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For elementary school children creating new friendships comes easily. As we age we lose this ability and the process seems to become increasingly difficult. What is it about kids that they can create a friendship in little over a recess period?
Perhaps it’s due to simpler times, fewer worries, and fewer factors that hinder the friendship making process. Maybe it’s because kids are naive and too trusting and as we mature we lose the trust and making friends becomes a challenge. Perhaps all of that is true. I have a different theory, however. We forget as adults the basic principles of creating friendships. How to make a friend as a child is no different fundamentally than making a friend as an adult. We simply over-complicate it. Using “elementary” methods (pun intended), I’ll shed light on some easy ways to score a new BFF.
They say the best way to someone’s heart is through the stomach and I couldn’t agree more. If you share your snacks with a coworker or acquaintance, you have a great ice breaker and you win some brownie points (pun shamelessly intended.) Humans socialized over food since the dawn of humanity. In every culture food plays in important role in gatherings, celebrations, and acts of love/kinship.
The very first friend I made in elementary school liked me because I complimented her name. Kids and adults alike seek affirmation. There’s nothing wrong with wanting compliments and also sharing them so long as we don’t base entire relationships on flattery alone. A healthy dose of flattery can go a long way. We know kids are honest, painfully so sometimes. So a compliment from them holds some weight. Find something you like about someone and let them know. You’ll be one step closer to a BFF once you do.
Being in the vicinity
Proximity is a major key in any relationship. We used to become friends with the kids around our desk in school. And why not? It’s convenient. You can easily chat. You’ll likely stand near each other in the lunch line. Humans are notoriously lazy. We don’t like to maintain relationships if they take more energy than they are worth. Desk mates as adults can make for decent friends on occasion. Of course lots of other factors come into play, but if they aren’t unbearable, they could be your next office pal. So next time you have a moment at work, or your at a workout class, or some other activity involving people, take a moment to say hi.
No better way to become someone’s friend then to invite them on a play-date. For adults that just means replacing the fruit snacks and cookies with wine and tapas– or maybe keeping all four. If you have someone in mind whom you’d like to strike up a friendship, invite them out for coffee or lunch. Consider hosting a game night at your place and invite a slew of potential buddies. Or if you’re more wild, invite some acquaintances out to the local bar of club. Don’t forget to designate a DD or find public transport home.
Surely you saw this coming. Just be yourself and the right people will like you for who you are. Unless you’re a total dick– but even total dicks usually have at least a friend or two.