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How to Make Friends: 10 Tips on Finding and Being a Friend

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"Too often we travel alone in a wilderness called life. It is a wise soul that chooses friends to help them navigate the darker times." — Coloconnect

friendship bekassine Image source: bekassine on Flickr

In 1937, Dale Carnegie wrote “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” one of the most influential books ever written. The book emphasized that people need other people. No one truly succeeds if they are alone. Very few souls find happiness without finding friends.

The dynamic that is found just among friends is as relevant today as it was in ancient times. Friendships have changed history, built dreams and saved lives.

Here are ten tips on how to make friends, and hopefully, how to keep them!

1. Be Authentic!

Too often, we are caught up in the superficial. A true friend connects on deeper levels.  The most important way to attract friendships is to be simply yourself.

You have to make friends with yourself before you can be friends with someone else. The friend connect requires a transparency that is hard to achieve in most social situations.

Long-term friendships develop when we reveal ourselves to another person over time.   

ovais shaikh 365 days project Image source: Ovais Shaikh on Flickr

2. Develop Your Empathy

When you meet people, you need to be able to listen to them and understand who they are. Remember this is not a superficial relationship.

Friendships are not instant. You have to discover who they are and what makes them sad or happy. You have to care how they feel and what happens to them.

This is reciprocal. There is always the possibility that you want someone to be your friend, and they don’t feel the same way. If so, no worries!

There is a myriad of people in the world.

3. Appreciate People

Have you ever heard someone say they don’t like people? That’s probably the loneliest person in the room.

Cultivate an appreciation of people. All people! You don’t have to be the most outgoing person in the world. Sometimes you can get to know people better in small groups.

Don’t isolate. Push yourself to move past your comfort zones.

Notice the people you meet. If you are excited to get to know people, they will be glad to see you coming.

socialising the open university Image source: The Open University on Flickr

4. Be Accepting

You can’t judge and criticize. Everyone is not going to look alike. Diverse personalities and life stories add so much to our lives.

If your new friend is from another culture, they may interact differently.

Over time, friends reveal themselves to each other. Respect their confidences.  

Everyone is different. We all come from different backgrounds and families of origin. Everyone has quirks and flaws. Try and be accepting. Embrace the uniqueness of your friends.  

5. No Conflicts Allowed

Now you appreciate people and know that they are different from you. Still, conflicts are inevitable. Misunderstandings and arguments are a part of life.

How you deal with a conflict may determine if get to keep your friend. Resentments and lingering anger can end any relationship.

If someone is angry at you, give them time and space. Don’t try to fix things when tempers flare.

Remember, you don’t always have to be right. It’s okay to apologize. Don’t allow negative feelings to simmer. Forgive the other person. Agree to disagree.

If you don’t deal with disagreements and disputes, the leftover feelings can create unresolved conflicts.

don harder thoughtful conversation Image source: Don Harder on Flickr

6. Loyalty is the Key

Don’t allow people to talk badly about your friend. Don’t complain about or criticize your friend behind their back. You should have their back.

Defend them. Keep positive energy flowing.

And if you have a friend that is badmouthing other people and gossiping, you can be sure they are spreading the negative about you too.

7. Honesty is the Only Policy

It’s important that you keep your word. If you promise to be there, you need to show up!

Credibility and honesty are important. Honesty keeps you authentic, and it keeps you transparent. Transparency is a valuable spiritual concept. We get there by being honest.

Authenticity + Honesty = Transparency

kris krug danielle sipple Image source: Kris Krug on Flickr

8. Cultivate Positive Energy

Bring a good energy to your friendships. Try and maintain a positive attitude. Sometimes we need to have fun.

Be gentle and loving to your friends. Share that energy with the people you care about!

9. Be There For Someone Else

Friends should always be there for each other.They give emotional support and advice.

Be prepared to help them when they need it. Whether they are painting a house or making dinner, jump in.

It’s important that you support your friends in troubled times.

10. Get Involved!

So you need friends? Tired of being alone?

Go where the people are. Find people that like the same things that you like. Interested in religion or the metaphysical? Enjoy dancing? Reading? Cooking? Exercising? Sports?

It’s time to get involved.  Friends are waiting to be found in the community where you live and work.

Take a dance class. Join a book club. Get a gym membership. Sign up for your company’s softball team. You need to get involved. Be where the people are.

And don’t forget the online environment. It’s easy to meet and get to know “digital” friends. Even someone that is far away can be your friend.

world literature today wlt book club Image source: World Literature Today on Flickr


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