• Decide on the bar/pub/cafe you are going to concentrate your efforts on. Ideally, it should be within walking distance, frequented by people you would be happy being friends with, have music at a volume that allows conversation, have a regular clientele and have busy periods and quiet periods.
• Pick a relatively quiet time to visit when sitting on your own would not look out of place. Saturday and Sunday afternoons, or Monday and Tuesday evenings are good times.
• Take something to occupy yourself, such as a book or newspaper.
• Engage the bar staff in conversation if they are not too busy. They often have their friends coming to the bar and know a larger number of regulars.
• Take the plunge and introduce yourself to a group of people at the bar. Good starting lines are: "I don't know anyone here, would you mind me joining your table?" or "I'm new to the area, can you tell me places to go?".
• Keep the conversation light-hearted until a bond is built.
• When introducing yourself, already have a drink in your hand. This avoids the embarrassment of getting into rounds at this early stage.
• Do not ingratiate yourself by offering to buy a drink, as this comes across as desperate.
• Do not talk about negative issues at this point (e.g., depression, recent break-ups, etc.), as this will just scare others off.
• Persevere. Even if you don't hit it off with the people you first meet, they can introduce you to more people.
• Choose a good time to leave before you have exhausted the initial meeting.
• Talk to someone who is in the same mood as you would like to be.
• Do not try meeting new people if you are drunk.
• Do not play on people's pity.
• Do not bother with people who are making sport of you.
• Do not make up other friends to talk about with your new friends.