Friends and Making Friends

For a few seconds go back to your childhood and think about your first days in school. Those days of dread when you were ripped off from your summer freedom and made to sit down for hours on end in a hot, stuffy classroom. Now think of the fun part of those days. It’s quite likely that the first face that comes to mind will be that of an old friend. Since our early days friends are the people who make our life brighter and fuller. Our experiences take on a new meaning when we share them with people we feel close to.

But are friendships so easy to form? The answer is NO. While for some of us making new bonds comes naturally, for others ‘making friends’ is an arduous, nerve-racking task. ‘Will they like me?’; ‘Do they want me?’ or ‘Am I good enough to be with them?’ are questions that haunt our mind until (if stars align) we find the reassuring acceptance of a friend.

For those of us who still struggle with friendships we have listed down some suggestions that help make this life-long venture a little smoother.

Be Your Own Friend First.

How does this work? Psychotherapists claim that the friends you choose reflect your innermost feelings about yourself. If you believe that you are worthy, lovable and you deserve the company of others it is quite likely that you will find friends who will give you what you expect from them. Should you have a low opinion of yourself it is more likely that you will attract people who are critical or not serious in their commitments to you. When it comes to friendships, you get what you believe you’re worth.

Show Interest.

How does it feel when a friend showers you with attention? You feel valued, loved and cared for. All good feelings that generate more positive energy into your friendship. This is what you also need to give to others. Connect to others by showing interest in their experiences, opinions, thoughts and feelings. They will like you for it and are more likely to seek your company.

Take Initiative

Be the one to suggest an activity where you hang out together such as a walk, a swim or a coffee. At first this may make you feel uncomfortable but it’s important to reach out when trying to make new friends. Others maybe going on through the same dilemma and by making the first step you’ll be the one to break the ice.

Judge Not

It may be very tempting to air your views about the other person’s lifestyle. Stop yourself from doing it. It’s ok to disagree with a friend but be cautious on how and when you speak about it. If spoken unkindly your opinion may make the others feel judged and criticised. They may stop trusting you with their innermost feelings and thoughts. Friendships is about seeing and accepting others just the way they are.

Be Open

Do you remember a time when you were deeply hurt by a friend? Most of us carry experiences of pain, rejection and betrayal by our friends. Do not let these experiences keep you away from trying again.  Learn to risk.  Open your heart to other people, allow them to get to know you and share with them your joys and sorrows. Most importantly let them know what their friendship means to you.

Give Your Friend Space

While no attention dries up a friendship too much attention can smother it. Friends need to attend to other important things in their lives, including their family, work or free time. Give them the space to do their own thing. Expecting time and attention too often can tire out your friend. Put your invitation tentatively and if the person is busy ask them to suggest another time or day.

Do Not Give Up!

Making new friends is risky and often scary. You may do all the right things and still others do not react positively. Do not lose heart.Others may often be unavailable because they are going through their own personal struggles. When you meet rejection do not beat yourself up for it, instead give yourself credit for trying and move on to the next person.

How does help out with making and keeping friends?

We are here to listen and support you in whatever problem you are going through. If you feel frustrated and disappointed about your friendship feel free to come and talk to us. Together with our operators you will be able to explore what is happening in your life and find ways to make deeper and more meaningful connections with others.

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