Are you’re lonely or just know you would be a better you if you had more or deeper friends in your life? Our modern life seem to make making and keeping friends harder and harder despite us being more “connected”.
So how do we make new friends? Sometimes it feels like we missed the classes on this topic in school (hint: there was none).
Here are my best tips and strategies to making friends. I’m not an expert, this is something I’m still actively learning about myself but I hope this helps.
I consider making friends to be like looking for a great job. It’s probably not going to happen straight away, there are tons of factors involved outside of yourself like what’s going on for other people, how many people you can meet and so forth. There is no timeline for how long it will take as there is a lot of luck and serendipity. It might happen today, it might take a month, it might even take longer.
But don’t despair as humans we possess the amazing ability to learn how to do better and to visualize a new path – you got this as long as you don’t give up it will happen.
Firstly we need to stop measuring the wrong thing, it’s not about how many friends we have but how much better we are at making friends than we were yesterday. How many casual conversations did we start this week? How many people did we make smile? How much time did we spend with others doing social activities? How much learning have we done on how to make friends? Measure these things, improving these things! As they improve so to does our chances of making great friends every day, they tip luck in our favor.
Now the elephant in the room is fear of rejection! Did you know everyone has it? It is hard wired into us as social creatures a need for connection and fear of rejection is in our DNA. Just imagine it – everyone is wanting more friends and deeper connections but everyone is too scared to do anything. It’s crazy, it’s absurd it’s like the ultimate joke! Remember that and I bet you feel a bit less scared, it always works for me.
Another thing is to ask yourself what do you have to offer – all the lessons you have learned in life, your companionship, being a good listener, being encouraging or loving. What is it about you that makes you a good friend? And if you have nothing that’s OK too because you’re human and you can learn – go and learn some valuable “being a friend” skills! For example – coaching, listening, making people laugh, how to make things fun, how to get healthy how to console someone when they are sad, how to be inclusive and bring people into new groups, how to have meaningful conversations – the list is endless.
Once we are clear on what we have to offer this further helps remove our fear. There is a world of difference between approaching someone because we need something and approaching someone when we have something to offer! Friendship goes two ways, but start by making an offer.
I have one more tip about fear of rejection, instead of fearing the outcome expect it and work out what else we can get from the effort. That’s right we know finding friends is like looking for a job, most of the time we try we will fail and that’s OK. But if we enjoy the process and we get something else out of those failures we can even see them as wins. Remember how I mentioned what we measure – do that. Measure how much fun you had getting to know people, how much you learned or improved by practicing the things you learned. Try to collect stories and wisdom from everyone you meet. Challenge yourself to have more fun next time, to learn more or be more expressed, more yourself.
I’m really passionate about this – I want to build an app to help everyone be more connected. If you haven’t already check it out – Friendup
If any of this helped I’d love to know and I genuinely wish you all the best of luck and hope you find friendships that fill your heart with joy.