Making friends is easy for some people, and not so easy for others. Some people just have a natural way about them that other people like. But, there are some of us that are more private or timid and have trouble taking that first step towards starting a friendship with someone, mainly because we’re afraid of being rejected.
So, how do we go about making friends?
Maybe you started a new school, joined a new church, or taking dance lessons. No matter what situation you’re in, there will always be good people and not so good people around you. Here are a few simple steps to help you to make the right decisions when it comes to making friends.
1. Become an Observer.
When we are thrown into a new situation, it’s a good idea to just watch for a few days, and get to know all the people around you and how they behave. There may be people around you that you don’t like or maybe have a bad attitude. Then, it’s a good idea to steer clear of anyone you don’t feel comfortable being around.
If you see a person that you would like to get to know, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and talk to them. Talking is the first step to developing a good friendship with someone.
2. Dealing with Miss Popular
Every class has that one girl that’s popular. She always has the most friends, gets the best grades, and always trying to get attention. There is an old saying, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil”. She may have a lot of friends, but it doesn’t mean she has the “best” friends. To some people, having any kind of friend, good or bad, is better than no friends. It’s OK to only have one or two friends that you really like to hang with.
3. Be your own best friend first!
Even if you don’t always feel on top of your game, you must keep in mind that you are who you are; and there is no one else like you! You have to be comfortable with yourself and like yourself first before you can reach out to make friends. If you are happy and confident with who you are, people will reach out to you.
4. Where can I make new friends?
There are lots of places to make new friends by getting involved in activities like clubs and organizations, playing sports, music or dance lessons, and after school activities. Choose a few things you like to do and you will be sure to meet friends that like the same things you do!
5. When good friends turn into bad friends
Sometimes we think we know our friends, but find out later that they are not who we thought they were. If you have a good friend that wants to do something you don’t think is right, you have to tell them you don’t think it’s right and that you are not going to be part of the bad behavior.
This is where your self-confidence kicks in. Maybe telling your friend how you feel will change their mind about doing something wrong. If they still choose to act badly, then you just have to move on from that friendship.
6. Dealing with rejection
Nobody likes to be rejected or ignored. It’s easy to make friends or have chat buddies online because it allows us to show only the parts of ourselves we want them to see and when. If someone says something bad or hurts our feelings, we can just sign out. Face to face friendships aren’t like that. We can’t just “sign out” of a friendship in real life, and we’re forced to deal with the situation in real time.
This is where you self-confidence is important. Yes, sometimes our attempts to make friends with someone will be rejected, but there will be others that will welcome your friendship. You just have to keep trying!