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On Earning Friends

Updated on September 15, 2008

Most people think that real, genuine friends have to be "made." This is not true, a real, genuine friend is someone whose friendship has been earned. People can have many acquaintances, as do I, but genuine friends are few and far between. As the famous saying goes, "If at the end of your life, you can count on one hand the number of real friends you have, then you area rich person." This is very true.

What exactly are the steps taken in earning a real friend? Continue reading below:

1. Do not burden a potential real friend with your personal troubles. Do not say something like: "I lost my esteem to achieve such-and-such." "I was bored last Saturday night so I drank a whole bottle of wine by myself." Nobody wants to listen to that sort of talk, and that sort of talk will indeed turn away a potential friend.

2. Do not repeat everything you hear to everyone you know. This is not just gossip; this also refers to repeating information you hear from your potential friend, right in front of that potential friend. This is a great way to turn off a potential friend to the point of the person rejecting you, especially if the words repeated are used against the person who initially spoke them.

3. Do not talk about yourself constantly. By giving away your life story, you are in effect building a wall in between yourself and the person who is a potential friend.

4. Do not attempt to buy friends. Most people find this to be outright condescending. It really is not worth trying to buy friends and influence people.

5. Give the other person a chance to talk, even if it is about trivial interests that you do not share with the person.

6. In addition to friendship, trust also has to be earned, and this goes hand in hand with earning friends. The betrayal of another person's trust will also drive that person away from you.

7. Be honest. Real friends share similar values because if there is a conflict of values, there is a very slim chance the friendship will work out. Contrary to the phrase "Opposites attract", in a real friendship, "Like attracts like."

8. Do not compromise your values or ethics in order to earn friends. It does not work that way. If you start compromising yourself, you will no longer be really yourself. Others can detect when you start caving in to their demands and will take advantage of you once you let them. As an unknown person once said: "He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away."


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