By David Joel Miller.
Getting good at making new friends.
Many people find that it’s very hard for them to make friends. Very few people tell me that they have too many friends. Making friends is a skill and like any other skill you can learn or improve your ability to do this. If you have ever thought that you would like to have more friends take a look at the list below of ways to improve your friend making skills.
1. Friends are made around shared activities.
Want friends, you need to get out there. Most friends in life are the result of things that you do with others. People make friends and schools from kindergarten all the way through graduate school. Sometimes we make friends at work. The who join a club or have a hobby often make friends as a result. If you decide that you would like to have more friends than the first step is to get out there and be in places where you will meet people who might become friends.
2. Introduce yourself if you want to make friends.
If you want to make friends don’t hold back waiting for others to approach you. The fastest way to break the ice and create friendship opportunities is to be the one that puts your hand out and introduces yourself. Remember there may be other people there who would like to find new friends also. They’re waiting for you to be the one to make the first move.
3. Asking people about themselves starts friendly conversations.
Most people’s favorite topic is themselves. One really quick way to get a conversation started is to ask someone about themselves. Try to avoid overly personal questions. Ask simple and easy questions that might get the conversation rolling. Good conversations develop and strengthen friendships.
4. Give others sincere compliments.
Make it a point to give sincere compliments when you see someone or something that you like. Avoid overly sugary and insincere sounding compliments. Letting someone know that you like are appreciate what they have done is a great way to open up a conversation. Don’t be stingy with sincere compliments. Develop a reputation as someone who appreciates what others do for them.
5. Hear them out to create friendships.
Make it a point to listen to what the other person is saying. Make sure they’ve finished their statement before you interrupt and begin to comment. People who are good communicators develop friendships. The key to the art of communication is to understand what the other person is saying, not to force them to understand what you mean.
6. Get clarification. Don’t assume you know what they are talking about.
In any kind of conversation, it’s very important to be sure you accurately understand what the other person is saying. Ask for clarification. Sometimes it helps to summarize what they are saying. Pay special attention to the feelings behind the facts. Knowing why someone feels what they feel will help you to understand them as a person.
7. Ask potential friends about their opinion.
In the beginning of a relationship, it is more important to ask other people about their opinion that it is to express yours. Find out what this other person thinks about things. This will help you decide if this is someone you want in your life or someone who you should avoid.
8. Stay in contact to strengthen friendships.
When you meet someone you think is a potential friend don’t let it end with that first meeting. Make an extra effort to get their phone number or other contact information. Find a reason to make a second contact. Look for other opportunities to do something together again. It takes repeated contact to turn an acquaintance into a friend.
9. Give as much as you take to maintain a friendship.
In the beginning of new friendships, it is important that they be reciprocal. Make sure to avoid relationships with people who may be out to use you. Be careful about pursuing friendships when you’re only desire is to get something from that other person. The best friendships are ones where you would feel comfortable doing for them and expect that they would do the same for you.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books