Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friendship Series: Part 3--Making Friends

Hi Lovelies! Last night I told you all about how I "find" friends. Let's be honest though, once you find them, you're not done yet. How is it that you actually MAKE friends?

If you put two toddlers in the same room, chances are they'll start playing together and get along just fine. We look at them and say, "Oh, those two are just the best of friends!" It doesn't work that way when we grow up;) You can be in a room full of people who *could* be your friends, some may even say *should* be your friends, and still you can feel completely alone. So how do you make that leap from getting to know someone to being their friend?

I can only speak from personal experience and in no way should this be considered expert advice or anything! I know I've mentioned it before, but building friendships really is a lot like dating. You go through the same stages of trying people out, seeing how their interests/values/beliefs fit into your life and lifestyle.

I told you yesterday that I use Meetup to meet people now; friendships don't become just by going to events. I see Meetup activiities (or really any social setting you're at surrounded by a lot of new people) as a smorgasboard of friends. Really, any of those people around me COULD BE my new BFF. It's a matter of "trying out" all of them and seeing which really works. Like trying on dresses! Finding the one that fits the best and makes me feel fabulous:)

After meeting new people, it's time to take the next step and ask them out! (see? Like dating!) You are ready for your first date! A first date with a new potential girl friend can be anything you want (better if something you BOTH want. I'm all about shared interests in making new friends:) You can go for coffee or out to lunch; go see a movie or go shopping; go bowling or mini-golfing. Basically, anywhere you can just hang out and get to know each other.

If it goes well, go out again. And just keep building on that relationship. Be honest about who you are. No one wants MORE fake friends, I promise. Talk about your past, things that make you who you are today. Talk about your future, your goals, where you want to be. Talk about things that make you smile! Find common ground, but be willing to go outside your comfort zone, too. The good thing about good friends is that they can bring out the best in us and also make us better! You can learn so many things from someone if you just give their interests a try.

It's not all rosy and perfect though. Like dating, you are not going to "fall in love" (for lack of a better term) with every friend. Accept that and know that going in. If you don't like her as much after hanging out with her a few times? So what! Life is too short to surround yourself with people that don't really belong there. Just move on and find someone who does work in your life!

How about your? What techniques have you found to make new friends? How do you get people to go from the acquaintance level to the friend level?


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