For many people, making friends can be one of the most nerve racking and complicated things they have to do in life. For others, making friends is as easy as 1, 2, 3. The truth is, no matter how hard it is for you to make friends, there are so many wonderful benefits of having friends in our lives that it's worth the effort. Trust me.
But in all honesty, this is one of those concepts that is easier said than done (especially if you are shy). However, no matter who we are, if we put the effort in to make friends, we'll quickly see the positive results.
Here are 3 ways to help make friends quickly:
To be proactive means to take control of a situation by making things happen. When it comes to making friends, you might need to take the initial step. The more proactive you are in reaching out to others, the quicker you will be able to gain new friends.
There are many ways to be proactive, here are just a few:
1. Welcome a new neighbor by seeing how you can help them out. Maybe take dinner over to them their first night in their new house or see if you can help move in furniture.
2. Become friends with the parents of your kids. Give them a call or stop by early to a playdate to get to know them better.
3. Invite a neighbor over for dinner or a treat and see how well you both get along.
4. Say hi to others with a smile. You'll never know if they'll strike up a friendly conversation in return.
The importance of being genuine while making friends cannot be overlooked. Being genuine means to be sincere, honest and truthful…all things you want in a friend. People will quickly see whether or not you wanting a real friendship or are being fake. When you are genuine, that friendship can develop much quicker and last a lot longer than a temporary or false friend.
Here are some helpful ways to be genuine:
1. Ask thoughtful questions and really listen to responses to get to know strangers better.
2. Find a way to serve. Providing service is one of the best ways to be genuine and show you truly care about someone else.
3. It is important to be yourself. Trying to be someone you are not causes a lack of trust and thus, a loss of being genuine.
Think about this quote for just a minute by Shannon L. Alder, "When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you."
It is truly amazing to see how people are more attracted to those who are being positive. If you possess and show this vibrancy as you are working to establish friends, their first impression of you will be memorable. You will most likely be someone they want to be around.
Here some helpful ways to be positive:
1. Smile often. Even when things may not being going your way, put on a smile. The power of a smile should not be underestimated.
2. Compliment others. As you look for the good in others, be sure to point those things out (but as was mentioned before, be sure you are being genuine).
3. Work to eliminate negativity in all its forms from your life. Negativity seems to be easier to find than positivity in today's world, which is why it takes more effort to be positive. However, when you are optimistic, you show your strength in a primarily negative world. Others will want to be more like you.
The more we practice or try something, the more comfortable we become…even when it comes to making friends!
To value of having friends can be hard to measure but this quote by Charles R. Swindoll does a great job of providing a good way to define their value, "I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun."
At the end of the day, to make friends, you must be a friend, too.
Seth Saunders is an executive business consultant and leadership coach. Seth has been married 20 years to his amazing wife, Amber, and is the proud father of three wonderful sons. He is passionate about helping others succeed.