I met my best friend 3 years ago at a support group for who suffered from anxiety. Everyone there was pretty solemn and the tone there was generally very serious. Despite that, I couldn’t help but make poke fun at my own anxiety and the quirky behaviors that it created. Out of everyone in the room, she was the only one who laughed at my jokes. And thus, a beautiful friendship was born.
Forming a friendship so easily was something very new to me. Growing up, I was never the best at making friends, so meeting this girl made me start to question some things about relationships. I wanted to understand how we attract and keep new friends.
It may come as no surprise to you that some of the closest bonds are formed between people who interact frequently. For example, you’re more likely to become friends with someone that you see at the gym or who lives on the same floor as you. If you run in the same circles as someone, it makes sense why you’d be more likely to become friends with them. After all, starting a relationship with someone you may only run into once a year is nearly impossible.
Yet, proximity isn’t the only factor that determines whether you’ll become friends or not. You may go to the same yoga class as someone, but if you’re not compatible, you just won’t get along. It is likely, however, if that person likes the same movies as you or laughs at your jokes. If you have similar interests, it will be far easier for you to start a conversation with them.
Along with that, self-disclosure is also an important aspect of forming bonds with new people. The first conversation that you and someone else has is often the most important. Without it, you and that person won’t be communicating and connecting. Therefore, you can sow the seeds of a new friendship by simply initiating a conversation.
Only Some Friends Stick
It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll find someone who’s never lost a friend. Of all the friends that we make, not all of them are going to stick around. If we’re lucky, a few of them will, but only a few.
The truth is that we need friends who respond to us the way that we’d like them to. When we take that first step of self-disclosure, we want them to say the right things back. It may sound narcissistic, but we connect with people based on how they make us feel. So, if someone constantly has a negative opinion on what you do, who you date, and what you say, the friendship won’t last long.
Holding Onto Friendship
As we get older, our sense of what makes a good friend doesn’t change. However, our ability to maintain them does. A lot happens when you’re an adult – you graduate, change jobs, get married, start a family. All of that can get in the way of your friendships if you’re not careful.
Because of that, it’s important to cultivate your friendships. Make plans to see the people that you care about as often as possible. What you do together doesn’t matter as long as you’re together and having fun. In cases where you can’t see each other, such as a long-distance friendship, then keep in contact. Sometimes just messaging each other every now and again is enough to stay connected.
Creating and maintaining friendship may seem like a complicated endeavor. However, once we take a deeper look at it, we can see that it’s not really as complicated as we thought. The art of attracting people only takes a few simple steps. Likewise, keeping those people close is just a matter of staying in touch.
Share this article with your friends and family to show them how friends are made and kept.