Do you still remember how you made friends at school when you were young? For some, it may have started by sharing a sandwich during lunch. Others became friends because they offered to help a classmate having a hard time in the assignment. Or perhaps they met and bonded on the basketball court.
Building new friendships are good, but keeping the old ones is just as important. A new friendship always brings about the promise of new hope. It opens doors for discoveries and strengthens faith in one's self.
While making friends at school and making friends at work differ because of the different social circumstances you find yourself in, making new friends doesn't have to be too difficult. When you meet random people, you sometimes feel the urge to befriend some of them. They give you the kind of feeling that you share something special.
But then, there are also those people that you meet that make you feel like you don't want to be associated with them. Here are some tips to help you turn new acquaintances into new friends.
While everyone may be acquainted with what "blind dates" are, the same concept may be applied to when meeting new friends. Don't be afraid to go out and meet new people. Who knows, those you might have coffee with tomorrow may be standing next to you ten years from now.
If you want to meet friends that you'll keep for life, do yourself a favor and be yourself. You don't have to pretend to be something you're not in order to please the people you want to be friends with. Find your crowd. These should be people who share the same interests as you. You don't need to act like you are into something so that others will like you. That's not a very good way to start friendships that will last a lifetime.
While not everyone may have the same energy as you do, do not lose hope. Instead, be persistent in wanting to make friends. Reach out to those you work with. Perhaps you can invite new acquaintances for lunch or dinner. These steps will help establish a kind of rapport. Others might appreciate it more than you think.
These are the friends who have seen you when you were down in the dumps. They have witnessed how crazy you look when laughing until you cry. While it may be quite easy to get caught up with your professional life, remember that your old friends were there at some point in your life.
How do you keep these friends strong, honest, and, most of all, forgiving?
Your best friend might have forgotten to send you a birthday card last month, but that doesn't mean they totally forgot about you. Cut them some slack. You forget some things too, but they still forgive you anyway.
Instead of assuming that they do not care about their friendship with you, give them a call and check up on what's happening with them. Perhaps they have been caught up with their own mess in life. Maybe some of them got overwhelmed with their responsibilities at work. You've more than likely been in a similar mess before. Offer a helping hand when you can.
There is nothing like a good old friend who can tell you to your face how nasty you've been. That bluntness may hurt your ego, but being honest is the only way to go. When you've built that sense of trust with your friends, you know that when you need them to be honest with you, they will be.
As much as you want them to be present in yours, be there for them, even if it's just virtually. Social media now allows old friends in faraway places to reconnect. It may not be like how it used to be when you are able to sit down over chips and beer and talk your heart out.
But being present even though it is virtual is better than not being there at all.
Go ahead and congratulate that old friend for getting a promotion. Sometimes, you don't know that your message might be that one that lifts their spirits up.
Write letters, send emails, talk to them over a video call. You can make all these brief and simple. You don't have to speak for hours to reconnect. Instead, make those brief calls more often.
Stay in the loop of each other's lives. Never go very long without trying to update each other with the latest.
When a friend goes through a significant shift in their lives, like marriage or parenthood, be open to the changes that it might bring about to the friendships you have. It may have a considerable impact on how they deal with you in the future.
Keep an open mind that they may not be able to meet with you as often as they used to. Their response to your messages might not be as immediate as they used to be. But that doesn't mean they forgot all about you. It only means that life happened to them, and those changes only show how human they truly are.
Sometimes, new friendships just happen. They are born out of meeting people and extending a hand and sealing it with a handshake. The new people that you meet become friends whenever you start bonding over things that you both like.
Whether it's the thought of loving kittens or reading all the Harry Potter books again and again, the facts of friendship do not change. They all begin when you open your heart to let new people in.
Whatever circumstance you may find yourself in, always remember that you can make friends around the world. Don't get discouraged too easily. With flexibility, patience, and just the right amount of confidence, you can find yourself a new friend in every given situation. When you do, remember to try to keep them for life.
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