Making new friends can be intimidating, but it’s definitely rewarding. After all, friends form a big part of our life for most of us.
They are the ones who walk through life together, share our ups and downs, and pains and joys. Without friends, life wouldn’t be the same at all. We wouldn’t be who we are if not for them.
The secret to making new friends is as simple as being open to it.
Here are a few things you follow to forge new friendships.
Reach out to them.
Communication and effort is very important in any relation. Reach out to the person (or people) you want to befriend. Drop a friendly text and say hi. Ask for a meetup when they are free. See if there are opportunities to reconnect.
Ask your friends out every once in a while. Depending on the intensity of the friendship, there’s no need to meet up every few days or once a week — catching up once a month or once every few months might be sufficient.
Figure out what you have in common.
One of the best ways to make new friends is to meet people with whom you share a common interest. So, as you’re trying to bond with your friend and become closer, base hang-out sessions on what you know you two have in common.
If you both like outdoor activities or come from the same part of town, invite them to do something you’d think they would like, too.
Researchers have found that if you say good things about other people, people tend to remember you as having those positive qualities.
For example, if you tell a new coworker that your previous boss is a friendly, helpful person, they will likely walk away remembering you as somewhat friendly and helpful, too. But if you complain that your previous boss was an egotistical jerk, they may see a few of those qualities in you, too.
Get to know the person.
A friendship is about both you and the other person. Get to know the person as an individual. Here are some questions to consider:
• What does he/she do?
• What are his/her hobbies?
• What has he/she been up to recently?
• What are his/her upcoming priorities/goals?
• What does he/she value the most?
• What are his/her values?
• What motivates/drives him/her?
• What are his/her passions in life? Goals? Dreams?
Often times we are too caught up with our own concerns such as what others will think of us, what we should say next, what our next action is — that we miss the whole point of a friendship.
You can work on the presentation aspects such as how you look, what you say, and how you say things, but don’t obsess about them. These actions don’t (truly) define the friendship. What defines the friendship is the connection between you and the friend.
Show warmth, love, and respect toward everyone you meet. Do things because you want to, and not because you have to. If you approach others genuinely, you will attract people who want to connect genuinely.
Don’t rush things.
Building deep, supportive friendships is a marathon not a sprint, and it’s important to commit to getting to know a friend the way you would a potential romantic partner—slow and steady. So, take your time!
Bonding with a friend should be fun and kind of exciting. Don’t overthink anything, and just have a good time with it.
Always be yourself.
Don’t change yourself to make new friends. That’s the worst thing you can do.
When trying to cultivate a close friendship, the most important thing to remember is to be yourself.
Sometimes we do not know ourselves, so we end up trying to be what we think our friend wants us to be. Doing that may cause us to lose ourselves in someone we’re not.
Stay true to yourself when creating a close friendship with someone. The truest friendships are built with both parties accepting each other for who they are.