Are you looking to make Good Friendships? These tips will help you make new friends, have a conversation, and build healthy relationships that will benefit your life and wellbeing.
Why are Good Friendships so important?
Romantic relationships are a major focus in our society. Our society believes that finding the right person is enough to make us happy. Research shows that friendships are even more important for our psychological well-being. Friends bring happiness to our lives more than any other thing.
Your mental health and happiness can be greatly impacted by friendships. Friendships can reduce stress, bring joy and comfort, and help prevent loneliness and isolation. Your physical health can be impacted by having close friends. A lack of social connections can pose as big a threat as smoking, drinking excessively, and leading a sedentary lifestyle. Longevity is tied to friendships. A Swedish study has shown that friendships can help you live longer.
Close friendships are not something that just happens. Many people struggle to make friends and build relationships. It doesn’t matter what age you are or how difficult it is to meet new people, make new connections, and improve your social life and emotional well-being.
Good Friendships have many benefits
Although it takes effort and time to build and maintain friendships, healthy friendships are possible.
Enhance your mood. Spending quality time with positive and happy friends can improve your mood.
Encouragement from friends can help you reach your goals.
Avoid depression and stress. Engaging in social activities can boost your immune system.
Help you get through difficult times. Having friends can help you deal with life’s challenges, such as losing a job, losing a loved one, and breaking up with a relationship.
Help you as you age. Retirement, illness, and death can often leave you feeling isolated. As you age, it can be a comfort to know that there are people who can help you.
Increase self-worth. The “give” side to the give-and-take contributes to your self-worth. Your friendships make you feel valued and give meaning to your life.
Why online friends don’t suffice
In recent years, technology has changed the definition of friendship. We can easily add friends or create new connections by clicking a button. However, having hundreds of friends online isn’t the same thing as having close friends you can spend time together in person. Online friends are unable to hug you in a crisis, visit you when you are sick, or celebrate a happy occasion. Face-to-face is where we make the most powerful and important connections. Keep in touch with the real world and not only online.
What to look out for in a friend
A friend is someone you can trust, with whom you share a deep understanding and common communication. A friend who is trustworthy and can be trusted will:
- Take an interest in your life and what it’s like to live there.
- Accept yourself for who you truly are.
- You can be heard without judgment, focusing on your needs and not trying to change the subject.
- You can feel comfortable sharing your personal information with others.
Friendship can be both mutual and reciprocal. A friend is someone you are comfortable with, someone you trust, someone you are loyal to, and someone you feel safe supporting.
Instead of focusing on how a friendship looks, think about how it feels.
The most important quality of a friendship is how you feel about it. This goes beyond how it looks or how similar you appear to others. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I feel happier after spending time with this person
- Do I feel comfortable around this person?
- Do I feel secure or must I be careful what I say and do?
- Are they supportive? Am I treated with respect by them?
- Can I trust this person?
Bottom line: If the friendship feels good, it’s good. If a friend tries to control or criticize you or abuses your generosity, it is time to reconsider the friendship. Good friends don’t require you to compromise your beliefs, agree with them all the time, or ignore your needs.
Here are some tips to be more friendly and social, even if you’re shy.
It can be difficult to socialize with people if you are shy or introverted. To make new friends, you don’t necessarily have to be outgoing or the life and soul of the party.
Show interest in others and not your own needs. This is the key to connecting with other people. It’s a sign that you are truly interested in the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of others. They will love you for it. It’s easier to make friends if you show interest than trying to get others interested in your interests. Stop trying to connect with someone you don’t care about.
Pay attention. Turn off your phone, get away from distractions and try to listen to the person. You’ll soon get to know someone by paying attention to their words, actions, and interactions. It takes small efforts to make a difference, such as remembering their preferences, what they have shared with you and what is going on in your life.
Evaluation of interest
Friendship is a two-way street. It’s crucial to assess whether the other person is seeking new friends.
- Are they asking you questions about yourself, as if you’d like them to get to know more?
- Are they able to tell you more about them than surface talk?
- Are they willing to give you their full attention every time you meet them?
- Is the other person interested in exchanging contact info or making plans to meet up?
These questions are not meant to be answered “yes”, so if someone can’t answer them, they may not be the right person for you. You don’t have to take it personally. There are many reasons you might not be able to answer these questions.
How to make friends: Where do you start?
People we see often, such as those we work with, go to school with or live near, are more likely to become friends. A friendship will be more likely to form if we have more contact with someone. As you begin your search for friends, take a look at where you go.
Common interests are another important factor in friendship. People who share the same interests, hobbies, careers, or children are more likely to be friends. Consider the causes and activities that you are passionate about. Are there people you can meet who have the same interests as you?
Meet new people
Try to be open to learning from new people when you meet them. You may not be able to succeed with everything you do, but you can learn from each experience and have fun.
Volunteering is a great way to help others and meet new people. Volunteering allows you to practice and improve your social skills.
Join a class or a club and meet other people who share your interests. Meetup.com and other websites can help you connect with people who have similar interests.
Get connected to your alumni group. Many colleges have alumni groups that meet regularly. You have a lot in common with your college experience so it’s easy to start a conversation by bringing up past events. You can also find community service opportunities or workshops sponsored by some associations.
Walk your dog. Dog owners will often chat with their dogs while they play or sniff each other. Volunteer to take dogs to a shelter or rescue group if dog ownership is not for you.
Join art gallery openings and book readings. Listen to music recitals. Or attend other community events where people share your interests. For information about events in your area, check with your local newspaper or library.
Act like a newcomer to the area. Take the time to explore the neighborhood. These are the first places that new residents of any city or town visit. They’re more likely to be interested in making friends and meeting new people.
Support your team. It can be intimidating to go to a bar by yourself. However, if you are a fan of a team sports team, it is worth asking where others go to watch the game. Your team and you share a common interest, which makes it easy to have a conversation.
Unplug for a minute
If you are more interested in your smartphone than the people around you, it can be difficult to make new friends in any social situation. For example, if you are waiting in a queue or at the bus stop, take your phone off and turn it off. It’s a great way to make connections and it’s great to make eye contact with strangers.
Making acquaintances into friends
All of us have acquaintances in life. These are people we talk to as we go about daily activities or share jokes and insights online. These relationships are great for you, but with a little effort, you can make a casual acquaintance into an actual friend.
First, you need to be honest about yourself. Intimacy is the hallmark of friendships. Friendships are built on intimacy. True friends share information about each other’s lives, values, struggles, goals, and interests. Try sharing something more intimate than you normally would. It doesn’t matter if you reveal your most intimate secrets. Just something a little more personal than just talking about the weather or what you saw on TV. See how they respond. Are they interested? Are they interested in sharing information about themselves?
Here are some other tips to make a friend out of an acquaintance:
Invite a casual friend out for a drink or to watch a movie. Many people feel the same way about making new friends and reaching out to others. Break the ice by being the one who does it. Reach out to a friend or colleague at work, and they will be grateful.
Carpool to Work. Many companies offer carpool programs. Ask a colleague if your employer offers to carpool. Regular time spent together is a great way for people to get to know each other better. It also allows for deeper conversations and uninterrupted conversations.
Find old friends using social media. It is easy to lose touch with friends after you move or change jobs. You can reconnect with your friends online and make them “real-world” by meeting up for coffee, instead of just chatting on Facebook.
Making friends is possible by overcoming obstacles
Are you unable to build the relationships you want? These are common obstacles that you need to overcome.
You’re too busy…
It takes effort and time to build and maintain friendships. However, even with a busy schedule, it is possible to find time for friends.
Add it to your calendar. Make time for friends, just like you would for errands. You can make it automatic by setting up a weekly or monthly appointment. You can also make it automatic by setting up the next date at every get-together.
Combine business and pleasure. Find a way to integrate your socializing with things you already do. You could go to the gym, get a manicure, or shop. These errands allow you to have fun with your family while also being productive.
You can group it. If your schedule is too busy to have multiple one-on-one sessions, you can organize a group get-together. This is a great way to meet new friends. You’ll have to first consider whether everyone is compatible.
Fear of rejection?
It can be frightening to make new friends and put yourself out there. This can be especially scary if you have been abused, betrayed, or traumatized in the past or have an insecure attachment relationship. Working with the right therapist can help you to develop trust in your existing and future friendships.
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It is a good idea to assess your attitude for more general insecurity or fear of rejection. Are you afraid that rejections will make you miserable, or show you are unlikable or ineligible? These fears can prevent you from making meaningful connections and turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. There are healthy ways to deal with rejection.
- It doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t interested in talking to you or hanging out with you. They might be distracted, busy, or have many other things going on.
- It doesn’t necessarily mean you are worthless or unlovable if someone rejects you. Perhaps they are having a bad day. They might have misunderstood or misunderstood what you said. Maybe they are just not nice people!
- You won’t like everyone you meet and vice versa. Building a strong network of friends is like dating. Rejections will be less likely to happen if you are in the habit of exchanging a few words regularly with strangers. There is always the next person. Instead of getting discouraged by the failures, focus on the long-term goal to make quality connections.
- Rejection is a part of life. Although it doesn’t feel good, it is rarely as severe as you think. It is unlikely that anyone else will be talking about it. Instead of beating yourself up, be grateful for the effort and learn from it.
Be a friend you can trust to build Good Friendships
The journey of making a friend is only the beginning. Friendships take time and can be difficult to build. You need to nurture them.
Be the friend you wish to have. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Trustworthiness, reliability, and a willingness to share your time and thoughts are all qualities you should display.
Listen well to your friends and be open to their support.
Be kind to your friend. Don’t be too dependent or needy. Everyone needs to have space.
Do not set unrealistic expectations or rules. Let your friendship grow naturally. Your friendship will likely not develop as you expected.
Forgiveness is key. Every friend makes mistakes. There is no way to build a Good Friendship quickly. This will often strengthen your relationship.