A Practical Guide to Making Friends (for introverts and ambiverts and other awkward potatoes)

BRIEF OUTLINE:

  1. stalk someone
  2. intentionally talk to them and sit by them
  3. continue to intentionally talk to them and sit by them every time you see them
  4. start hanging out outside of where you normally see each other
  5. ta-da, you have a friend 

Awkward_Potato_bold_TM_grande


  1. Stalk someone

It sounds illegal, but trust me, it’s not.  Find someone who seems nice and friendly and who might have similar interests to you.  This person should preferably be one who you see often, say, once a week or so at a club.  Once you decide you want to become friends with someone, don’t waver.  Do it.

2.  Intentionally talk to them and sit by them

Don’t just sit by yourself.  That won’t do either of you any good.  Go up to your subject, introduce yourself (if necessary) and say, “Mind if I sit here?”  Make small talk (general comments about the room, the event, the other people, etc.  Avoid weather and politics). If you can make them laugh, or they can make you laugh, bonus points—you’re a good match.  Keep in mind that your subject may be shy.  That’s ok.  Many of the best people are.  It’s up to you to initiate the conversation if that’s the case.  It doesn’t have to be long; just something so you stick in their mind as someone friendly.

3.  Continue to intentionally talk to them and sit by them every time you see them

This one’s important.  You can hit it off with someone and have one great conversation, but then the relationship will fade.  Friendships are like tropical fish; you have to care for them or they’ll die.  This shows the other person that you genuinely like them and want to be around them.  (Hopefully, you do!  If not, if the person’s not “all they’re cracked up to be,” ditch them and start stalking someone else.)

4.  Start hanging out outside of where you normally see each other

This is a big step in a friendship.  It means you don’t just like hanging out with the person when you’re at, say, youth group or dance class.  You want to be around them more often.  Shopping together, long phone calls, helping with homework, starbucks trips, sleepovers, etc. are all examples.

5.  Ta-da, you have a friend

Hopefully this friend is not only someone you can laugh at, but also someone you love to be around and can speak your mind to.  You know each other’s darkest secrets, most embarrassing moments, and celebrity crushes.

bonus tips

Found a group or a couple of people you want to hang out with?  The steps are the same.  Acting extroverted and being funny are big pluses.  Groups are fun because even if you don’t like one of the people, there’s always someone else to fall back on.  Maybe you two could start a great friendship alone, outside of the clique.  Remember, if the group of people are dangerous, doing illegal stuff, or being harmfully stupid, stay away.  Stalk someone else and try again.

friendship-quotes


While this selection is written tongue-in-cheek, the advice is actually sound.  It’s how I, a painfully ambiverted human, made several amazing friends.  You may laugh, but when you’re sitting alone surrounded by other people with social lives, you’ll thank me.

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