Why Making Friends Can Be Counter-Intuitive, And What To Do About It
By guest author Paul Sanders
Making friends sounds simple; you just meet new people, stay in touch, meet them again, and if you like them, keep seeing them. But in reality, when you want to do it, lots of emotions come up, it feels like you’re about to jump off a cliff. Your brain starts to think of scenarios of rejection and humiliation.
This article is about to show you why it feels like you need courage, and guts, to meet other people and try to make friends… and what to do about it.
When Making Friends, You’re Revealing Who You Really Are
With family and work, you can fake being someone else; you can show a politically correct version of yourself. It sure drains your energy, but it’s effective, as you know that some family members will never understand you, and that at work it’s better to stay professional.
In friendship, you can’t keep your social persona, as the whole concept of being friends is based on showing who you really are. People always held a special place for their friends… they’re never who they really are, completely spontaneous, until they meet their friends. If you had to fake being someone with someone, then that’s not friendship.
You’re kind of obligated to put yourself on the line, and that makes you scared of being judged for who you are, what you do, or how you think.
Fortunately for you, the way friendship works is that you don’t have to reveal everything about yourself that quickly. You can reveal more and more about yourself as you start to trust the person. To get yourself ready to be safely open to make friends, get ready to reveal just a tiny bit more than usual.
To get started, reveal only 5% more about yourself than usual.
Making Friends Requires That You Trust Your Good Judgment
Making friends as an adult is about choosing the right people for you, and deciding not to be involved with others. It’s not like in school where you didn’t get to choose who sits next to you or who gets to be in your class, or neighborhood.
This means you’ll give yourself the permission to pick and choose. Most people don’t give themselves the permission to decide who gets access to their life and who stays out. So, if you need someone to give you permission to do that, then fine, here: I give you permission to pick and choose whom to hang out with.
You’re taking responsibility for your success and happiness, things are hard enough, and you at least deserve to choose who you surround yourself with.
Making Friends Means That You’re Worthy Of People’s Time
When you think of meeting people, it’s easy to fall in the traps of thinking things like: “Will they find me interesting enough? Will they get bored with me?”
Well, for example, if you’re thinking about making friends with people who spend their time talking about gossip, viral YouTube videos, and celebrities, while you spend your time thinking about yoga, achievement, goals, and success… there might be a disconnect.
First, yes you are worthy of people’s time! But you’re not for everyone! You’re not a generic product. Some kind of crowd will love you, and others will get bored with you.
The mistake is to think that “if one person doesn’t want to spend time with me… I’m worthless!” That’s not realistic at all.
Example: Imagine a man and a woman on a date; the woman talks about her plans to spend the next five years travelling the world, while the man shares his desire to start a family and succeed at his current, local job. If the girl gets disinterested in that man, does it mean that he’s worthless? Of course not! He might be a great guy, just not for her.
Again, some people will love to spend their time with you, all you have to do is find them and connect with them. And the more commonalities you have with them, the easier it is to build a friendship.
Making Friends Means You’ll Risk Social Rejection
Here, the most important thing to do is to avoid taking normal social behavior as social rejection. Once you pay more attention and read the signs that people are sending you, you’ll realize how rare social rejection is, in reality.
Anyone can fall in this trap, even popular and important people face this every day. This is because there always going to be people who don’t have the time to talk to you, don’t feel like making new friends, or just forget to give you a call.
Don’t be hard on yourself by interpreting all that as a hint that there is maybe something wrong with you. Your best bet is to focus on learning how to make friends, and, with a little practice, social rejection will no longer be a problem for you.
Is making friends hard for you? Do you fear social rejection? Can you see how these tips could help? Share your experience with us in the comments section.
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P.S. Developing your intuition helps you discern who to make friends with. Click here!
Paul Sanders is the founder of Get The Friends You Want, his methodology helps you overcome shyness and loneliness, have the critical social skills you need, make friends, and build your social circle. Start here: Free Social Skills Newsletter
- Author Fran Kramer Says ‘Intuition: It’s Elementary My Dear…’ (prweb.com)
- The Intuition Principle Guided Meditations (poweredbyIntuition.com)
- Intuition, Destiny and the Call to Return Home (poweredbyintuition.com)