly because they were kind towards you while answering your question.

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You may use direct or indirect approach. I think Santiago already answered that. I have often tried this using indirect approach.

Perhaps you can identify the most friendly person or most extrovert in the class so easier for you to make friend with, then try to make friend to that person first then indirectly it leads you to know the rest of the kids in the class. Then from the extrovert friend, you can view the extrovert's friend on social media that connects you to the rest and understanding them more before adding them as friends. From their public posts, profile pictures, comments then roughly you know how the friend behaves. I would suggest you to get an advice from your parents first before using this approach if you're a minor.

If you are a major, you may consider this well known international TM club to learn how to make new friends. Those member would likely to help to build better interpersonal skills. Every city should have it.

http://www.liveandlovework.com/2012/10/19/benefits-of-toastmasters/

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    Hi there! Welcome to IPS. We expect answers on this site to be backed up with either citations or in that case, personal experience to show that the proposed solution has been tried before. This also helps to know what can be expected from trying such an approach. Could you edit your answer and briefly explain how you've been in a similar situation (or know someone who was and tried this)? Thanks in advance. – avazula Sep 14 at 11:23
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+100

The right time to approach people might be before and after class, or during break if there's a break. You don't really need to know names or important topics to start a conversation. Most people like someone who takes an interest in them You mention "small convos" you've had. Next time you meet a kid you talked to before, you can say, "Hi! How's it going with [name the topic you had talked about in that "small convo]?"

That will show them:

  1. You remember some little thing they said two days ago, which means: a. you listened when they talked, and b. you're interested in them.
  2. You're a friendly person who might turn into a new friend.

Most of the kids probably feel a lot like you do, lost and lonely, not sure how to make new friends. Seeing a friendly person open up in this group of strangers might help the others open up, too.

As for names, you can say with dignity like lots of older people do, "I don't know about you, but I couldn't remember everybody's name that first day. I'm Joe/Jane. And you are?" Possibly, when you offer your name, they'll tell theirs without being asked.

These things are called "breaking the ice." Once the ice is broken and people are feeling that it's okay to be casual and friendly, saying hi to each other even if they can't remember names, conversations will take care of themselves. It will feel awkward at first but breaking ice is hard work by definition. If the first person does not respond well, you can try it with another. Maybe the first person was just having a really bad day. There's sure to be someone in that large batch of kids that you will click with.

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