A guide on how to make friends would not be complete without an explanation as to why friendships are important. If you suffer with social anxiety disorder (SAD), or are simply shy, it may sometimes seem easier to avoid making friends. Research shows, however, that people with close friends live longer. In addition, those with close friends are better able to cope with the death of a spouse or other life changes.
For those with SAD, you may want to make friends but not know how. Below are step-by-step instructions to help you increase your social circle and hopefully make a few good friends along the way.
Before you try to make new friends, it is important to spend some time working on yourself. The more well-rounded a person you are, the easier it will be to talk with others.
Brush up on current events, take up a new hobby; anything that you can do to become more comfortable with who you are will make it easier to make friends.
The second step in making friends is finding potential friends. When looking for potential friends, the best places to start are also the easiest. Do you work with others? Do you know someone who has a large circle of friends? Could you join a group or organization to increase the number of people that you are in contact with?
It is important not to be too picky in the beginning. Anyone could be a potential friend; first impressions are not necessarily the best indicators of who could become a long-term friend.
Make sure to get contact information for the people that you meet. Telephone, email, instant messaging, and social networking sites like Facebook are all great ways to keep in touch.
The most critical step in making friends is both accepting invitations and making plans with others. Do your best not to turn down any invitations. If you turn people down often enough they will stop asking you to do things.
By the same token, you shouldn't always expect the other person to make plans. Though making plans can be a challenging task for those with SAD, it is important to show others that you are interested in them and want to get together.
Once you have begun to form friendships, it is important to stay in touch. Over time you will come to learn how often certain people stay in touch. Be sure to do your part to contact your new friends and make plans. With the ease of online communication, there isn't any reason why you can't keep in touch with those that you meet.
Don't expect instant results. Building friendships takes time, effort and sacrifice. Make creating new friendships a priority, but realize that the race to the finish line is a marathon, not a sprint.
Once you have made new friends, be careful not to take them for granted. Always make your friendships a priority even when it may not be convenient for you.
Good friends don't criticize, don't gossip, and don't judge each other.
Never compromise your beliefs, values or morals because of a friendship.
What You Need
- Address book for contact information