Finding “true love” is paramount for most of us in life. But with everyone’s focus on THAT, sometimes finding good friends gets the short end of the stick. Friendship and community are important areas of life because friends supply a different kind of support, perspective, and brand of fun than your mate does. But how do you find a good friend?
Surprisingly, I’ve found that what works for finding love also works for making friends.
Here’s the lowdown:
1. Like yourself first
Since we attract people who are like us, make sure you are proud of how you are living your life. If there is something really important you want to change, start taking those action steps. Perhaps you know you want to change jobs, start a new hobby, or lose weight. Very likely, you’ll want to join some sort of network or support group anyway, so that’s a great place to meet potential friends.
2. Roll up your sleeves and keep a good attitude about it
Just like with love, we are fed unrealistic images from the media about how easy it is to find and maintain great relationships. Or we think some people are “born with” people skills and maybe we’re not. Or we think it’s just luck. Nope, it takes real work, but try to think of it as a privilege, not a burden. Know that when you are looking for a friend, just like a lover, there is a real dance of chemistry to navigate. And it’s a numbers game too. You have to be willing to go on the hunt for the right matches for yourself and keep a good attitude, even if the first attempts are duds. Most impressive things don’t gel on the first try, so do not complain about failures. Each one contains a great lesson.
3. Flirt again
Like with love relationships, you have to be in it to win it. If you aren’t presenting yourself as someone who WANTS new friends, people won’t know that you do. In the case of friendship, flirting means going to places where other people are and striking up conversations with them. It means asking questions and being interested in the answers. We have our clients promise to strike up conversations with a certain number of strangers each week. The next level is, of course, making actual plans.
4. Face your fear
Everyone is afraid of rejection. But pushing yourself and taking risks can be fun and very rewarding. Reaching out to meet someone or deepen a connection is a real risk, so be proud that you’re taking it. Every time you face your fear and flirt with a new potential friend or invite someone to something, congratulate yourself. The one who risks reaps the rewards.
5. Tell the truth
The last thing you want to do is string someone along or be strung along. That doesn’t build confidence! Speak frankly from the beginning about your intentions for what you would like the friendship to look like. Your future true friends will appreciate your honesty and desire to figure out if you’re really compatible. It’s part of how you’ll figure out if you’ve met a good match. No worries if you don’t hit the nail on the head each time (see point #2).
Now that it’s Fall, everyone is back to their very busy lives, and you may be feeling lonely or lost in the hustle and bustle. How about we make it a game to find friends for life by the holidays? Write me a note below and say what on the list above you are willing to take on. Enjoy!
As an Executive and Senior Coach at Handel Group® Life Coaching, Laurie Gerber’s professional and personal mission is to better the world by teaching people to tell the truth and pursue their dreams. Her focus is on maximizing clients’ ability to thrive across all areas of life—health, love, career, money, family, etc. Laurie spreads her message of empowerment through live international events, one-on-one coaching, virtual coaching courses, and as a writer for well-known blogs. She and her husband recently teamed up to serve as marriage coaches for a special on A&E called The Marriage Test. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
Interested in learning how to more deeply connect with yourself and others? Check out our Design Your Life Weekends this fall in LA, NYC, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, London, and Toronto.
*Photo courtesy of eflon.