For most people, friends play a big role in our lives and are a source of happiness and fun, making life worth living. Many of us have the desire to add some new friends to our lives. While making friends at work or school is often easy, sometimes we find ourselves in situations where we feel isolated and alone, and finding people to connect with can seem like an insurmountable task. Let’s take a look at some ways you can meet new people and at what it takes to find, and be, a good friend.
FRIEND TIP#1: MAKE THE FIRST MOVE
It’s unlikely that you will make many friends sitting at home constantly watching TV or playing video games alone. Part of making friends is being in situations where there are other people to converse with. You can make small talk with just about anyone just about anywhere, and if you show interest in others then chances are they will show an interest in you. If you really hit it off with someone, be sure to exchange contact information so that you can speak further with this person. Send a friendly email saying “nice to meet you!” A gesture like this can really make a person's day.
FRIEND TIP#2: GET INVOLVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Classes or clubs are a great way to connect with people who share common interests. If you can’t find a class about a subject you are keen on, consider starting your own! Ads on sites like craigslist or fliers posted at your local coffee shop can round up others who may be looking to find out more about cooking, acrylic painting or jazz dancing. Getting involved in community activities is also a good opportunity to get to know your neighbors, and you just might find that you can make some wonderful friends right in your own backyard. Volunteering for organizations you believe in is yet another way to meet up with others who share your enthusiasms for certain projects or subjects.
FRIEND TIP #3: DON’T LET YOUR EGO GET IN THE WAY
I’ll admit it, I've been known to complain on occasion that I am often the one who has to gather certain friends together. It seems I always call or email them to get together, even though I wish that they would sometimes initiate contact (although, I do realize that people have busy, complicated lives). I always love seeing my friends, so I have to just “get over it” and enjoy the time we spend together, regardless of who does the initiating.
FRIEND TIP #4: BE SOMEONE PEOPLE WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH
When you exude a happy, positive outlook on life, this usually attracts people and makes them want to be around you. Smile and laugh often, as this makes others feel at ease and lets them know you are enjoying their company. Certainly not everyone is happy all the time, but if your overall attitude is that the glass is half full, you will be a person that others admire and look to for inspiration.
FRIEND TIP #5: BE A RELIABLE FRIEND
Being reliable is another aspect of being a good friend. You have to be ready to give of yourself and your time and energy to be the type of friend other people want in their lives. Friends want to know that they can count on one another for support, understanding and a swift kick in the pants if they need it (and sooner or later, most of us need it!).
Trust is also paramount in lasting friendships. To know that you can trust a person with your innermost thoughts and feelings and can be open with them about whatever might be going on in your life is a very satisfying feeling. Friends are there for each other in the best and worst of times.
FRIEND TIP #6: JUST BE THERE
One way a friend is quite valuable is in their ability to listen when we need to talk. Just listening is a gift that all friends can share and it is easily the most important aspect of friendship. Often a person needs to get something off his or her chest and they don’t want advice or judgment; they merely want a friendly ear. Taking the time to be there and just listen really separates the men from the boys, so to speak, in friendship. Venting can be the most positive thing we can do sometimes, and the friend who listens patiently and intently always has a special place in my heart.
On a recent girls trip to the beach my friend and I spent time together hanging out, often with one dozing and the other reading a book. We simply enjoyed each other’s company and our fabulous friendship, sometimes without communicating at all. Just relaxing together strengthened our friendship in a way that is hard to put into words.
Friendship and making new friends is an ever-evolving phenomenon. You can meet new friends in the most odd places and you can have wonderful friendships that last a lifetime if you are willing to put in the work. Friends light up our world and give us unmatched joy and happiness. Go out and make some new friends today.
Article Written By: Laura Miller; Laura is a beauty and health/wellness/fitness writer living in Atlanta, Ga. Her many years in the salon and spa business served as a springboard for her next career move as a full-time writer. She now writes articles for DivaVillage.com and their sister-site VillageMAMA.com.