If you’re like me, your life revolves around people. I’m almost always concerned about how many people enjoy my company or how many friends I have. I wish I could say that I’m ok with just having a few friends, but that’s just not the case. I want to be friends with everyone. And more than that, I want deep friendships with everyone. That, I know, is impossible, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to make it happen.
Maybe you’re in a stage of life where you’re feeling lonely, or maybe you just want to improve your friendship skills. Either way, here are a few of my tips on making quality friends.
1. Take the first step.
“If we were intentional with others, in the way we engage them, then we would start to see real change. Instead, we hope that others would step forward first. That’s not going to happen, we have forgotten what it means to love others well. We have to be prepared to step outside what is safe to us, we have to be willing to go across personal borders so that we may show others that love takes the first step and then runs full sprint. We don’t get to sit when we are called to engage without hesitation, we don’t get to stay behind when the war is across the world. We must act first, or we will disappear in the void of our own doing.” – T.B. LaBerge
Being approachable is a great thing, but being able to approach someone else is even better. To make quality friends, you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and act first.
2. Pay attention to them.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie
This is a big deal. Learn to ask questions. It can be anything from “What’s your favorite color?” to “What’s it like being in your family?” From “What’s the best movie of all time?” to “If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?” Just ask questions. Talk about them!
3. Be generous with your time.
I’m in college. I don’t have time. I don’t have time for anything, but when a friend calls me and says they need someone to listen, I’m there. I drop everything I can, and I’m there for them. And I’m confident that they would do the same for me. Obviously there are certain things that can’t be dropped, but just be willing to make life a little less convenient to help a friend.
4. Be the type of friend that you need.
If you want someone who listens well, practice listening well. If you want someone to be real and vulnerable with you, be real with them. If you want a friend who will share their snacks with you, share yours with them. Friendship is not just about you or what you can gain from someone else. Being a friend is loving another person, serving another person, being there for another person.
This semester, it has become very obvious that I have been blessed with the best friends in the universe. They are all so supportive and wonderful. Anytime I have a bad day, they’re there for me. They give the best hugs, they make me laugh all the time, and they let me be me. They’re incredible. And if any of those pals of mine are reading this, hi I love you, you’re the best.
words by Lucy Boyland and photo by Kiana Dundore