Smile!

“A friend is a gift you give yourself,” – Stevenson

I wrote this list to help myself, and was surprised when other people really enjoyed it, thought it was helpful, and used it to improve their friendships.

If you find it useful, bookmarking it or saving a copy might be a good idea.

And if you especially like it, consider doing me a favor. (Vote for this article on Digg, link to it, leave a comment, and so on)

1) Listen to people!

2) Then ask about what they just said.

3) And make sure to remember their name!

Once you’ve got that:

4) Follow up afterwards

This is extremely, extremely important.  When you meet someone you like, follow up! Send an email, or a quick call or a whatever. Invite them to spend more time with you.

An interesting way to make it easier for your potential friend to hang out with you is to offer them two options when you initially contact them, like getting drinks or catching coffee.

If you don’t try to make friends, then you probably won’t.

5) Be excited to see people

Train yourself to be excited to meet people.

6) Treat everyone the same

To make the previous suggestion happen, think of everyone as being a close, dear friend whom you’re excited to see. Not easy to do, but it will change how you deal with people for the better and make you that much more likeable.

7) Get involved with clubs

Like dancing?  Cooking?  Whatever it is – find a relevant club, and get involved.

8) Get involved with your religious community

9) Visit someone when they’re sick

When someone is sick, they need our help most of all. Be considerate and caring; make them some chicken soup or a get well card. The effort means a lot.

10) Focus on safe topics

When you just met someone, don’t talk politics!

11) Don’t be afraid to ask about something more personal, but be gentle and careful

Some of the best conversations are about the thorniest issues.  Discussing religion, for instance, often gives me a whole new perspective and insights – but I have to be very careful not to be too strong with my own view.

12) Take ’em into your element

What kind of environment or activity do you shine in? Are you an avid mushroom picker, or love to take long walks? Invite friends to join you!

13) Be that guy who starts conversations

You know the guy I’m talking about. The one who starts talking to a complete stranger like they’ve known each other for years. Be that guy! Talk to people about what they’re doing if it’s reasonable to do so.

14) Always greet people

If you can say “Hello” to someone do so, like your neighbors. Even if you never become friends, it’s a great habit to have.

15) He’s always right

When you have a fight or misunderstanding with someone, they’re always right. In their mind that is.

And they have good reasons – or just plain old bad reasons – for thinking so. How come?

16) Take culture into account

Different cultures have different ways of relating and expressing themselves. For Americans, a certain form of honesty is essential, and making eye contact. Other cultures have more emphasis on group support, and being more polite.

These differences can have a big impact on what expectations you have for a social interaction.

17) What do they like?

What do your friends like to do? What makes them happy? Make it your business to know.

18) Lose arguments

If you have a fight and you’re right, great. But don’t jeopardize a meaningful relationship over something small.

19) Don’t appease a friend in a moment of anger

If someone is angry, they might not be thinking rationally. Wait. Even if you want to talk to them right now, it’s best to wait until you’re both calmer and more capable of dealing with it.

20) Notice tadpole sales

Does a friend of yours love tadpoles? Then notice that coupon for free tadpole in the newspaper! Making the effort to notice opportunities and things that’ll benefit those you know, means that people will do the same for you.

21) Defend your friend’s honor

Don’t let people badmouth your friends.

22) If he gossips to you

he’ll gossip about you. This Turkish saying is very true.

23) Don’t be efficient with people

Don’t try to rush your interactions with people.

24) Treat your promises seriously

If you tell your friend you’re going to do something, do it.  This is essential to build credibility and be a consistent person.

25) Be yourself!

Ultimately, people like you for you.  Forget about being artificial, about coming off the right way – just be yourself!

  • “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Bonnie Wasmund

26) Try sites like meetup.com

Some social networking sites offer free chances to meet new people.  And its not as sketchy as you think because you meet in public settings.

27) Take a class

Educational settings are a great way to meet interesting and smart people – like yourself.

28) Learn a new language

This will add millions of potential friends to your life

29) Remember birthdays

30) Be friends with your family

Your family aren’t necessarily your friends – but they can be, and perhaps should be.

31) Read about friendship

Inspirational stories give you perspective and motivate you to be a better person

32) Refer your friends professionally

If your friend is a graphic designer, and someone you know needs one, why not make the connection?  Both sides will thank you!

33) Ask people about what they care about

34) Be positive

Bring a good energy to your friendships.

35) Don’t judge

If someone opens up to you, be respectful.  It probably wasn’t easy.

36) Test the water

Before telling someone a deep secret, make sure you can trust them.  Some people just can’t keep secrets.  Try giving a lesser but still juicy secret, and seeing if other people somehow find out about it.

37) Be nice!

Just find ways to be nice to your friends.  If you cook something, share it!  And so on.

38) Use facebook

Take advantage of facebook’s social features.  It tells you your friends birthdays, for instance, and can help organize and tell you about events.

39) Join online communities

Your favorite hobby probably has an online community based on it that you can become a part of.

40) Join a support group

41) Make a chore a group activity

Painting the house?  Cleaning the garage?  Become chore-buddies with someone!  This is great because there’s less pressure to talk and a focus on completing a task, which can create good feelings.  Plus it just makes the chore fun.

43) Conferences

Go to professional conferences in your field!  You’ll meet interesting like-minded people.

44) Make friends at work

45) Join a gym

and take classes. You’ll meet some cool new people!

46) Join a book group

47) Help friends at the airport

Traveling through airports is very stressful.  Take the time to see a friend off and help with baggage and so on; they’ll never forget it.

48) Be ready to help

Sometimes people ask for help at random times.  Notice what your friend isn’t saying.

49) Expand your friendship network

Make friends with your friends’ friends.  Rinse, and repeat.

50) Join a sports team!

  • “Like wine, a good friendship only improves with age.” – Turkish saying

You might like:

  1. 50 More Ways to Make Friends
  2. 24 Way to Improve your life
  3. The Ten Worst Diseases Ever
  4. Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine

If this post was useful to you, I’m happy.

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