“Friends are the family we choose” is a quote that rings true. Having friends is vital for our health and happiness, and living in a social environment helps us feel supported and connected. However, making friends as an adult can be difficult. We may have missed out on forming relationships as children, or some of us may have been socially awkward or shy. The good news is that there are ways to learn how to make and maintain friendships. So, let’s look at some ideas for learning how to make and keep friends.

What Is Friendship

When people connect with mutual affection, a friendship is formed. This relationship is a stronger interpersonal bond towards an associate or acquaintance, such as a coworker, colleague, classmate, or neighbour.

How to Make New Friends

One of the hardest things about moving to a new area is making new friends. When you go to a new neighbourhood, church, or school, you often feel like an outsider. But, making friends doesn’t have to be an impossible task.

Tips on How to Start a Friendship

Friendships are the backbone of our social life, so building good, solid, lasting friendships are always important. 

  1. Be open (and honest). Friendships are built on the basis of trust, honesty, and respect. Friendships are the ties that bind, so it’s important to make an effort.
  2. Give more than you expect to receive. We need to make a conscious effort to nurture our friendships to keep them strong. Sometimes it’s as simple as giving more than you expect to receive, and other times it’s a little more challenging.
  3. Be supportive. If someone needs emotional support, a shoulder to lean on, a listening ear, or a helping hand, you need to make sure to be there for them. That means offering encouragement when you’re feeling down, lending an ear when they’re struggling, or being their shoulder to cry on.
  4. Be genuine. If you want to start a friendship, you’ll need to invest time and effort into the other person, and do more than just give them something—you’ll need to give them a gift. And it’s not only about how generous you are, it’s about the thoughtfulness behind it. Remember, sometimes the best gift you can give is the gift of your time.
  5. Intention is your most important virtue, said Aristotle. “Intention is the beginning of everything.” He asked, “What, therefore, is the beginning of a friendship?” He answered, “Intention.” Intention is the most important factor in any friendship.
  6. Be yourself. All you need to do is be genuine, honest, and open to making new friends; for friends can come from anywhere.
  7. Be flexible. When you meet someone, don’t worry about having a common topic of interest. When friends come together, they usually end up talking about the same thing. But don’t worry! When you meet someone with a totally different interest, just keep the conversation going by asking lots of questions.
  8. Be considerate. What does it take to make a friendship? Being respectful and considerate of others goes a long way. It’s not always easy to start or maintain a friendship, but these tips will help you be better at it.
  9. Be kind. Being kind is a great way to start. People appreciate kindness more than they realize.
  10. Be humble. Don’t expect people to like you immediately. Be nice, but don’t overdo it. Also, be humble. No one wants to be around a know-it-all. Be polite, but honest. Don’t monopolize conversations. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Be friendly, but don’t bombard people with invitations.

Friendship is important; friends tend to always be there for each other. They will help you through good times and bad, but at some point, in life, everyone says, “I need my space.” Just like in any relationship, it’s important to do things that strengthen your bond, but there are times when your friend needs space, and that’s okay.

No matter how well you know each other, starting a friendship is never easy. There’s an obvious fear of rejection because you don’t know each other. However, there are ways to help ease into any relationship and come out of it a stronger person.

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