How to make new friends you really WANT to hang out with.

What kind of friendships do YOU WANT?

So let’s get real for a second… We’ve all had surface friendships in the past. The kind where we spend time together but don’t really connect. Where you talk about the weather, the game, the class, but never feel like it gets beyond that, never feel like you’re even really interested in what’s being discussed. These are surface connection friendships masquerading as deep friendships, and they don’t fill the void.

Ya..?  Ya.

Ok, so which would you choose: A surface connection with someone you kinda know and have a few things in common with, or a close friend who gets you accepts you, and loves doing what you love too?

No brainer, right!? So how do we build close friendships?
The secret? We get really clear on what we want in a friendship, and plan for it!

If you follow the steps below you’ll be able to spot the friends you really want, evolve surface friendships into close friendships, and be able to make new friends with lasting close friendship potential.

Let’s look at some characteristics of surface friendships*:


They don’t know much about me.

We always talk about the same thing (or not much at all).

We only spend time together out of convenience, circumstance, or location.. not because we’re really drawn to each other.

I feel awkward around them.

A lot of time is spent wondering if they really like me, or if I’m being judged or critiqued.

I never can just relax and instead feel like I need to be “on” or entertaining all the time, I can never just be myself.

Surface connection friendships don’t satisfy the friend need because they’re not based in any depth of connection. They’re like chips without the salt. Bland, not nourishing, and if you have too many you don’t feel great. These type of friendships are ok (and sometimes are the doorway to deeper friendships) but when we go deeper, we are richly rewarded because we begin to form real connections with people, beyond the surface.

By contrast, deeply satisfying friendships fill a much more profound human need for connection. We want friends to share our time with who ‘get us’, who ‘are into what we’re into’, who ‘I can feel normal around and not all caught in my head’, who ‘I can relax and have fun with’, ‘who I can be totally honest with and that’s ok’, friends we ‘love spending time with, laughing with, having fun with, and sharing the important moment in life with, including being with each other for good times and challenges’.

Let’s look at some of the characteristics of deeply satisfying friendships
(aka: close friendships):

Great company: I can’t wait to spend time together!
I feel accepted and like they genuinely like my company. It feels great doing things with my friend.

Mutual acceptance: They’re awesome & I feel awesome with them.

I don’t worry about what I say, or about impressing my friend, I just show up as I am. I like them as they are.

Common interests: You like that too!?
We share interests and values so we have lots to connect on. My friend contributes to my life, and I feel like I contribute to theirs too.

Honest communication: Thank you for listening.
I feel heard and like my friend really listens and cares. I’m genuinely interested in what they have to say.

Mutually supportive: I’ve got your back.
We’re there for each other. If my friend asks for help, I’m there for them just like I know they’re there for me. It feels so good to know that in good times and in challenges I’m not alone.

Space for expression: Telling it like I see it.

I feel like I can voice my opinion and even if we don’t agree, I know we’re always friends. I like hearing my friend’s opinion.

Time together & time apart: Space is cool too.
I think about my friend sometimes when we’re not together, but I know I’m ok without them too. They take their own space when they need it, but we can always call each other.

Support to succeed: You can do it!
I have goals and dreams in life. I can share these with my friend and know they support me in what’s important to me. I check in on the things that are important to them too, and offer support where I can. I love knowing that there’s someone who really gets what I’m passionate about and believes in me.

So let’s look at the stages of friendship to see how we can move from stranger to close friends (without getting stuck in surface friendships)…

Stages of Friendship:

Stage 0: Stranger (No contact yet)

Stage 1: Introduction phase (Establishing an initial contact)

Stage 2: Conversation starter phase (Opening a dialogue)

Stage 3: Getting to know you phase (Keeping conversations going while finding out about the other person and sharing about yourself. This is usually over several meetings.)

Depending upon both compatibility AND conversation skills you’ll end up with either…

=

Stage 4: Surface friendship

or

Stage 5: Close friendship

Whether you end up in a surface friendship or a deep satisfying close friendship comes from two things:


1. Natural friend compatibility (do we like the same things)

2. Your conversation & social skills. (How to navigate the “getting to know you process”)

Luckily, you can maximize the odds at meeting naturally compatible friends, AND learn the conversation skills needed so you can go from stranger to close friend with those people you’re naturally compatible with, creating deeply satisfying friendships. 

*It’s important to note that some percentage of the people you meet will stay in the surface friendship stage and just won’t ever become close friends… this is because you just don’t share that much in common. That’s ok and are great to have too, just as long as they’re not replacing close friends.

How do we form close friendships?

Here are the three steps to form close friendships:


Step 1.
Get clear on what’s important to you in a friend.


Step 2.
Find people who align with what you’re interested in in close friendships.


Step 3.
Master the art of conversation skills and moving a friendship through the stages so you can form close friendships with the people who you meet who are naturally compatible with you.

For more support in mastering conversation skills visit www.FindSocialFreedom.com; enter your email to get your free communication course that will help you learn how to make new friends.

Your friend,

David

Comments are closed.