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How To Make Friends That Last A Lifetime
Friends are an essential part of life. There's no question about it, but somehow it becomes very easy to forget the importance of having friends around you as you come across the many phases of your life.
Looking back, it might surprise you to discover that at least half of your former friends have drifted away in just about 5 years or so. This may be due to a change of residence, workplace or getting married.
While the presence of social networking sites keep a majority of your friends to be in constant communication, nothing beats having someone you can go out with for a drink whenever there's a need to unwind.
Why Do You Need To Make Friends?
It has been said that having a few friends is worse than obesity, because such case can leave the person isolated, making him more prone to anxiety problems. While you may insist that you can live without them, first take a brief look at some of the most important roles that friends play in a person's life.
1. Friends provide comfort.
They are people whom you can directly tell about the latest happenings in your life, without necessarily going back to the very beginning. It's much like opening a book precisely on where you have left off.
2. Friends provide unconditional support.
Being alone is among the person's greatest fears, but knowing that there will be people whom you can trust to be there for you in whatever circumstances easily boosts your willpower and self-esteem.
3. Friends provide honest opinions.
When you find yourself in the midst of a tough decision, friends can provide you with unprejudiced advice. This is simply because they know you better that you actually know yourself, and you can trust that they only have your best interests at heart.
Preparing Yourself Into Making New Friends
Friendship is a two-way relationship. So before you go forging new friendships, you first need to assess yourself and take on the right attitude. Below are some aspects that you should consider in order to prime yourself for friendship.
1. People differ in many ways.
While you wish to be with people who share the same ideals and likes such as yours, there is simply no way that you can demand this from anyone. Doing so would only drive them away. Hence, you need to accept the fact that there will be both similarities and differences among people.
2. Remember the golden rule.
Treat people in the way that you want them to treat you.
3. Friendships are not forged overnight.
Whether you choose to disclose some important aspects of your life to the person during your initial conversation doesn't mean that you will hit it right on. Take things slowly and just allow time to take its toll on the relationship. If the person is interested to be close friends with you, he's likely to stick around.
4. Refrain from talking about the faults of others.
When people hear you talking about the failures and weaknesses of others, this makes them wary about you. In fact, this may lead them to stay away from you and keep the relationship merely at an acquaintance level.
5. Do not sacrifice your principles.
In the same way that you are not to expect others to curb into your preferences, it is likewise unhealthy to forget about your set standards just to fit into a particular group.
Where Can You Find New Friends?
1. At the workplace.
Even if your work isolates you from others during business hours, there's no reason why you should not accept an invitation to a birthday or a Friday night out.
2. Around the neighborhood.
It's a great thing to become friends with your neighbors as they are the nearest persons to whom you can turn to in times of household emergencies. You can meet them by actively participating in various community projects.
3. Join social occasions conducted by family and friends.
Friends of friends have the advantage of a common link, making it easier for you to start a conversation with them.
Making The First Move - How To Make Friends With Total Strangers
Some people have well-developed social skills and are comfortable in starting a conversation with a total stranger at any social gathering. However, if you're among those shy ones, then you need to work on those social skills by trying out the following techniques.
1. Make sure to join groups that share your common interests.
If you're confident with the topic at hand, then there's a greater chance for you to be able to join in the conversation.
2. Make eye contact, smile and listen.
Unless you're not interested with the person, then it is very important to maintain eye contact during the course of conversation. Nod and give responses when appropriate, and totally forget about your own self-consciousness. Do not be afraid to throw in some questions of your own, as this indicates your interest on the person.
Keeping Your Friends - How To Make Friends Stay For Life
1. Make time.
As with other personal relationships, friendship needs to be nurtured for it to grow strong. If you are too busy with work and simply aren't there when a friend needs you the most, then expect them to fade away from your life after some time. The same as with your family, friends should be among your top priorities as well.
2. Be flexible.
Always remember that you have differences, thus there's just no way you can impose on who you are. Friends always meet halfway because they understand each other's weaknesses and strengths.
3. Show your support.
It is good to offer your advice from time to time, but it's always up to the person to heed that advice. So if the person is determined to do one thing, then the best that you can do is to show support.
You might be opposed to your friend's idea but showing your support means you value your friendship no matter what. Whatever happens, this support will be appreciated and reciprocated in the end, thereby strengthening the friendship even more.
4. Keep the friendship open.
As with romantic and family relationships, there is just no way that you can keep people from exploring other things. Bear in mind that your friend is likely to find other close friends, but your friendship doesn't necessarily have to end with it.
Friendship is a give and take relationship. The more you give, the more you will receive.
This Book is an In-Depth Study of the Principles of Human Relations
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