Written by Parth Agarwal
Flashback: I was never the cool dude of the class. In fact, I was one of the most introverted and not-so-friendly types. I didn’t know how to make a friend? My story begins, during school most of the time I was in a leadership position. Starting from primary I was the class monitor. It might be a good thing for others but very painful for me. Why? Being a class monitor means you have to complain about your friends, so who would want to befriend you.
I was a normal student. I used to look at people I wanted to be friends with but could not never speak to them. I also want to be a person who can connect with people and make friends. I also liked girls, whom I wanted to be friends. I also have my role models in school, whom I wanted to be friends with. Most of the time of my school life has been lonely.
TODAY: I am still an introvert but not lonely. I did something which saved me from the loneliness hell and that is what today I am going to share with you.
What is Friendship?
People tend to make relations sound complex. But it is really simple. Have you ever tried to join two things with glue? Consider the two things as just two human beings, and the type of glue you use determines the relationship’s nature. When you join two human beings with the glue of informality, frankness, trust, and unpredictability, you get the bond of friendship.
Some of the best friends you have are the ones who break your personality knot. What is a personality knot? Most of the time we are showing the fake of ourselves. Showing ourselves in a way we are not like? For example, when with your parents you gotta show an extra degree of respect otherwise you’re staying in the home is debatable. When you are completely at ease with somebody you have broken the personality knot and that is true friendship.
Note: Breaking the personality knot does not means breaking the code of conduct. It just means you show your true selves.
Do we need friends?
Friendship is important and you need them. No, you don’t need a lot of friends. If you have some (or even one) friends who help you grow and succeed, that’s enough.
And It also has been proven that friendship can extend your life, lowers the chance heart diseases, and also decreases your stress levels. Friends offers you fun, love, care and emotional support whenever you need.
Friendship can both enrich your life and improve your health. If you don’t believe me check out ” 6 Ways Friendship Is Good for Your Health ” by Healthline.
Myths about friendship: Debusted
Friendship is considered one of the purest relationship between two people. But generally there are some misconceptions which people tend to make. Therefore I would like to clear some of the myths related to friendship.
1. Only Meeting your friends daily and can maintain a friendship.
But this is a complete myth. We can agree that in early ages of a life we tend to have comparatively more spare time then what we have as an adult. Since a normal teenager spend approximately eight(8) hours in school 6 days a week. In addition to this some students join tuition or coaching classes , dance or music classes or some kind of sports club, which means major portion of a teenager’s day is spent outside home with different friends.
But this not the case when you are in a job. You just meet your colleagues in breaks, meet your friends and family occasionally but that doesn’t mean you love them any less. It just means you have to also focus on your career to make your life keep going.
AND Distance is the test of TRUE FRIENDSHIP. I certainly agree that CONVERSATION is the most important aspect of any friendship. But at one point in life everyone gets busy yet if you people are really good friends so when you call your friend once a month, they will bring all the comfort ness and internal bliss. This is the reason we all cherish the blessing of having an amazing bond with our friends and therefore meeting them daily is not the only way to maintain a friendship.
2. Friendship is effortless and comes with no responsibility.
With time you have to understand that friends remain intact if both parties are willing to make effort. Therefore to be friends with anyone takes your time and energy. But only if it is a HEALTHY FRIENDSHIP. If it exhausts you in one or the other way then it’s not maintaining a friendship, it’s just pushing yourself for worth nothing.
The responsibility as a friend:
- You have to make your friend acknowledge the difference between right and wrong. You might have to stand against them for their betterment.
- If your friend is in dire need of something, you should try to do everything which is possible for you.
- Giving them private space to make them learn the importance of retrospection.
- Respect Yourself and your friend.
3. You shouldn’t say NO(refuse to help) to a friend.
Saying NO to anything your friends ask for is completely alright. It’s not a big deal. Whether there is a reason or not, you can’t give everything they ask for. Real friendship value your decision.
If I can’t be understanding enough to respect my friends decision against me then I don’t even deserve their help.-Vibhuti Haldar
Once my friend asked to help her in completing her portfolio for the school. I politely refused to do that and made her understand that she needs to do her work by herself as she will be assessed on the basis on that. What if I ruin it for her and she would have to face consequences. She never really hold any grudges against me for this or anything else I have refused.
It’s quite obvious that you will like someone if they help you in everything and always listens to you. But it takes courage to be friends with people who are always there for you but also stand up for themselves when it is needed. Because if a person can’t love themself they can never love you completely. And that’s what you call friendship. It’s not only superficial but felt deep inside.
4. Mocking and disrespect are synonyms of friendship.
How many years we have done all the crazy and stupid stuff in the name of friendship!! But one thing I realized now is that questioning my friend’s self-confidence and putting them in self-doubt is the worst thing I can do. We have normalized making fun of our friends publically that we merely realize what can actually hurt them. Or what they must have been overthinking all night to overcome the humiliation.
Therefore it is important to acknowledge their small achievements and appreciate whatever good they have in them. Saying “Thank you” once in a while for their help and some words of appreciation can make their day.
It’s pretty tough to do make efforts for something .And when someone do it, you ought to acknowledge them.-Parth Agarwal
How to make a new friend?
Goodness and Courage
Goodness is a quality that is really rare in this world. I believe goodness is not seeing what wrong others have done to you but seeing under what circumstances they have done. I would not accept the best lifestyle in the world where there are not people with goodness.
In today’s world, people have forgotten to have the courage to stand for themselves, let go of standing for others. They have just become the victim of the situation. Courage is really important for friendship from talking to somebody for the first time to taking a stand for your friend to letting go of your friend.
It’s simple if you cannot protect yourself, how will you protect others.-Parth Agarwal
If you have the courage for fighting for your friend and fighting for them for their good without your personal motive, who in the world will not want to be your friend.
Thinking about how can you make a new friend? Here are some steps to do so but always all the steps are just ways to master these two.
1. Reach Out To make new friends.
You have to reach out some new people. And it’s easier than you think. Here some ways to meet new people: • Join meetup groups • Go to parties • Volunteer • Join a Online Community
You can find new people easily. But Not every new person in your life can be a friend, you also have to choose them wisely.
2. Start A Conversation.
After, you reach out some people and decided to make some friends. The second step to make someone a friend is to start a conversation.
It is hard for some introverts and people who are shy. But trust me, it really simple.
You can start a conversation from simply saying ‘hey’ or ‘hi’ and continue it to what they do, their passion, dreams or goals.
3. Be Open-minded
Sometimes you may have a preset notion of what type of friend you want. Maybe based on similarities.
And then we meet a person and then later realize that he/she is not what you wanted, so you close yourself off. Don’t do that!
Don’t judge someone too early. Give your new friendship time to blossom. I personally have good friends who are from completely different background.
4. Build Trust
Building trust is a big and slow process. It is a daily commitment, you shouldn’t expect too much too soon. You can take small steps to build trust, like:
- Show Transparency
- Express yourself and your feelings
- Help them in need
- Make yourself more reliable
- Take some risk together
Most importantly you also have to trust him/her. Because if you don’t trust, you won’t be trusted.
5. Keep a smile.
Everyone loves to have a friend with a positive attitude. If you keep a positive attitude, you will get a positive response(like a smile).
A Study in 2015, suggest that when creating new friend, people are more responsive to positive emotions instead of emotions like sadness or anger.
So, make you have a smile and positive energy when you meet a new person. I think you might like “3 POWERFUL WAYS THAT SMILING CAN HELP YOU TO MAKE FRIENDS AS AN ADULT“.
6. Be Yourself.
Don’t change yourself to make new friends. Why so? Because it won’t last for long. If you made some friends that way, later they will realise that you’re not that person they befriended to. You either lose their trust or friendhip.
So, just be yourself. And let other know you as you.
Friendship is about accepting each other for who they are.-Yabesh Dutta
7. Ask questions about the person
Asking questions about each other makes the friendship stronger and also builts the trust. Here are some questions to consider:
- What hobbies he/she have?
- What does he/she do the most?
- What are his/her upcoming goals?
- What values he/she have?
- What is the thing he/she is passionate about?
The trick is to be generally interested in the person and not just asking questions for the sake of asking it.
8. Don’t let them go forever
Ask the person for their number or anything to contact them later. So your meetup can turn into a friendship.
I have really a deep personal target regret it. I visited one of my relatives in Delhi and I met a girl. And you know I had just spent 3 days with her and I was a fan of her. But I didn’t ask for her contact. If we would two would be in two in contact with each other, I am sure we would have done really some amazing things together.
That day I make a note, if I am influenced by somebody, I will make sure to ask for contact.
Spoiler: Though I don’t have any means to contact her I will definitely meet her one day. Just one of those gut feelings.
How to keep an old friend happy?
Maintaining Friendships for lifetime is not a cake walk therefore most of the people blame failed friendships on one another giving different excuses. Some of the basic things you need to build in yourself being a good friend is:
1. Better listening skills.
People of our generation do a lot of talking and very little listening. And this is the main factor of most of the misunderstandings between people. Even while making a general conversation you need to actively listen what your friend is saying and not only just passively reply.
It not only enhances the conversation but also kind of builds trust between two people who know each other. Take interest in their likes and dislikes and ask about their fears and pleasures. How they like to spend their weekend? Or what is their favourite cuisine, what is their future plan? Make him or her comfortable by listening to whatever they say. The conversation should always be 2 sided.
There will be times when you will fight over petty issues and during these times you have to be more careful and observant. You need to be more accepting and listen to their point of view. As shouting about your complaints will only make the situation worse. Being more patient in hard times can help you listen and judge correctly. And hence in this way you can maintain a friendship for a very long time.
2. Be more reliable.
Believing someone and being a trustworthy person takes a lot of time. So if your friend decides to tell you some confidential information never break their trust by gossiping and judging about it. Be honest about your feelings and opinions and never lie to them since trust is earned by virtue of time and nothing else can buy it.
Once you break someone’s trust there is no going back and he or she will never be able to tell you anything.-Vibhuti Haldar
Also always be honest to them. Although there is no need to be brutal but tell them politely what they are doing wrong , maybe it’ll hurt them for once but they will always appreciate it in the long run of their life .
This way you will be more reliable as your friend will talk to you when they need a substantial advice and they will believe you on the important decisions of their life. This will deepen your friendship and the bond will get stronger and stronger with time.
3. Don’t pretend and also don’t try to change them.
It is often said that you get attached to people who are like you. Therefore you have often noticed that your friends may be completely different from you but they have one or the other Core qualities which are similar to you. And this is one of the reasons why you should never pretend to be someone else in front of them.
As for how long you can try to do that. At some point in time will get fed up with all the fakeness. By pretending to be someone else you may be friends with different kinds of people who you may think are cooler. But you will soon notice that now you are not happy to be with them. As you barely have any common interest.
Also don’t try to change your friends for nothing good. for instance it is good to help your friend quit any wrong habit such as smoking or drinking. But you should never try to change personality or identity of a friend. As this will only make them uncomfortable and they’ll see you you as a boss who is always dominating around.
So there will be no bonding left with can ruin your relationship forever therefore try to accept yourself and your friends in the way you all are.
4. Plan quality time together once in a while.
This is applicable to the youngsters who are busy in their life focusing on their careers and jobs. They do not get any time to meet in person and spend any good time with them. You should definitely plan to meet each other at each other’s home, restaurants, or maybe on a vacation.
Although, technology has provided us with the facility of face timing and chatting them every time, the feeling of meeting your friend is speechless and cannot be described in mere words.
5. Stay updated and connected on social media
Social media in this aspect has really been a boon. You can always remain in touch with your childhood or school friends. So stay connected to them. Through this, you can know about their recent activities. You can talk to them about the current situation. This way even if you are not having any conversation daily. You will still be updated about their life.
Limitations of friends
What you also need to understand is the limitation of friendship. To get the best out of something, one must need to understand it is its limitations.
Friendship is not a medicine for loneliness though it is true that true friendship gives strength to fight loneliness. You need to understand that every friend and every friendship has a timeline and one day it will end. Moreover, you must always spent time with your first and foremost friend that is yourself before giving time to your other friends.
You must not just cling to your friends. True friendship is not depending on others but providing strength to your friend.
You know good friends are rare in this world. If you get one please don’t leave them behind. I have a friend named Sandesh. Do you know what’s special about him was? Everybody in school treated me politely(because of my introverted nature) but he didn’t. He always treated me normally( and I really liked it).
And let me tell you a secret. I would also become an extrovert with him. And let me tell you, till this date there are only three people who have seen the extreme extrovert side of me 1. My Mom 2. Sandesh 3. Cannot reveal the name (Sorry). But because of my carelessness, I am not in touch with Sandesh anymore. I have done this mistake and learned the hard way but I don’t want you learn it that way.
What’s the one thing you want your in your friend to be? I want them to be a true critic and have the courage to tell bad as well as good things in me.
And what’s your one thing? DO TELL ME IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW