There is no doubt that friendship is an important part of life, but many of us find it difficult to find, make or keep friends. Life events, such as moving to another neighborhood, starting a job or having a baby, can isolate us from our former support group and make forging new friendships more important than ever. In other cases, shyness or poor social skills can prevent us from taking the first step in forming a friendship. However, in this fast and selfish world is it is very difficult to find a right person for friendship. Building trust in one’s heart is the most difficult job as it needs lot of time and energy.
If you want friendship, but what kind of friend would you make? The following factors need to be taken into account:
- Good attitudes: Good attitudes are demanding as friends share our attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. If you accept that other people have a right to be different from you, then you need to open yourself up to the possibility of experiencing relationships that bring a fresh outlook to your life.
- Treat people: Think about how you like to be treated and then offer the same to the people in your life. Friendship is like give a take.
- Don’t expect instant results: Good friendship is not made over night. Sharing once your deepest secrets won’t necessarily create a close friendship. It may even drive the other person away. Take it slowly and disclose ‘safe’ secrets first, and allow the relationship to hold some weight before you share other issues in your life.
- Avoid over criticizing: Constantly griping about the failures and weaknesses of other people can make your listener feel suspicious of you. How do they know you aren’t complaining about their weaknesses to other friends?
- Don’t gossip: Potential friends are not going to trust you if you continuously gossip to them about the trials and troubles of other people in your life.
When making friends is difficult
Some people find it hard to make friends. Perhaps they are introverted, or feel they lack social skills to start a conversation. In that case follow these suggestions:
- Join groups that share your common interests. Talking about one of your passions, such as gardening or writing short stories, blogs for example, can help give you confidence to talk about other things with potential new friends.
- Practise looking people in the eye when you talk to them.
- Listen to what others are saying, rather than focusing on your own self-consciousness.
- In friendship smile is the most important aspect.
Appreciate your friends: Do not take your friends for granted. Always appreciate your friends for taking time and thank them for enhancing your life, in whichever way suits best. For instance, invite them over for dinner for no other reason than to have fun together.
Offer time and attention: Friendship needs to be taken care of. If you are constantly too busy to give time to your friends, they will one day move on without you. Ensure you make friendship an important priority. Actively listen to your friends, and show your interest and zeal in their lives.
Don’t misuse trust: For example, if a friend tells you a secret, keep it to yourself. You might think you are building relationships with others by sharing gossip, but you are actually ensuring that others won’t trust you enough to tell you anything.
Control jealousy: You may want your best friend to be ‘sincere’ with you, which means you experience jealousy if they have other close relationships. Learn to appreciate that love for friends - like love for one’s children - can be limitless.