Many readers have expressed their individual concerns about making new friends because they have either relocated, married, or fought with old friends. The major impediments to socializing from this random sampling are: Fear of rejection, shyness, perceived lack of opportunity and confidence. As a result, people become stressed when interacting with potential friends – this repels rather than attracts.
While good friends are healthy for us both mentally and physically, many tend to make themselves sick over not having a close friend at the moment. If you want to make new friends, you have to reset your natural rhythm to first be in rhythm with yourself. This means managing your stress levels and not turning into a stalker! Friendships take time. Stop trying so hard because when you push, others will pull away. Take it slow and ease on down this road.
What can you do to transform acquaintances into friends or find that special friend?
- Befriend yourself. Don’t underestimate how delightful and resourceful you can be to yourself! Know how you differ from others where your uniqueness dwells. Consequently, you will realize what you bring to the table – giving you personal empowerment. A good method is: Are you able to write a “business card” about your best attribute?
- Find a creative hobby you love. This will help fill the emptiness in your heart and remove the desperation you feel to have a best friend. Potential friends run away from someone who is needy.
- Re-frame negatives into positives daily to make you a more appreciative, upbeat, positive person. Positive demeanors are people magnets. Smile at others. I can start conversations with veritable strangers with a smile and an affirmative look.
- To meet new friends you have to venture out. Participate in activities which resonate for you; for example, the gym, a house of worship, a political club, a support group, a community group, or an organized tour. You will meet like-minded people and become a team player.
- Don’t gossip about others to fit in – even though you will have eager listeners for the moment. Soon no one else will trust you. Celebrity gossip is okay or good gossip is even better as gossip is a form of social grooming when it is positive.
- Be a good listener instead of waiting to speak. This will make you more connected and empathic.
- Speak your mind. No one is a mind reader. Many misunderstandings and hurt feelings occur when you don’t ask for what you want.
- Don’t give yourself away for the sake of a new friend. Friendship is a balance between giving and receiving. There needs to be boundaries for both sides.
- If your attempts are rejected, move on. Don’t get fixated on the one person who doesn’t like you, while 99 others do!
- Be your authentic self and express yourself naturally as opposed to what others want to hear. Suppressing yourself is stressful and unhealthy.
Originally published June 2011.