There are so many factors that can make forging friendships difficult.
Whether it’s location, age or shyness, making friends can be difficult – regardless of your circumstance. So, here are a few tips that might help:
- Remind yourself of all your good and likable qualities. These are what will draw people toward you, so if you don’t see/ believe/ like yourself, then this won’t encourage others to either. Read our learn to like yourself blog for more info on this.
- Put yourself out there. To make friends, you need to find them, so get social! Start a new hobby, join a sporting team or Facebook group, or anything that will connect you with like-minded people.
- To get to know people, you need to talk to people. Say hi to those strangers you regularly see on your daily coffee run, exercise or work routine. Or get to know your neighbour or work colleague a little better. They might not be the friend you’re looking for, but they could be the acquaintance that introduces you to them.
- Be persistent. If your first convo with a stranger doesn’t go smoothly, don’t get spooked. Use it as a lesson to learn for future interactions. Also, by doing it more frequently, you’ll become more confident talking to strangers.
- Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you’re not just to make a new friend. You won’t mesh with everyone, and not everyone will mesh with you, so just be yourself, and let any connections happen naturally.
- Don’t force it. If a conversation is strained and doesn’t flow, then maybe you don’t have anything in common to base a friendship on, and that’s okay! You can’t force a friendship, but you can still be polite. But, in saying that;
- Don’t be too quick to quit. Apparently it takes 50 hours to consider someone a friend, and 200 to consider them a best friend. So give it time to get to know the new people you meet before you decide if they are friend-worthy or not.
- Quality is better than quantity. One good friend is better than 100 not so good ones. Don’t focus on numbers, focus on quality. How do you know if someone is quality friend material? Easy! Be the kind of friend you want, and if they mimic your lead – bingo! You have a winner.
- Maintenance is key. Found a friend? Great! After all the effort you’ve put into finding a friendship, don’t blow it by not nurturing it. A friendship needs constant effort to grow, so give it the time and attention it needs to flourish.
Making new friends can be daunting for everyone because it is hard to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. But, everyone feels that way!
So, be brave and make the first move. You can do it!
Written by Lorraine Sindel