Friendships

A Poster On Friendships by Subhanu & Will

Spend more time around people.

If you want to make friends, you first need to put yourself out there somehow in order to meet people. If you're still in school, sit somewhere with other people, it doesn't have to be the 'popular' table, or a crowded one, but one with at least 2 other people. Remember, friends seldom come knocking on your door while you sit at home playing computer games.

Join an organization or club with people who have common interests.

You don't necessarily need to have a lot of common interests with people in order to make friends with them. In fact, some of the most rewarding friendships are between two people who don't have much in common at all, but if you like a specific topic, try searching for just a location. It's a great way to meet new local people! Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are great way to meet new people and learn more about the people you meet.

Join a sports team.

A common misconception about this is that you have to be really good at playing a particular sport in order to make friends with others on the team, but not all teams are so competitive. As long as you enjoy the sport and support your teammates, joining a local team with a laid-back attitude could be a great way to make new friends. But a sports team isn't the only way. If you play instruments or sing, try joining a band or choir.

Volunteer.

Volunteering is also a great way for people of all ages to meet others. By working together you build bonds with people, and you might meet others who have a passion for doing things the way you do .

Talk to people.

You can join a club, go to school, or go to church but you still won't make friends if you don't actually talk to people. By the same token, you don't have to be involved with an organization to be social, and any time you talk to someone, you have a chance at making a lasting friend. You can talk to anybody: the clerk at the video store, the person sitting next to you on the bus, or the person in front of you in the lunch line. Don't be too picky. Most conversations will be a dead-end of sorts, when you may never talk to that person again, or you just remain acquaintances-but once in a while you'll actually make a friend.

Make eye contact and smile.

If you have an unfriendly countenance, people are less likely to be receptive to your friendship. Try not squinting (get some glasses), looking bored, frowning or appearing blankly deadpan, folding your arms (this practically screams "don't talk to me") or hanging out in a corner; such habits may make you look troubled or disinterested.

Start a conversation.

There are many ways to do this; a comment about your immediate environment (The weather is a classic: "At least it's not raining like last week!"), a request for help ("Can you help me carry a few boxes, if you have a minute?" or "Can you help me decide which one of these is a better gift for my mom?") or a compliment ("That's a nice car." or "I love your shoes."). Follow up immediately with a related question: Do you like this warm weather? What kinds of gifts do you normally buy for your mom? Where did you get shoes like that?

Make small talk.

Keep the conversation light and cheery. Even if you're complaining about something, make sure it's something you're both dissatisfied with, and emphasize the positive—how such a situation can be avoided in the future, or alternatives. Bounce a few words back and forth for a little bit. Many conversationalists say that it is good to follow a 30/70 (30% talking, 70% listening) pattern during small talk when possible.

Initiate a get-together.

You can chat your heart out but it won't get you a friend if you don't open up the opportunity for another conversation or meeting. This is especially important if you meet someone who you aren't otherwise likely to meet again. Seize the day!

Be loyal to a friend.

You've probably heard of fair-weather friends. They're the ones who are happy to be around you when things are going well, but are nowhere to be found when you really need them. Part of being a friend is being prepared to make sacrifices of your time and energy in order to help out your friends. If a friend needs help with an unpleasant chore, or if he or she just needs a shoulder to cry on, be there. If your friends make a joke, laugh with them. Never complain about a friend.

Be a good friend.

Once you've started spending time with potential friends, remember to do your part (e.g. initiating some of the activities, remembering birthdays, asking how the other person is feeling) or else the friendship will become unbalanced and an uneasiness or distance is likely to arise.

Be reliable.

If you and your friend agree to meet somewhere, don't be late, and do not stand them up. If you're not going to make it on time or make it at all, call them as soon as you realize it. Apologise and ask to reschedule. Don't make them wait for you unexpectedly; it's rude, and it is certainly not a good way to launch a potential friendship. When you say you'll do something, do it. Be someone that people know that they can count on.

Be trustworthy.

One of the best things about having a friend is that you have someone to whom you can talk about anything, even secrets that you hide from the rest of the world. The key to being a good confidante is the ability to keep secrets, so it's no secret that you shouldn't tell other people things that were told to you in confidence. Keep in mind that recent studies show that people rarely keep secrets. Before people even feel comfortable opening up to you, however, you need to build trust.

Choose your friends wisely.

As you befriend more people, you may find that some are easier to get along with than others. While you always give people the benefit of the doubt, sometimes you realize that certain friendships are unhealthy, such as if a person is obsessively needy or controlling towards you, constantly critical, or introducing dangers or threats into your life. If this is the case, ease your way out of the friendship as gracefully as possible. Cherish those friends you make who are a positive influence in your life, and do your best to be a positive influence in theirs.

Encourage your friend.

A very good friend encourages his/her friend. He/she will remain with him/her in both good as well as bad times. Never ever make fun or laugh at your friend in front of others. If someone is making fun of him/her a good friend will come to save or support his/her friend.

Be confident.

Many people are not very confident. They are reserved, timid and afraid to start a conversation. Make the effort and start talking no matter how uncomfortable it feels.

Keep in Contact.

Many people often times lose contact with their friends because they're either too busy, or just don't value their friends enough. When you lose connection with a friend, the friendship may fizzle out, and when you do try to contact them again, it's hard to re-fire the friendship.