This weekend (like many others on my Instagram feed), I attended a wedding. My partner was the best man, which meant he had a string of duties on the day and was responsible for not ever leaving the groom's side. Not being part of the bridal party, we were on separate tables during the reception and not knowing anyone else there, I dreaded the next 3-4 hours and having to make small talk to strangers that I would never see again.

However, I chose to be optimistic. I figured that I might as well try and have a good time with these people and make the most of what ended up being such a beautiful night. What did I have to lose? And just like that, I found myself in a friendly argument of how Gal Gadot performed in Wonder Woman, talking about how Hotwire Australia got to meet Joel Madden recently, and learning about the sheer amount flowers alone can cost at weddings (this made my eyes water).

This made me realise it's important to make friends, no matter when and/or where in your life. It's a natural desire for us to feel like we belong somewhere - even temporarily - and so putting the effort in really pays off in changing your whole experience of any given moment. If I chose to sit through my three-course meal as a stand-offish snob, I definitely would have had a miserable time. But choosing to extend some interest and kindness to complete strangers was surprisingly fulfilling and opened me to up to wanting to do it more often.

Throughout our lives and especially our careers, people will come and go. It's not often easy for us to make friends but connecting with one another is so crucial to our mental wellbeing and our perspectives on the day-to-day. Whether you're starting a new job, meeting a prospective client or partner or visiting somewhere new, here are some friend-making hacks from one my favourite news outlets, The New York Times.