How To Make Friends
By Leo Gura - May 27, 2014 | 11 Comments
The 4 biggest sticking-points that keep you from having great friends.
Hey, this is Leo from Actualized.org, and in this video I’m going to talk about how to make friends.
Let’s talk about how to make friends. In this video, I want to talk about some of the problems that you might have if you’re lacking in friends, if you feel like you need more friends, or if you feel like you want more from your friends. Maybe you want to get more out of your friendships than you’re currently getting.
To do that, there’s actually some deeper insights you need to have about how friendship works, what it is and how you can go about improving the quality of your friendships, and also the quantity. We’ll take a look at all those.
Some of these things are simple, but some of these ideas are also just things you haven’t thought about. So many people just take friendship for granted. They’ll say “Oh, friends. I get friends spontaneously. I just naturally get friends. If they come, then I have them. If they don’t, then I don’t.”
Actually, you can put some thought into how your friendships work, and if you do that, they’ll function much better. They’ll be much more satisfying. For most people, their friendships just function on autopilot. When that tends to happen, you don’t get the best results. In fact, you might get some bad problems.
Quality Over Quantity
In this video, we’re really going to talk about that and also how do you go out there and specifically start to make friends. Let’s talk about that. First of all, I think a very important idea that needs to be introduced right off the bat is the following: Quantity of friends, versus quality of friends.
A lot of people get hung up on this, and they’ll forget about quality completely, and they’ll just focus on quantity. They’ll be all about quantity, how many friends do you have. Probably the worst example of this is your Facebook friend count, or how many followers you have on Twitter, or something very shallow like that.
Your Facebook friends, those aren’t real friends. That’s bullshit. That’s not a friend. What I want to encourage you in this video is to start thinking a little bit deeper about your friendships. This means instead of focusing on the quantity, and trying to get more friends than everybody else you know — that’s a losing game, you don’t want to play that game.
Instead, I want you to really think about focusing on the quality of your friends. How deep are your friendships? The friends you’re friends with, how supportive are they really? How much do they really care about you as you, and not from what they want from you, trying to extract something from you?
How many of your friends are actually people that you meet up with on a continuous basis? How many of them are just people you shoot one text message to once a month? You don’t need dozens or even hundreds of friends. I think a lot of people get this wrong, they think that “Well, I need to have fifty friends, or a hundred friends.”
In reality, you can’t make use of those. You can’t make use of a hundred friends. You don’t have the time or the energy in the day to really extract all the benefit you can of a friendship, with a hundred friendships. It’s not going to work.
What you really want is to focus more on the quality and depth. If you get even two or three, or five really high quality, deep friendships going, with people who are really in line with your values, people that really support you, people that are really interested in what you’re interested, people you really vibe with, people that really push you and challenge you, that are willing to be open and authentic with you, people that you actually spend some time with face to face, not just through electronic means.
Those are going to be enough to really satisfy you. If you don’t have a lot of friends right now in your life, this is very encouraging. This doesn’t mean you have to go out there and befriend a hundred new people. That’s not necessary at all. What you’re looking for is just a couple, a handful or really high quality friends.
Time And Energy
That’s the first idea I wanted to introduce. The second idea is this idea hta friends require energy and time, to get the juice you want out of friendship. You have to invest in it. A lot of people just take friendships for granted. You have to ask yourself “How many friends do I really want? Not only how many do I want, but how many do I have time for? How much energy do I want to invest in each friendship that I have?”
If you only want to invest five minutes, then what can you expect to get back? All you can probably expect to get back is a Facebook wall post on your birthday. That’s it. What else can you expect? If you want to invest more time, if you’re willing to invest a couple hours a week into your friendship, then you can expect a lot more from it.
Ask yourself why do you need these friends? Do you need these friends just to look cool? Do you need these friends just to outfriend somebody else that’s in your social circle, just so you have a little more status, a little more prestige? Those are all silly and stupid reasons.
In the end, you want friends because friends give you deep companionship, you can have interesting conversations with them, there’s stuff they can help you with, you can help them with, you can learn from each other, you can push each other, you can grow together. That’s why you really want a friend.
If that’s the case, you’ve got to think “OK, that means I’ll probably have to put in a little more time into each friendship. That means I’m going to have fewer friendships. Then I’ll put more energy into them, but I’ll get even more out of them.”
This is actually really nice, because I think a lot of people unknowingly get very frantic and busy with their social life. They’re so busy because they have all these friends hitting them up, and all these activities they want to be doing, but then you’re not doing any of it, you’re just kind of hitting your friend up once a week or twice a week with a text message.
It’s a very shallow interaction. What happens is that you’re wasting a lot of time communicating, but you’re not really building anything long lasting or deep there. Instead of wasting so much time communicating, writing little stupid messages back and forth that mean nothing, why don’t you actually get one or two good friends, start meeting with them face to face, and start having richer interactions, actually doing interesting activities together, growing together.
Then you can not be so frantic with all this messaging that’s going back and forth. You can just focus on a couple of people. It’s much more sane. It’s a minimalist approach to friendship building. I think it’s better to focus on just a few.
Let’s talk about some of the problems. If you’re watching this, you don’t have very many friends. Maybe you don’t even have a single friend. You want to make some. How do you go about doing that? Let’s take a look at, first of all, why this is happening. Why do you not have any friends? How come you’re not able to create friendships?
Four Key Problems
I think there’s four key elements to why people have problems making friends, so let’s cover those, and then we’ll go into each point in depth. One is not socialising. You simply don’t go out. You don’t interact with people. You’re sitting at home, or you’re cooped up at work, or you’re doing something where you’re not out and about, and you can’t physically interact with anybody.
If you’re not physically coming into contact with people, of course you’re going to be very limited with how many friends you can have and make. It’s probably the biggest hurdle people have, when they don’t have friends.
Hurdle number two is the following: you don’t have the time and the energy. This goes back to what we were talking about earlier. How much time do you have for your friends? How much energy? If you’re working ten hours every day, and you’re really focused on your career, then how many friends can you expect to be able to have, to maintain?
How much energy are you willing to invest in the friendships? Or do you just expect the other friend will do all the work? Are you going to invest time and energy into setting up meet ups and coming up with activities, and rounding everyone together and being the leader ofthe group? If you’re not willing to do that, then be honest with yourself and say that you have more important priorities. Maybe you do.
There’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t necessarily need friends, but if you want the benefits of having a friend or a circle of friends, then you need to be cognisant of the investments that will be required, both time and energy-wise. If you don’t have the time but you do want the friends, then you have to ask yourself how can you make some time.
You have to start to reprioritise some things. Maybe you shouldn’t be working so much. Maybe you should cut out some of the TV you’re watching all the time. Maybe you should cut out some of your internet browsing time, or whatever you’re doing that’s wasting a lot of time in your life. I guarantee you’re doing stuff that’s totally useless and wasteful. Cut that stuff out and spend it with your friends.
Point number three is: you’re ruining opportunities. This means you are coming into contact with people. Maybe you even have friends in your life, but then you’re losing them. It’s like you’re actually doing something to repel people.The reason that is is because you’re ruining the opportunities for building lasting friendships.
Why is that happening? Ultimately, it boils down to the fact that you’re very judgemental. You’re too judgemental of people. For example, for me, I’ve never really had a problem with building friends on this point. I am introverted, and I tend to be in my own shell. I don’t socialise that much, I don’t go out that much when I’m really working and focused on something else.
In that sense, I won’t have a lot of friends because of those points, but I won’t have a problem with meeting someone new and clicking with them. That’s because I’m very open minded. I’m not judgemental about somebody when I meet them. When I meet somebody, I’m interested in that person and that person has something just going for him and I’m not going to judge him.
Like, “He’s wearing something stupid”, or “I don’t like his ideas”, or this, or that. If you’re very judgemental and picky, of course you’re going to be bumping into a lot of people, but then you’re going to be judging them so harshly that you’re not going to want to be friends with them.
Instead, what you’ve got to do if you’ve got this problem is open yourself up. There’s stuff you can learn from other people, and you don’t necessarily need to become that person. You can just be around that person, be a friend to that person. If you don’t mesh, value-wise, at all, then you probably won’t be good long term friends.
You won’t be growing together, but you’re still going to be a loose acquaintance with that person. Then if you do click, then you can really go deep. A lot of time, you don’t know who you click with until you spend a little bit of time with them, and see and really get to know them. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t be too judgemental with the kind of friends you keep.
Have all sorts of friends around you. Have friends of all sorts of different beliefs and different ideas. This will make you more open minded. This will expose you to all sorts of new influences.
The fourth point is the reason that people don’t’ have friends is because they’re very shy, and they’re very unconfident in social situations, even if they’re out and about. They’re just very shy, in their shells, or they are fake in their conversations.
If you fake all the time, or you’re so shy and scared to talk to people that you have trouble introducing yourself, or trouble opening up a conversation, or trouble introducing the conversation to topics you’re interested in — if you have trouble doing that, then of course it’s going to be hard for your to make friends.
You probably don’t have very many friends, because you need to take the initiative, especially in the beginning, when you’re trying to build a friendship, you have to be putting energy into it, and so does the other person.
You can’t expect the other person to do all the work for you. You have to share yourself too. You have to put yourself on the line. You have to take your own ideas and the things that you love about life, and you have to share those. The other person can’t read your mind. They don’t know what you’re into.
If you never talk about what you’re into, in a conversation, then they might not ever know about it, and then you miss an opportunity to click with them on anything. If you’re always very reserved, or you’re trying to be fake, and you’re trying to put on this fake facade when you’re around people, then of course that’s creating a problem too.
In the end, no one really wants to be friends with a fake person. What they really want to do is see the authentic you. Authenticity, that’s what’s attractive and magnetic. When you’re being fake, people usually see through that very quickly, and then they will not want to have anything to do with you. That’s something you want to work on, if you have that sticking point.
Those are the four points. Ask yourself where you’re really having trouble. I think that, for most people, they’re having trouble making friends, or have zero friends at all. It’s really because of point number one. They’re not actually going out and being around people. You need some ideas for how to do that.
Your life right now, it’s like this pattern, this habit of just going to work or going home, or doing stuff that’s very isolated and insulating. Instead, you want to open that up. That means you need to go join some new group. Join a club, join an organisation. Go hang out with the people that are at work.
Organise a work event where you’re going out after work and socialising in some way to a bar or club, or restaurant, or some sort of event you’re doing together. You’ve got to do that. Maybe join some sort of sports team, or sports league. You can go to Meetup.com, there’s tons of meetup groups you can — basically find a meetup group on any topic in the entire world that you want to, and join that.
Surround Yourself With People
You’ve got to do a little bit of research and figure out where you can place yourself, where you’re literally surrounded by more people. This is probably the biggest thing. If you do this, the other points will tend to autocorrect. This idea about being shy and fake — if you’re around a lot of people all the time, then this shy and fake thing will eventually dissolve.
Eventually, you’ll just break through it. You’ll bust out of your comfort zone if you’re around a lot of people. But if you’re never around a lot of people, then that’s never going to happen. You’re going to remain shy and fake. If you’re always judgemental about people, that too. If you’re always around people, then you’re not going to be able to maintain that judgemental attitude.
The reason you’re very judgemental is probably because you’re already very isolated and living in your own little bubble. Be around a lot of people, be around a lot of diverse people, and your judgement will also dissipate. Your mind will open up. People will open up your mind as you interact.
If you don’t have the time and the energy right now, that too might change after you go out and join one of these groups and start to socialise more. As you’re socialising, you’re seeing, a little difficult to describe, benefits you get from friends. A lot of the benefits you get from friends are very subtle and small.
Maybe a friend will just tell you about a book they read that they really liked. Or they’ll tell you about a new, cool restaurant that’s opening. Or they’ll invite you to go with them on some trip next weekend. Just simple, little things like that, that can lead to actually pretty extraordinary, profound changes in your life.
Maybe then you go to that restaurant and meet your dream spouse there. Maybe you go read that book they recommended, and that turns out to be a life changing book for you. Friends are nice because they open you up to all sorts of new ideas. This is why having diverse friends is important.
Don’t just be friends with people that are identical to you. You’re not getting that cross pollination that you’ll get when you’re interacting with people who are very different than you. I love having friends that are very different from me, I learn so much from them. To me, those are some of the most rewarding and interesting friends.
This is Leo. This is how to make friends. Go ahead and post me your comments down below. If you liked this video go ahead and click the like button right now, please. Share it if you like it, and you want it to spread. I’d love to spread this message. That’s why we release this content for free.
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