My dad once said, "good friends, you can never have enough." Then he said he could count on one hand the number of good friends he had. At his age, he knew the distinction between acquaintances and ride or dies! What about you?
Even the most introverted amongst us needs friends. We are social beings and can thrive from healthy, positive bonds with each other. True friendship inevitably loves, forgives, encourages, motivates, and comforts us. When it comes to building meaningful friendships, age and stage in life can make it a challenge. But, I'm a firm believer that we must put in the effort regardless. If you've been busy and find yourself in need of new friends, here are a few tips to get started:
- Turn off your judge-o-meter. Stop judging people based on your past hurts or prejudices. Of course, you must also stop judging yourself too. Remember: the currency of friendship is love.
- Amongst your existing friends, be the change you wish to see. Even if things have gone wrong, forgive! She's grown, you've grown, so let go.
- Don't fall into negative sayings about friendship amongst women. Ultimately, you attract what you are, good or bad.
- Smile and have a positive mindset. Only then can you attract positive energy. No one wants to be friends with someone who appears mean and standoffish.
- Stop texting and start calling. You'll hear the sadness or joy and respond as a friend should. Helping her may heal you too.
- Arrange a meetup and GO! Nothing beats focused interaction. A trip maybe?
- Join a club or group of people with similar interests. PTA, Toastmasters, election campaign?
- Church/mosque/synagogue. A free club where everyone is welcome! Lots of local friendly churches with women's ministries literally waiting for you to join. I met two of my besties in church. Love them dearly.
- Talk to strangers. I do this for a living and I love it! You'd be surprised how much you have in common with her. Share your stories and listen to hers. Some people are worth spending more time with.
- Be a friendly neighbor. Stop hurrying past and actually say hello. Could you walk and lose weight together? Can the kids play together while moms hang out together?
- Participate. Don't stay away from your current friends and family. Be happy with those who are happy. Be sad with those who are sad. (Where is this written? *If you can tell me during your next office visit, I'll waive your copay :-)
- Offer friendship. When a situation calls for a friend, respond! Be the one who shows up. And if you can remain loyal without gossiping, you'll make a friend for life. Gossip has no place in true friendship.
- Seek friends in your profession. Don't be a hater. If you perceive she's more successful, learn from her! A good friend could also be a mentor and huge source of growth for you. In addition to friendship, you might even make more money! As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (Where is this written? *If you can tell me during your next office visit, I'll waive your copay :-)
- As you build a friendship, tell the truth and seek positive answers together. If your interactions center around bad relationships, bad children, bad jobs, bad boss, bad money, bad, bad, bad.....just run away.
- Don't miss the obvious: your spouse/partner!!! This primary relationship comes first. Perhaps this is the friendship that needs attention? Let's build on a strong foundation.
Have you made a new friend this year? Wishing you a positive, long-lasting friendship for life.
Let's be intentional about connecting and growing with one another.