Friendship is a special kind of love. We often believe that love relationships are the most important type of relationship and that these are the things we should look for. We are looking to find the perfect partner, and we forget how important it is to have good friends next to us.
Having friends in general and good friends, in particular, is not impossible; however, it requires effort and dedication. You can not make friends from one moment to the next, nor can you build meaningful relationships so quickly.
We have all felt lonely in some phases of our lives or the need to make new better friends for us. Respectively, we have all felt that we've lost our social skills and run out of ways and tools to build an acquaintance and keep an interaction going.
This article aims to provide you with ideas that will help you learn how to interact and build lasting friendships with people.
Summary of contents
1. How to create meaningful relationships?
2. What social skills will make your way to meaningful friendships easier?
3. How to make friends?
4. Manage negative thoughts
5. In conclusion
How to create meaningful relationships?
Be ready to give
It is easier to make friends when we are ready to give freely and generously what we have. Whether practical and material or emotional, we should be able to give without a second thought. When someone is asking for our help in something, it is good to think the ways we can be there for them instead of rushing to reject them. For example, if your new friend has something that happened to him and he cannot return home, it would be kind of you to host them at your place and make them feel safe! This, of course, if there are no severe and personal reasons not to.
The same should happen in terms of emotional interaction. If a friend of ours needs to call us and tell us about a bad incident that happened to them or to share their joy for something they did, it would be friendly enough on our part to be there to hear them—being ready to give means being prepared to spend time and show genuine interest in others.
The vision of giving in exchange should not be in our heads. When we offer things to other people and share our true selves, we should not do it on the condition that the other person will reciprocate it at some point in the future.
Don't be selfish
There are two kinds of friendships. One is selfish, and the other is careful. It is straightforward to become selfish, thinking of our interests. We often find ourselves comparing our problems with the problems of others and considering ours as more serious and with greater weight. Yes, we put ourselves first because if we are not in a position to support others, nothing can be done. On the other hand, friendship is a two-way interaction and sharing, which cannot happen if we have all the lights constantly on.
We need to dedicate time to others, their thoughts, and the events of their lives. We should be willing to share our attention and energy with the people around us. It is good to practice when someone describes something personal to us, instead of thinking "hm, how do I deal with such a thing?" to think first ''and how do they deal with it?''.
Make friends for life
Another important approach is to make friends on the condition that you keep them in your life. Nowadays, there are many parties, events, and exhibitions where we would all like to have company to share those moments. So, what we usually do is be content to find people that don't feel like ''friends'', so that we don't feel lonely going there.
A real friendship is not made up of people with whom we arrange our outings. A friend is a person who is there for you in general and in every case and environment. A real friend is there to listen to your problems, to be able to trust you, to spend quiet afternoons in the house, to feel that you can rely on each other, and even to enjoy these moments of silence without feeling uncomfortable. It is essential to develop relationships with people you know you can have for a lifetime next to you and to have the understanding and willingness to build a deeper and more stable connection.
It is essential to be yourself with your friend and not pretend to be someone you are not. Many people are ashamed or do not feel proud of specific characteristics or elements of their life and may end up in a friendship based on lies.
Hiding your true self hurts you, the other, and the friendship itself. At first, you never accept yourself in this way and never realize who you are to be able to walk in life based on your real dreams and characteristics. Secondly, the person who considers you their friend has created a completely different image of you that disorients them and creates false hopes for your absolute bond. In addition, in case they learn the truth behind your authentic self, they might be as affected as to stop wanting to be a friend of yours anymore. All of this results in the destruction of your friendship and the difficulty in restoring trust.
Let your friends see who you are. Show your weaknesses and strengths. Do not feel wrong about the misfortunes in your life, and do not try to show that everything in your life is going great and that everything is positive. If we try to be someone else, we will never be who we want to be. We need to be true to ourselves and express how we feel. After all, pretending can never last that long. At some point, you will give up.
What social skills will make your way to meaningful friendships easier?
Listen to people
The first essential skill that will help you create a real friendship is to listen to each other. This means paying proper attention when someone addresses you and not being indifferent to what is said. Listen to what they have to tell you, do not interrupt, and ask questions to clarify the meanings.
You can have a look on the ways that you can become a better listener here 8 Tips On How to Become a Good Listener
Respect is a value that we generally have to adopt in our lives when we contact people. It is the basis for good communication and a stable friendship. Respect means appreciating the person in front of us and accepting the personal boundaries they have set. Politeness is a necessary part of total respect for an individual. It is good to avoid characterizing and insulting the person we want to call our friend and find ways to express even our unpleasant feelings humanly and respectfully to the value of the other.
Have an active role
In a friendship, it is essential to alternate social roles. You can not be the one who always accepts invitations; it is vital to be also the person who makes suggestions and has an active role in the friendship. Give yourself ideas for implementation and design things you can do together. Ask questions and learn about their interests and their way of living life.
Do not forget to show empathy to the people you meet, and you want to keep a friendly relationship. With the help of empathy, you show the person that you understand them, try to get into their position in terms of dealing with certain things, and not criticize them for their choices. Your new friend feels accepted and inspired to be their authentic self with you.
Make the other person feel comfortable
A key skill to build a solid friendship base is making the person feel comfortable and beautiful when close to you. Creating a positive aura, sliding, and giving the space your new potential friend needs, creates a relaxed environment where you can interact without stress and destructive emotions. For example, when you feel that you want to slip, you show your new friend that you care about them, observe them, and love them just like they are. Comfort also comes through providing the necessary space and safety; it is essential not to get too attached and to make the other person feel as if they are suffocating in the same environment as you. Give space and time and ask to know the other person's limits so that you understand them and do not exceed them.
Be genuine and relaxed
You do not need to express your genuine thoughts and feelings through a passive-aggressive tone. Do not hide behind words. Be honest and say what you have in your head without fear. Take a breath, relax and show the person in front of you how you think about an issue. You can, after all, through this process, present a new perspective on the person in terms of managing some issue that they had not thought of before.
Show friendliness through body language
And of course ... do not forget the physical expression! A smile is always receptive and opens the door to a beautiful interaction. Whether you talk or not, posture and movement can all play a significant role in how well a relationship is established. For example, it is more helpful to have your body turned towards the person talking to you than to let it speak and you are looking elsewhere or looking at your cell phone. Dare to get a little closer instead of keeping a long distance which can be misinterpreted as deliberate distance and indifference.
How to make friends?
1. Join a social club
Social clubs are the easiest solution when it comes to making new friends. Many offer different activities such as swimming, hiking, dancing, etc. Imagine sharing a common passion with other people in a shared space. You have so many experiences living together and exchanging ideas that you can talk about for hours after your everyday activity. Keep in touch by suggesting you go for dinner after the training or go to the next class together.
2. Seize the opportunities in everyday life
Do not let everyday life throw you off. You may think, "how is it possible to have friends when I work all day" or "when I have classes at the university from morning till night." But do not forget that you are not alone in these obligations. You collaborate with other people who feel pressured by everyday life like you.
Take advantage of the circumstances and talk to people during or after work breaks. You can start the discussion with a question on the subject of work and then let the flow of the debate captivate you. The same can happen in the university environment, where you will have to share some questions with one of your classmates. Extend the discussion and ask about their favorite places to visit in the city. You can find free time for social interactions in-between your obligations.
3. Be present on social media
It is much easier to find what you are looking for when you find yourself among many potential friends. And there is no better place than social media for that. Creating a profile on different web applications brings you one step closer to people who share common interests or who can build something together.
By making friend requests and following people, replying to day-to-day stories and starting a discussion on some content, or even participating in private groups for a purpose or building a community, you make friends without realizing it.
4. Talk to friends of friends
An excellent choice to find new friends can be... your existing friends or company! It is widespread to be in a group, and suddenly friends of a girlfriend, acquaintances of friends, and so on come to participate. There is your chance for a new friendship. Whether you are in a club with friends or have gone on vacation, talk to the new people who join the group of friends you are chilling with. You never know what might follow. Maybe the person you danced to for a while on a night out during your vacation will become your best friend.
5. Try new things
Another idea to meet people and develop friendships is to risk trying things that have not crossed your mind. A hobby, a visit to a strange museum, a daring sport. It becomes even easier to talk to strangers in places where you experience something new and get out of your comfort zone. You want to share with someone the feeling of going beyond your limits. You can meet not only people who have done these things before and will tell you some more words on the subject but also people who will be like you, newcomers, and you will have even more experiences to share.
6. Why not dating apps?
Dating is a bit underrated when it comes to finding friends, but the truth is that many people may be ashamed to find friends through mainstream social media and who prefer for a start the anonymity offered by dating apps. These allow you to add your interests and what you are looking for, and thus it is easier to match people who are very similar in lifestyle! There will always be new people joining your town for the first time and looking for friendships and networking. Why not be the one to make a start and send the message?
7. Refriend your old friends
Last but not least...remember about friends of the past you have forgotten! Even if they're from high school, a place you used to visit, or a past job, it is not too late to make that call and get your friendship back. There might be many reasons you might end your contacts; after a year, however, all the past is softened, and you are more than ready for a fresh start. It would be an excellent idea to give another chance to something friendly from the past that for some reason went out of its way. You never know how surprised you may be by how easily confidentiality can be rekindled from the past.
Manage negative thoughts of rejection
It is important to be prepared for a possible rejection of your friendship offer. Sometimes people are too busy in their lives or already have a lot of friends, so they are not so open to meeting new people and creating friendships. No matter what you did or how good a friend you are, the other person can not show interest in creating a contact continuality.
Rejection will always be an unpleasant experience causing disappointment and frustration. The best thing is to get over it. It would be best if you did not take rejection personally. The only thing you have to think is that if you hadn't tried, you would never know if that person could become your very best friend or not.
Professional help might be needed
Ιt is good to confirm that you do not need professional help when making friends. Sometimes, a disorder such as social anxiety freezes us so much that we cannot follow the above ways to find friends. In these cases, it is good to seek the help of a mental health professional to overcome any psychological difficulty in creating new friends.
You will have to try a little (and sometimes a little bit more) to make friends. It’s not always easy to develop a friendship with someone you’ve just met, so it’s essential to put yourself there. You have to take action to create opportunities to connect with people. You should still be able to sacrifice other relationships to invest in building the right friendships. Friends, after all, are the only ones who stay with us until the end.
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