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How to Make friends and keep them

Updated on September 15, 2014

Friends are so special

Making casual acquaintances is easy but not very rewarding. A real friend is a gem and truly worth keeping. How do you meet? How do you get to know this stranger who is going to be a friend? I'm going to talk you through it and see if I can help you to make the right moves toward friendship. It's worth a little effort because a good friend is priceless.


The photo is mine.

You've moved to a new city, make a friend

So how do you get to meet new friends and that special pal who will be there for you when things are tough and you can do the same for them. First thing, don't rush into it. Let it grow naturally. You may find someone at work that you click with, or it may be at some hobby like the gym. Join things you are going to enjoy, that way you will meet like minded people. It works at church too if you are into that. It's a matter of being relaxed and just getting into a chat with someone. It might take several weeks to gel but don't rush, it can put some people off. Don't panic, it will happen, but nobody wants a desperate friend, it's very off-putting.

Realise you have differences

When making friends there has to be give and take. If you are giving all the time it won't work and neither will it if you are taking all the time. You have to realise that you are different people whose likes and dislikes will not always correspond. You need to spend time together but you also need to allow each other space.

I have recently made a new friend and things are going well. She likes to be out doing things most days but I need time on my own at home quite often. We respect these differences. I can accompany her quite a lot of the week and she is happy with that and allows me my space. It has taken us about six months to let this friendship develop. She lost her husband about a year ago and I live on my own so that makes us suited.

Working at being friends

You have to work at being a friend. Think of how you can help the other person. However it has to be two way traffic. If you are doing all the work you will soon feel put upon, but it may be your own fault, maybe you are not allowing your new friend to do things for you. Maybe it is "more blessed to give than to receive" but you must allow your friend to get that blessing some of the time. So learn to gracefully accept when your friend wants to do something for you. Also if you don't want things to get claustrophobic spend time with mutual friends and learn to share each other with others. This is not a marriage you are in! Enjoy your independence some of the time. You are not joined at the hip and neither would either of you like to be. Do lots together, but not everything. The secret is to enjoy what one likes about each other, realise the bits you don't and give yourselves adequate space.

How long will you be friends?

It is important to realise that some friendships are only meant for a certain time. After this circumstances may pull you apart. One of you having to move will pull your friendship to a different level. You may keep in touch by phone or e-mail and even visit each other but it will never be quite the same. The advantage is that when you contact each other there will be lots of news to catch up on.There may even be the joy of re-uniting if circumstances bring you back together again.

I recently had a friend leave with no forwarding address or contact number. She had been through a difficult time here and just wanted to leave it all behind her and start again. She is a very friendly person and will have no trouble making new friends. I just hope that when she settles in her new surroundings she will make contact again and not see me as just part of the problems she had here. The worst thing I could do is to try finding her at this time. Maybe later I will come across someone who knows where she is and I may be able to contact her again, but I'm in no hurry, she needs space.

Some friends argue

I have a theory that your friendship has not reached a very high level until you can argue with each other. If you have a real friend you need to stand up for what you think and you will not always see things the same way. Having an argument with a friend is not the end of the road but just a cross roads. You will express your differences, may be getting a little heated but then move on and agree to differ and find you are on a higher plane in your friendship. Do not be afraid of arguing, it is healthy. However don't do it the second time you meet. Always try to part friends, but friends who have their own take on life. You are not identical twins and even they argue. If possible always see the funny side of an argument and be ready to say sorry if things have got out of hand. A true friend will take a bit of pushing the boundaries from you and push back just as hard

Playing silly games

One threat to friendship is when one friend behaves like a victim and the other rushes in to rescue them. This all seems very noble but the victim always turns on the rescuer and makes them into a victim. What strange people we are. If your friend starts to behave like this, and they won't realize they are doing it, you need to step back and see that the victim doesn't need rescuing and is quite capable of coping on their own. So instead of rushing in to help take a step back, be there for your friend if she or he really needs you, but don't rush in on your charger to rescue the maiden in distress. Some of us are attracted to needy behaviour like this. You just need to count to ten. If you rush in you will be putting your friendship at risk.

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    • DvdMovieGirl profile image

      DvdMovieGirl 

      5 years ago

      Hi Liz,

      This is lovely Lens and on such an important topic too. To keep a friend you must be a friend. So many people take others for granted today. It is important that we make time for our friends and share joys.

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 

      5 years ago from Kansas

      Good friends are such a blessing and make life a joy to live.

    • veronicatarantino profile image

      veronicatarantino 

      5 years ago

      This is a very inspirational lens.. I love it

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      So few people realize that relationships do take work. A friendship must be nurtured.

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 

      6 years ago

      Great lens.

    • jballs6 profile image

      jballs6 

      6 years ago

      Hi, a very thoughtful lens, thanks for sharing x

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      A beautiful lens! Earlier today, I phoned an old friend that I haven't talked with for a long time. My conversation with him made my day...I hope it also made his day. Thanks for sharing this lens with us!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      My first sprinkling of angel dust on this lens has long worn off so I am back once again to scatter a little more. It is my quest today to bless all the lenses which I blessed in October of 2010. You are on this list.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Returning to bless friendship. The song foing through my spirit is "Friends are Friends Forever"....when the Lord is Lord of them....

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      6 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      What excellent advice on being friends! And I love the posters you used to illustrate this too. Blessed!

    • profile image

      crstnblue 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful lens, quite informative and a perfect reading after a busy working day!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      Sweet lens. Good friends are real treasures.

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 

      6 years ago from Gloucester

      What a lovely idea for a lens - and beautifully created! :)

    • profile image

      imagineallart 

      6 years ago

      Lovely lens and great advice, thank you.

    • auntjennie profile image

      Jen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Great advice on making friends. I like the advice on accepting your differences and that it is ok to argue as long as you part as friends. I try to avoid arguments because I don't like confrontation but the idea of being able to argue with a real friend and move on makes a lot of sense to me.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      7 years ago from Vermont

      I'm looking forward to making some friends in my new community in Vermont.

    • profile image

      SherriLaponsie 

      7 years ago

      Great lens, love the Friends Tv show clip ;)

    • SuperZoe LM profile image

      SuperZoe LM 

      7 years ago

      "So learn to gracefully accept when your friend wants to do something for you." This is such great advice but I have to admit it can be hard sometimes. This is a great lens.

    • profile image

      ditjaya 

      7 years ago

      nices to make friend with you.. :) :)

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 

      7 years ago from U.S.

      Nice lens on friends. Much of what you wrote about friends resonated with me. I agree that to develop a good friendship we definitely need to work on the relationship!

    • puzzlerpaige profile image

      puzzlerpaige 

      7 years ago

      I have a new friend and I'm thinking about all these things you mention. We don't see eye to eye on everything, but so far are comfortable telling each other about it. We respect the differences so I think the relationship will work out.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Feel warm .. and Be Happy here. Thanks for creating this great lense. I really like it :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Nice lens. I don't have much friends after I'm working as a credit marketing officer because I this job make me work day and night. Hope I will find lots of friend here.

    • SciTechEditorDave profile image

      David Gardner 

      7 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      Nice lens! I've liked, favorited, thumbs-upped, and lensrolled your masterpiece! Congrats on a great job!

    • profile image

      Tarra99 

      7 years ago

      "A real friend is a gem and truly worth keeping"...absolutely! A+...I love the frog picture...thanks for popping into my kitchen gadget lens...I appreciate your comments.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 

      7 years ago from West Virginia

      I like it; it's very friendly.

    • profile image

      Jellyrolldesigns 

      7 years ago

      A very thoughtful and helpful lens! I also like a lot of the posters image. Beautiful.

    • agnes2603 lm profile image

      agnes2603 lm 

      7 years ago

      great work, very helpful, thanks for sharing

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 

      7 years ago from Quezon City

      What an earnestly-written and nicely formatted lens. It's true that we have to work at keeping our friends but I also believe that the friendships that are meant to last can be kept effortlessly. Loved the advice and anecdotes you gave in each section. ~Blessed~

    • spritequeen lm profile image

      spritequeen lm 

      7 years ago

      GREAT lens!! I'm going to pass this one to my daughter :-). Thanks for sharing!

    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 

      7 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      Anyone who has friends and family is rich! I remember when I was in the hospital awaiting a kidney. Many friends supported me in prayers, visitation, and finance. There is a friend that is closer than a brother.

      Pastor Walt.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      You have spoken a mouthful of truth here and did it very graciously, as usual!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 

      7 years ago from Australia

      You have some great advice here and I love the pictures. I couldn't vote in your "Friends" poll though because I never watch the show...

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      7 years ago from UK

      Lots of wise advice here, thanks for sharing.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      7 years ago from UK

      Lots of wise advice here, thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Werkpaardje 

      7 years ago

      Wonderful. Thank you!

    • LizMac60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Mackay 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      @jptanabe: Good to hear from you.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Great points about friendship. It's certainly true that friendships take work, and I like the advice that sometimes it's time to let a friend go.

    • LizMac60 profile imageAUTHOR

      Liz Mackay 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Lady Lorelei: Thanks for the blessing Ladymermaid

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      This lens is blessed by a squid angel this morning...have a great day :)

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 

      7 years ago from Sweden

      Really lovely lens! I am happy to say that closest of all my friends are my children. =)

    • profile image

      Marijoyce 

      7 years ago

      This is an excellent lens with many many excellent points. Too many people don't realize that real friendship takes work, time and equality between the people involved.

    • Health-Gal profile image

      Health-Gal 

      7 years ago

      thanks for reminding me to honor my friends :)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 

      8 years ago

      This is a great tribute lens to friends. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust

    • profile image

      Sadheeskumar 

      8 years ago

      Friends are always Special. Excellent lens. Nicely done. Five stars to this lens.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 

      9 years ago

      Great lens, Liz. People really need to know how to cultivate friendships. I have had instances where I knew right away I could be friends with someone, but then you have to nurture and cultivate the friendship.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 

      9 years ago from Croatia

      Really great lens Liz! Gonna 'roll it to my Long Distance Friends! :)

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 

      9 years ago

      I love the video you created and the images you used. Great lens and very good advise. 5*s

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      9 years ago from California

      I have always heard that if you have 1 or 2 "good" friends count yourself lucky as most of us have many acquaintances. "Friends" is a term many use lightly, and that's OK. but real friendship doesn't just pick up and move without telling you IMO. Anyway, I enjoyed this, and cute posters.:)

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