It’s hard to make friends. Especially when you’re socially awkward like me. Have you ever wondered how to make friends? And how come some people are better at this than you? Is there a secret to making friends or something?
–Yes. there’s a tested and proven secret that you didn’t know about. Lurking in the dark. And today, I’m going to share that secret with you…
But first, let’s get some background:
I used to be alone–A lot.
Instead of joining other constellation of stars, I chose to be alone, shining brightly in the night. But no matter how bright I shine, I could never be the moon. There will always be darkness, pulling me down from the place that I belong.
I envy the friendships and gathering of stars around me. Each of them is small, unique, and imperfect. But when combined, all of them become the brightest stars in the universe.
So I decided. This year, for sure, I will make some friends. A genuine circle of friends that will help me navigate through life.
And I Succeeded
I had great success and made everyone in school as my friend. Of course, because I take the time to learn and become a great listener. I spend a lot of time to get to know and deepen my relationship with others. So it’s only natural that I made a lot of friends…
…And yet, it feels hollow…
Like there’s a hole, a gap, a void in my heart that could never be filled no matter how many friends I made or how much I tried.
It feels like…
I have no friends at all
The relationship I had with them is fake. It’s filled with falsehood and cloaked with muddy secrets. As if none of us could trust each other — None of us trust enough of the other to share the deepest secrets that we have.
I listened to the problems and stories they had, the desire and regrets they had, remember the things that they love and hate. I even tried to be funny and laugh at their jokes. So why? Why did it feel hollow inside?
And I realized the BIG problem:
I was selfless
I only did what’s best for them and listened to their story without sharing my own. Without sharing the secrets and struggles I hold dear. And without telling the story that lived inside of me.
This might seem counter-intuitive. But you can’t make friends without being selfish, without being true to yourself and to people around you. Why? Because:
You can’t expect genuine friendship to form if communication only goes one way.
I started being selfish, shared what I love, hate, and desire in the world. I shared everything about me–and listened to their own…
…And the results are baffling.
I stopped being popular. Some people realized how crazy I am and stay away from me. But most of them are closer than ever before! And that’s great! It’s like they’re glued to me and I’m glued to them. We know each other’s darkness and accept them with open arms. And let me tell you something:
It’s the best feeling in the world
Sure, I lost some friends. They thought I had changed and all. While in reality, I’m just being true to myself. And if I lose some friends because of that, then those friendships are fake anyway. It’s not worth it.
Now that I know how great it feels to have genuine friends. I would never trade one of them for hundreds and thousands of fakers–not even millions…
…And here’s how I did it…
Let me explain:
How to Make Friends:
- Make Friends with Yourself; You can’t make a good friend if you don’t accept who you are. So make peace with him. Take your time and Get to know yourself. Find out the brightest–and darkest–truth about you, and love yourself for what you really are.
- Be Vulnerable; Don’t be afraid to tell your secrets. We are imperfect creatures. Each of us has their own quirks and darkness, and telling them makes us vulnerable. But if you become the first one to share that secret, most of them will open up to you. Because they see that you trust them, and so they’ll start to trust you too.
- Listen and Engage; Yup. It’s not enough to listen. People want to be acknowledged, to be accepted and understood. That’s why we should engage. If you can engage with the stories they told and show that you understand them, then they will like you even more than ever. Awesome!
- Contact Regularly; Relationship is like gardening. You need to come back and tend to the plants a lot. Especially in the beginning. So make sure to meet up–or chat–with your friends regularly. Don’t leave the plants alone for too long (14 days) or else it will turn yellow and dead.
- Do a Project Together; Do something fun with them. Make goals, share the task and work together to finish it. It doesn’t have to be grand. Just make sure that it’s challenging enough for both of you. We love challenges. And we love it even more if we do it with a friend! Great!
That’s exactly how I make friends. And it works wonders! (I know it’ll work wonders for you too)
If there’s only one thing you get from this “how to make friends” article, make sure it’s this:
Be True To Yourself
Be vulnerable and express yourself to the world. Expect others to do the same and listen to each other. Grow trusts by tending to the plants. And accept them for what they are.
There will always be light at the end of the tunnel. Even in the deepest of darkness that each person has. So, find the good in them. Find a common ground for both of you. And finally, go up and shine brightly with the stars–Piercing through the darkest of the night– and bring hopes to the lives of others.