Sunday, January 2, 2011

Know the Basics

Sometimes it's good to get back to the root of things in order to keep a good perspective when trying to accomplish a particular objective.  And if your objective is to make new friends and/or develop friendships into more intimate bonds, then simply knowing what a "friendship" is and what to expect can be very helpful along the way. lists some definitions of "friend" as follows:
  • a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard
  • a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter
  • a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile
  • a person known well to another and regarded with liking, affection, and loyalty
We can see simply from these definitions some behaviors to practice with others.  Develop some level of personal regard for someone and show respect for them.  Find ways to support someone or assist them with a project, task, or issue they could use help with; be intentional about offering your personal assistance with a cheerful attitude.  Don't be hostile with them; if you have hostile feelings or a short temper with someone, then you may want to move on to another person you could more easily be friends with--at least until you work on your hostility and temperament.  We all have character flaws, but the weaker person uses them as excuses and exhibits stubbornness and laziness when they don't do much to improve upon or change them.  Express an interest in others and show your liking toward them; be loyal to your developing friendship.

Here are a few things you can read about how friendships cultivate value from Wikipedia.  Yes...wikipedia...don't feel lame.  :)

Value that is found in friendships is often the result of a friend demonstrating the following on a consistent basis:
  • The tendency to desire what is best for the other
  • Sympathy and empathy
  • Honesty, perhaps in situations where it may be difficult for others to speak the truth, especially in terms of pointing out the perceived faults of one's counterpart
  • Mutual understanding and compassion
  • Trust in one another (able to express feelings - including in relation to the other's actions - without the fear of being judged); able to go to each other for emotional support
  • Positive reciprocity - a relationship is based on equal give and take between the two parties.

Remember the basics.  Fundamentals are crucial to better development in most aspects of life.  I hope this helps in your pursuit of closer friendships.  

Thursday, December 23, 2010


As much as you like to believe in redemption, first impressions are critical to second chances--at least in the friendship and social interaction world.  When you are seeking new friends, you must obviously make an effort, but the initial effort is the most important.

You need an opener.  You need to find some friendly, comical, welcoming, warm, or caring way to make that first impression upon a potential friend.

Look for ways to relate to someone without creeping them out.  Be observant without being intrusive. Compliment someone--their hair, their clothes, their home, their laugh, their smile, etc.  Present your compliment in a casual way.  Don't ever force a compliment on someone.  It should feel natural to the situation.

Again this is something to work on or put into practice before you can feel comfortable having a good opener in seeking new friends.  You may have to fail a few times, endure some awkward moments, or even creep someone out.  Take heart though because this will be beneficial for you to experience and funny for you to laugh at afterward.

OH...and always introduce yourself.  Before or after your opener will suffice.  Be accessible to your potential friend in the nominal fashion.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Don't be emotionally cut off.

If you have spent a considerable amount of time with someone and have known someone longer than to merely consider them an acquaintance, then open yourself up to the possibility of connecting on an emotional level.

Do NOT keep yourself emotionally disconnected from people, especially the ones you would like to call your friends.  If you feel like you are emotionally disconnected with others, then you may need to take a look at yourself.  You may be the subject of your own emotional disengagement.  You might harden yourself and close yourself to the broad spectrum of emotions that humans experience: joy, pain, excitement, frustration, anger, anxiety, love, hate, etc.  You might do this to try to keep yourself constant, consistent, stable feeling.  It probably starts with hiding the expression of these feelings though you still feel them on a real level.  Use caution when filtering the expression of your emotions though because if you do it too much then you run the risk of becoming hard and actually feeling less.  Eventually you will get to the point where others realize your hardness and emotional closure and people will become distant to you.  In order to avoid this, it is important to have a select few people in your life that you are emotionally connected to.

Being vulnerable and/or sharing your feelings with a level of depth to someone isn't always easy, but it is important.  It isn't simple, but it can be simply put:  Be open with your friends...or you might lose them as a true and lasting friend.

Good luck.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Improving Current Friendships

Do you wish to improve an existing friendship and/or grow closer to someone you already know?  In most cases the answer is relatively simple.  However, it isn't always easy because it may involve becoming vulnerable to an extent and moving out of your comfort zone.  Of course there are always times to cut up and act stupid for some fun times and good laughs, but in order to grow closer you should make it a point to start a serious conversation with an understanding of mutual respect and without judgment of what the other person may say.  This can involve sharing personal truths about yourself, your desires, goals, and beliefs.  Of course there is nothing wrong with being a private individual, but being so private in terms of never sharing personal things with anyone or always thinking it is never anyone's business or never wanting anyone to know your secrets or your deep (maybe dark) thoughts can be unhealthy as well as selfish.

The (relatively) simplest answer to how to grow closer to an existing friend is to practice being selfless.

As always you want to find the right balance.  You don't want to be too private but you also don't want to over-share; over-sharing, especially too soon in a blooming friendship, can be too personal too fast for some people to handle, and it could come across as the characteristic of being desperate or clingy if you confide in someone too deeply at an inappropriate time which might scare them away from the idea of growing mutually closer with you.  You will have to be the judge of this; you should just go with your gut on this and gauge at what level of friendship you have achieved with a particular person and determine how much you can share with that person under the right set of circumstances.

It is a selfless act to share your personal truths and desires rather than keep them to yourself all the time.

Additionally, nurturing a friendship indubitably will go and should go beyond the practice of sharing things about oneself and just talking about things.  Acts of service or kindness or grace and forgiveness will allow for a deeper friendship.  Being selfless will help you with these acts.  Specific examples aren't necessary in this case if you simply think to yourself in situations: "Is this better serving myself or my friend?"  The answer will lead you to selfless acts within your friendship, and this kind of sacrificial friendship will be noticed and deeply appreciated by your friend.  If this is a friend worth having, then most likely they will be willing to make some sacrifices as well for your sake and happiness and to show some selfless appreciation for the kind of friend you are to them.  (If a person or "friend" is unwilling to any extent be gracious to you in any manner despite what you may do for them, then you may suck at picking friends.  Picking the right friends to grow closer to is a topic for another time.)

Good luck with improving your friendships and being selfless with others.  You may find that putting your selfish ways behind you will bring more fulfilling friendships.  May your friends bless you as you bless them.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Conquering Shyness

There is nothing wrong with being shy.  Being shy can sometimes be endearing and an appealing characteristic.  HOWEVER, shyness should not be a domineering quality.  If you are shy to the point that it interferes with developing new friendships, then it is more likely a crippling quality rather than appealing.

If you are a shy person, then have no fear because being shy is not intrinsic.  It is not a characteristic that cannot be overcome.  Everyone has the capacity and usually a desire to be out going and not so timid.  Whether you feel like you are naturally introverted or not, your ability to be confident and lose your timidity in social settings exists;  the matter at hand is nurturing that extroverted side residing within.  (For a future topic, extroversion or being too out-going can be a hazard as well, so keep in mind a nice balance of confidence and reservation, at first, in the attempt to develop friendships is a good place to start.)

Guts.  Convince yourself to be bold in environments with people you don't know; any situation, no matter how likely or unlikely you may think a friendship could result from that particular setting, is an opportunity to befriend another person.  Keep an open mind about making friends.  All humans are humans, which is apparent but just a statement to remind you that even people serving you at McDonald's are people that need and have friends and maybe even want new friends.  A party, a trip to the bank, dinner at a restaurant, a trip to Walmart, etc. are all places that you have chances to interact with humans.  A good place to start warming up your confidence and extroversion skills is just talking to strangers.  The strangers don't have to be creepy men with dirty mustaches standing in parks watching children or anything.  Just strike up a brief casual conversation with the teller at the bank or your server.  Tell them a joke, pay them a compliment, or ask them how their day is.  It just needs to be simple and unintrusive but you should try to instigate it. 

Working on this confidence with strangers will make it easier in settings that feel more natural to find companionship.  When you have practice with people you don't even know and possibly won't ever see again, it prepares you for interacting with someone at a party of a mutual friend that you could see again.  You might even become friends with your server when you aren't even expecting it by just practicing being confident, out-going, and friendly.  Friendships are often formed in unexpected ways and unexpected places.

Over a short period of time, your confidence will grow and your ability to conquer your shyness that impedes with developing new friends will be great.

That's all for now.  Leave comments or suggestions for other topics.  Thanks and good luck with the humans. ;)

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Beginning of Friendship


There are things you probably already know:  Life and people are often times unpredictable.  However, we will attempt to give you some advice on how to go about making your life more enjoyable and more valuable by the people you try to befriend.  If you are looking for better friends, read on.  If you are looking to befriend somebody in particular, then read on.  If anything you are looking for involves making new friendships or improving current friendships or maybe just anything within the realm of friendships, then read on...AND leave comments because we will then better know what to address.

This is just the beginning....hopefully of a beautiful friendship.

Making Friends starts soon.

Until the next post, we miss you already.