How to make a friend, 18 ideas
How do you make a friend? Below you’ll find some tips I’ve found useful over the years.
The better question is why make a new friend?
Friends are reflections of you and adventures outside of you simultaneously.
New friends provide fresh insights, alternate perspectives; they magnify your capabilities in the world.
I haven’t seen data on this but I’m certain it’s coming — I have no doubt we will find that enlarging our friendship circle is akin to learning a new language and experiencing a keen spiritual epiphany. It’s that transforming.
Though nothing here is startling or new, if applied you will find your life enriched with its most valuable resource.
18 ideas on how to make a friend
1) Make many friends: At first glance you’re thinking, Dude, this should be at the end. First I’ve got to make one or two new friends.
I say it’s easier to reach out to a number of people in the most casual of ways than it is to intensely seek out one solo person who will carry the weight of all your friendship expectations. This way the onus isn’t on any one or two people to fulfill your friendship needs.
2) Find a partner: For just about any interest or endeavor there are others who’d like to partner up. You can even have multiple partners for the same activity. That’s why different days of the week were invented.
Consider these examples:
— A growth partner: for inspiration and accountability, for personal or career growth (good on ya if you get one for each area)
— A walking partner: or yoga or exercise or water ballet partner
— A meditation or prayer partner
— A doing something good partner: you know, someone with whom you can donate time and effort on enhancing the world
3) Form a group/join a group: A few years back I began a Dreamers Club. Ultimately six of us met monthly to explore spiritual paths for personal growth.
You can’t help but become close to those in intimate sharing circles. You start out barely acquainted and end up fast friends. You might not take a bullet for each other, but you’ll take a non-poisonous dart.
4) Start a book club for two (or three) (or more) (let it grow, baby, organically): Prior to the Dreamers Club a friend and I created a Book Club For Two. We met weekly to discuss inspirational books we read, each week covering a new segment.
5) Say hello: Wherever you’re at, say hey. Just jump in. Most exchanges will be one to three sentences at most, with a smile as your reward. Saying hello is a warm up. It opens your mind to openings for connection everywhere. They are there. So many that you’ll dial it back a bit after you get good at it.
Simply saying hello — or whatever strikes your fancy — will spark conversations. Conversations ultimately lead to commonalities. And when they don’t, no harm, no foul, two people walk away feeling a tiny bit better about the world they inhabit.
6) Say yes from time to time: When invited, go. Not always. Fit life in. Fit exploration in.
7) Participate in charitable or spiritual organizations: There’s no better way to find like-minded souls.
8) Go to seminars: Same thing.
9) Breakfast buddies: This is a personal favorite for a man who’s got a busy shape-shifting schedule. Breakfast is one of the few times I can schedule with any degree of certainty.
10) Interview someone: I picked this up from my brother. Many years ago when barely out of ladhood he began interviewing local people who inspired him. I do that now too.
All you do is ask them to lunch or breakfast or a smoothie or a coffee or a petting zoo or some somewhere that won’t take a lot of time. It’s always best if you feed them. They have to linger longer! Plus the plate action gives you something else to look at so you don’t get eye lock.
11) Compliment people on qualities that matter — or their dog: When you take the time to openly express admiration for an action or a thoughtfulness you’ve witnessed, it opens the way to follow up conversation. And you’ve already begun at a high level, what can’t go well from there.
12) Ask questions: I have a friend, Mike Cohen, who founded the Center for Brain Training, who is the best question asker of all time! There is nothing he doesn’t find fascinating about someone . . . and he always wants to delve deeper.
My brother the interviewer is the same way. Who doesn’t want to be thought important enough to be queried in depth about what they do, what they think, what they’ve experienced.
13) Ask for help, as in ask for an opinion about a dilemma you’re up against: Don’t go for the big stuff right off, like how to come out to your Westboro Baptist Church member parents. If you’d sincerely value the opinion of someone you’re acquainted with, ask.
14) Offer to assist when you see someone could use assistance you can provide: Small efforts are good and fine. You don’t need to help a new acquaintance move house. (Though I have!)
15) Let go: If you can’t make a get together happen with someone after a couple attempts, subside. The timing or interests aren’t aligned for now. You can always circle back at a later date — like I did with my wife 15 years later — or they may circle back to you. Let go and look elsewhere.
16) Include friends of friends on outings.
17) Have fun: Isn’t that the final bit of advice that should go with all advice except maybe advice on how to handle prison?
18) Be a friend: What does a friend do? A friend celebrates what is good with you; listens, enjoys your quirks, overlooks your idiocies — do those things/be those qualities for others. Friendship will ensue.