Making friends might be the most meaningful pursuit to do in one’s life. Good friends can stay with you for life. You can confide in friends when life is hard. You can share the good times. It’s a great way to get off your screen. Romantic relationships can often be difficult at times and may even dissolve, whereas good friendships are usually more spared from this. Sharing moments and stories with a friend makes those moments easier. An awkward date can make you cringe on your own — but become a funny story when shared with a friend. Sharing a pint with a group of friends at night makes the next workday easier.
I truly believe that developing friendships is one the most important thing to do in one’s life. If you are lucky, you already have a few good friends by your side. But if not, friendships need to be developed from strangers and acquaintances. The good thing is that there are a lot of people on this planet, and many of them also want friends, so the opportunities for new friendships are almost infinite!
The time-consuming process of making friends
That being said, making new friends can be a somewhat difficult process. It is time-consuming, and for someone with social anxiety, it may not even be a particularly enjoyable process. However, to make friends you need to put in the time. But the reward for this effort is truly priceless. The more time you have invested in your friendship, the more relaxed it becomes. And when it becomes relaxed, the truly fun part can begin.
How to spot a potential friend
Great indications that a stranger could become a good friend is that you share values, interests, and humor. And that is why it is so important to keep these virtues visible to others. You have probably met many people in your life that could have become great friends but neither of you ever found out that you actually share many things. So the best start to making friends is to try to get more comfortable highlighting who you are to others. Don’t be afraid to gently showcase what kind of person you genuinely are to others, it will make it so much easier for you to find each other!
Integrate your new friends into daily life
If you are in pursuit of making new friends, I think it is great to create a system for how to integrate your new friends into your life. My husband and I have a standing invitation for Sunday night dinner with our friends. It’s a lot of fun and a great way for us to maintain our already existing friendships. It is also a perfect system to easily make new friends. When we meet someone that we want to become friends with — we just invite them to Sunday night dinner.
Many people are afraid to host because they are afraid that it will be awkward or that not enough people will come. So what? Let it be awkward! It doesn’t matter. Again, the most important thing to do when making friends is to invest time in it. You do not have to be cool or interesting or perfect. Instead, remember that people love and find comfort in being around other well-meaning people. Good potential friends are not looking for perfection. They are looking for others to share their life with — including the awkward parts!
Being a social requires practice
If you currently don’t have friends, don’t forget that being social is a practiced skill. It takes time to learn how to be social. So if you struggle now, don’t be discouraged, just keep on trying and you will get better at it. You can even practice laughing! The more you laugh, the more you naturally will start laughing. Just invest the time and it will get easier. Again, remember that you do not have to be interesting or entertaining for people to want to spend time with you, sharing time with others is deeply fulfilling by itself. Try to be yourself and give it time.
Once you have made friends, try to find ways to integrate them into your day-to-day life. It makes it easier to keep those friendships alive!
Friends can stay with you your whole life, regardless of romantic relationships, family situations, or other life circumstances. Sharing your joys and troubles over a meal with some friends makes life easier and more fun. I truly believe friendship is the secret to a happy life.