Show me someone who doesn’t want a friend, and I will show you a flying horse! We all need friends – really good ones too – because they make our lives fuller, and more fun. Just think for a moment; would you rather play a game alone, or walk home from school by yourself? Or would you prefer to share these activities with a friend? Sharing with friends make a fun activity more enjoyable, and a difficult one easier. Wouldn’t you agree?
Social media friends are good, but they are not enough. You need physical friends: the ones you can see and touch, fight and make up with, laugh and cry with. Do you know why? Because this is how we learn to be human, this is how we grow.
Since friends are such an important part of our lives, how then can we make really good friends?
1. Spend More Time Around People
If you want to make friends, you first need to put yourself out there in order to meet people. If you just sit alone, friends will not come to you. In school, you could sit somewhere with other people, and introduce yourself to them pleasantly. Be nobody but yourself, let your light shine through. But I am shy, you say. What if they are mean to me? Don’t think of the worst thing that could happen, and nobody ever made a fire without striking a match. The least you can do is try. And try. And try.
2. Speak In Their Interest
The famous rule is that to be interesting, you have to be interested. What this means is that you talk less, and listen more. You could make a comment about their immediate environment, something like: What do you think of today’s cool weather? Or a genuine compliment like: I really love these shoes you are rocking! Listen actively – this is the ability to ask a related question based on what someone has said, and also shows that you are truly interested in them. Doesn’t this make us all feel important?
3. Find Out If You Have Common Interests
This is so you can initiate a get-together and open up the opportunity for another conversation. If appropriate, ask whether they get together with others – in a club, for example – to pursue this interest. If so, this is a perfect opportunity to ask about joining them. If you clearly express interest they’ll probably invite you. If you have interests that you think they might enjoy, take the opportunity to give them your number or email address and invite them to join you.
4. Don’t Try To Force A Friendship
Friendships should grow naturally. Friendship is a two-way lane, the other person must want it as much as you do. So, take it slowly and don’t try to force it to grow quickly. The move from acquaintance (someone you’ve newly met) to friend can take a long time. If you are not sure about the pace of your new friendship, check in with your friend and ask directly, but not angrily. Too much, too fast can be scary and make the other person feel uncomfortable. Take it slowly, friendship is like swimming in new waters, you want to test out the depth first before you dive in.
5. Be A Good Friend
To have good friends, you must be a good friend too! But being a good friend is not to have people walk all over you. No. It means being loyal, honest, helpful, supportive and reliable. It also means being able to tell your friends the truth, and about how they’ve hurt you. But there’s a way to go about it. How would you place an egg on a table? Would you drop it carelessly? Of course you wouldn’t! In the same way, you want to put your friends right gently, and with care because you love them, and would expect them to treat you in similar manner even if you are wrong.
6. Nurture It
Friendships are like flowers. They need constant attention, and the right things that will make them grow. Things like mutual respect, tolerance, understanding, being sensitive and encouraging. You would have rough patches; but because you both care about each other, you would put your differences aside, and make it grow.
Can you come up with more tips? Join the conversation by leaving your comments.