This will be submitted to the Invisibilia podcast as they’re thinking about this for an upcoming show and after 35 some odd years working on this, I think I’ve solved it.*
As someone who has a special interest in people (but not necessarily in making new friends) and who is also more content being alone than with others – at least for any extended period of time – what I’ve determined about making new friends is this:
- You will only be as successful in your mission as those around you are willing to partake in said mission
- You will benefit *immensely* by being clear about just how many and what type of friends is good for you – because really, if you’ve been on the planet long enough then you hopefully have, at the very least, determined enough about who you are to know what you really need to be happy….(pssst, it’s really just YOU)
- It helps if you actually make consistent efforts to spend time with the person you want to be friends with, if your attempts are met with responses you find defeating refer to point #1
- Keeping in mind that the variables of age, location, culture, gender, work, family, other friends, other hobbies, and a host of other factors you really have no control over will affect every burgeoning friendship BUT as long as there’s some interaction as a starting point with the candidate that your chances of moving to the next stage are increased tenfold – BE PATIENT
- Following on the heels of time, it’s perfectly fine to set a time frame of expectation for your conquests…again this comes back to being VERY CLEAR about what you want. Let’s face it, we don’t have *forever* to go around trying to make new friends!
- Be realistic about your goal for how many friends you want to make, maybe just start with one new friend and see how that goes.
- Be yourself – yes, I really have to say this because too often we can wear masks to attract others and this….is never good in the long run. So whether it’s your age, location, culture etc. BE HONEST. And if you really think you’re so boring/unfriendworthy/unattractive etc. because you don’t have as many friends as you’d like well then, refer to point #2 and figure out what it is about you that you’re not accepting or loving (it’ll likely be the same thing that all your non-friends are picking up on as well)
- Spread out, throw anything and everything against the proverbial walls to see what sticks, volunteer, use apps or heck, go knock on some of your neighbor’s doors. The point is, the more you widen your circles, the bigger your candidate pool is.
- Look at your current friendships, what’s up with those? Do they actually need nurturing to feel more present in your life – perhaps if they do then you really don’t need any new friends at all, merely, better connections with the ones you already have.
- Know that you always get to choose, just because you want some new friends that doesn’t mean the first willing person to come along should get the award. For more clarification refer to point #2
*Abbreviated – will update if I’m contacted for the story!