Believe it or not, not many of us have good friends in our lives. If we did all have great friends then depression and suicide would be at an all-time low — and we know that’s not the case.
Most of us know what makes a good friend, yet not too many of us know how to make good friends and keep them around. We let go of the relationships and connections that would have been most valuable in the long run.
So what is it exactly? Are we just idiots? No… we either misinterpret or get carried away by the flow of life. But there are ways of making the types of connections that count and building yourself a close circle of great friends — a support team that will do more to benefit you than any material thing in the world.
1. Relying on first impressions is a good place to start.
Gut feelings aren’t nonsense. Human beings do have intuition. We are sometimes able to pick up on minor signs and details that make us feel a certain way without exactly understanding why. Your gut isn’t always spot on, but if it tells you to be wary, then be wary.
2. Some friendships take time to develop.
The majority of people are on the defensive when they first come into contact with someone new. This isn’t always the case, but with years come experience and with experience often comes the nasty truth that some people are just trying to take advantage of you or put you down. Unfortunately, the defense systems that get employed at such meetings often lead to misinterpretations.
She may not be a bitch if you got to know her better. He may not be so cold. Sometimes it takes time for people to warm up to you and when they do, the relationship can be one that lasts for a long time.
3. Differences can be as practical as similarities.
We often think that finding similarities in friends is necessary to making good friends. That couldn’t be much further from the truth. Sure, having a whole lot in common is nice — but having major differences, especially philosophical, can bring a whole lot to your life. Finding friends with different beliefs and a different way of seeing the world can change your life massively.
4. Cut off the friendships that aren’t fruitful.
Not all friendships are worth the time and energy. Some friends either hold you or bring you down. Don’t feel guilty for cutting a friendship off. Usually both parties will be better off for it.
5. Focus on maintaining the friendships that you are happy with.
Friendships, like all relationships, require maintenance. Focus on building good memories and you will quickly notice that your lives begin to weave together. You’ll begin to feel less alone in life — which makes all the difference.
6. Friends of friends of friends of friends.
One of the best ways to grow your circle of friends is by trying to make friends with your friends’ friends. You know your friends to be good people that are fun to hang out with, so it’s likely that their friends are also nice and fun to hang out with.
7. Don’t let life drift you apart.
Life requires all our attention. When things get hectic or rough, a lot of people have the tendency to separate themselves and close themselves off. We get caught up in our lives and begin to distance ourselves. Don’t wait for them to contact you because they are likely waiting on the same thing from you. Make sure to maintain regular contact with the friends that you have because if you don’t then they won’t be there when you do need them. Worse, you won’t be there for them when they need you.
8. If they’re important, let them know.
People want to feel important — it’s human nature. We want to know that we are needed, that we have a purpose, a use. It’s easy to believe the fallacy that no one would care if we were to simply disappear. When life kicks us down we begin to weave depressing realities for ourselves. Show your friends that they are important to you and they will do the same. It’s the littlest of things, but it is often the difference between life and death.