There’s nothing like having good friends to share your life with. Good friends not only make life more exciting and fun, but can be a great source of encouragement when you’re going through difficult times. Some people are naturally sociable and have little trouble making friends. Others are reserved and shy and need more help in this area. Learn the most practical tips on How to Make Friends.
Making friends is not rocket science, but it does help to have some practical advice on how to meet people your age, especially if you’re new to the area. These tips on how to make friends can help you get started.
How to Make New Friends from Scratch
The best way to make new friends is to be a friend. Consider what attributes of friendship are important to you and try to adopt those attributes. It also helps to brush up on your social skills so you don’t feel awkward in your new situation. Here are some common qualities conducive to making new friends; if you’re not up to par in these areas, it’s never too late to start.
Self Awareness: As you grow into the preteen/teen age, you need to determine what kind of person you want to be and what values you want to uphold in your life. Your values, self-image and beliefs will help you in choosing the kind of friends you desire.
Sincerity: Be sincere in your choice of friends and be a friend you can trust. Your sincerity will help you develop genuine friendships that will last.
Integrity: Don’t compromise your integrity for being accepted into a circle of friends. These friendships seldom last as they’re not built on who you really are. It’s much better to choose friends who share your values and appreciate the “real you.”
Cliques: The exclusive and shallow nature of cliques will cut you off from other sources of friendships. By being more inclusive, you can meet more people and expand your circle of friends.
Criticalness: Some teens’ idea of “friendship” is criticizing others and spreading gossip and lies. Such negative attitudes can destroy friendships before they start. Getting involved with such groups can eventually backfire to where you become their next victim.
Patience: It takes time to cultivate new friends so have patience. By being friendly and kind to others, your efforts will eventually be rewarded with friendship from those you meet.
How to Make Friends at a New School
Changing schools is a common occurrence today due to parents moving or students not doing well in the school they were in. Learning how to make friends in a new city, however, and adjusting to a new environment can be tough. You may be wondering “How do I make friends without knowing my way around?” Here are some pointers that can help.
- Enter in on the activities you enjoy. If you like music, try to join the school band or music club. If sports is your passion, try out for one of the sports team in your new school. Most schools offer a wide variety of activities to encourage students to pursue their interests. Find out what you’re good at and take the plunge. You’re bound to meet others with the same interests, making it easier to connect and make new friends.
- Start chatting with kids in your class. Being new has its advantages. It gives you ample reasons to start conversations with others and get to know what they’re like. Look around and see who you’re attracted to and take the first step to interact. A simple “hi, I’m John” can open the door to establishing the friendships you desire.
- Stay in touch with friends “back home.” The Internet makes it easy to keep in touch with old friends via Facebook, chatting, email, texting, etc. This gives you someone to talk to until you get your footing in your new location.
- Stay busy with personal interests and goals and don’t get discouraged. Making friends can often be a slow process. Explore your new community, get plugged into your new school and friends will become a reality over time.
The friends you make in middle and high school will play an important role in your life. At this age, your friends will have considerable influence on your life. It’s only normal for you to want to fit and conform to your school environment. However, you should consider how your newfound friends are contributing to the development of your personality and character. By choosing friends wisely, you will enjoy a happier, more productive school experience. Here are some tips on how to handle typical problems that arise with friendships at the teen/tween age.
Peer Pressure: Peer pressure can be overwhelming in middle and high school. Kids who don’t conform to the “in” crowd are made to feel inferior and left out. Young teens will need to decide what’s more important to them – the principles they were taught or going with the flow. If lasting friendships are what you’re after, consider looking beyond the “in” crowd.
Self-Esteem: Make an effort to choose friends who will have a positive impact on your life. These are the kind of friends who will stand by you when hard times or disappointments arise. Good friends will boost your confidence and self-esteem by encouraging your efforts to succeed and accepting you for who you are.
Choices: As a young teen, you’ll face many choices in your academic and personal life. Your friends will impact your decisions in such matters as your educational standard, involvement with alcohol, drugs and crime, relationship with teachers and peers and staying true to your convictions. Good friends are hard to find. Rather than thinking about how to make more friends in high school, take time to consider the quality of friends you make.
As you enter adulthood and attend college, you’ll face many opportunities to expand your social life. In some ways, the methods for how to make friends as an adult is similar to those for making friends earlier in life. The difference is the level of maturity. Most adult friendships are deeper and more meaningful. By choosing friends you can depend on, you’ll value their input and fellowship much more. Here are some valuable tips to establishing lasting friendships at the college level.
1. Making friends at college can be challenging, especially for new students. You increase your chances of meeting people and cultivating friendships by stepping out of your comfort zone. Orientation week in college offers opportunities to get to know people in a new environment. Take advantage of these open doors to mingle and chat with other students facing the same friendship challenges as you are.
2. Cultivating good friendships is part of the college experience. Every year in college offers students new chances to meet people from different nationalities, backgrounds and cultures. Chatting with strangers is perfectly normal in the college setting so don’t hesitate to join the crowd.
3. Get involved with social activities, clubs and organizations that align with your academic goals, passions or interests. Joining a club or organization is a great way to meet like-minded individuals who share similar interests and goals and establish new friendships. College is also the perfect environment to experiment with different organizations and groups to expand your horizons. You may discover a love for music, art or poetry that you never knew you had. In the process, you can meet people you ordinarily wouldn’t meet if you were to stick with your same old interests and routines.
4. When it comes to making friends, nothing ventured, nothing gained. If you’re stuck in the rut of going to class and returning to your room to study, your chances of interacting with others are slim. Rather than study alone in your room, go to the library or student center and hang out with your peers. Start a study group. Mingle and practice your social skills.
5. Be patient and don’t give up just because some friendship opportunities don’t pan out. Most students go through an adjustment period in college before they begin to feel at ease and start making friends. Just keep trying and you’re sure to succeed.
Friendships are an important aspect of life and well worth cultivating at all ages. Knowing how to make a friend opens the door to establishing longterm friendships you can enjoy for years to come.