As youngsters, we were all taught the tremendous value of friendship. In grade school, our friends were loyal playmates. In junior high and high school, playmates became confidants. Today, they have become our foundation of emotional support. They have shaped our identities, influenced our behavior, and swayed our beliefs.
We care deeply about our friends because they have been there by our side through thick and thin. They laughed and celebrated with us through our highs, and they encouraged and supported us through our lows.
Friendships have such huge significance in our lives; yet, I often see people being very passive at making new friends. It’s quite shocking, really. Most leave their friendships (and relationships) entirely to chance.
How We Find Friends
Many people naturally grow close to those who are physically the closest. Typically, this translates to relationships with coworkers, classmates, or housemates i.e. those people we see most often. How convenient. Unfortunately, this immediacy becomes the only source of friendships.
There is nothing inherently bad with the comfort that comes with befriending those around you. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t be create new relationships with your coworkers or classmates; however, like any comfort zone, it can–and will–greatly limit you.
Good friendships are critical to our personal happiness and growth. Being passive is not the answer.
Don’t Settle on Finding Friends; Make Friends.
If you meet someone you like, take the initiative to. Maybe it’s their magnetic personality and great sense of humor; maybe you’ve watched them inspire others and want someone like that in your life. Perhaps you’d like to do or create something interesting with this person.
Whatever your reason may be, make a conscious effort to engage them. This isn’t necessarily networking or leveraging contacts. And it’s certainly not about finding new opportunities. In fact, it’s the opposite. This is you being a little kid again and saying “Hey, let’s be friends.”
Fortune Favors the Bold
Take the initiative and make an effort to be friends with new people you meet randomly. It’s time to stop relying on daily contact. The difference seems small, but the results of which are exponentially different. Now, get out there. You’re not only going to be feeling happier, but also more socially fulfilled.
…and if you’re looking for a new friend, connect with me on Twitter. See you next time.