I always found it difficult to make friends with people to the point of being anxious. People find this difficult to believe but I used to walk around school pretty much on my own. I wanted to meet people, I wanted to make friends and I wanted others to be interested in me, but it just didn’t happen. I was a nice guy. I was interesting. I was ready but I couldn’t get people to like me. I was going about it all the wrong way. I put all of my energy in trying to persuade other kids that I was interesting. But when I realized that trying to get others to be interested in me wasn’t working I changed the way I acted. Being interested in others was my key to unlocking the door to making friends. On the back of this I started to connect with people a lot faster. I made more quality friends in a few weeks than I had done in all my previous school years out together Here is my guide to the 7 proven ways to make friends quickly in high school & below a Free poster on an additional 4 ways that can also help;
7 - Smile and the whole world smiles with you
It seems like such a simple thing to do but a smile can start a lot of friendships. If you are in the place where you are not making friends, no matter how hard you try, then it is difficult to walk around with a smile on your face. However, not smiling can make you even more of an outsider.
Now I’m not talking about walking around with a grin on your face all day because people will think you’re just weird. But I’m talking about lightening up and putting positive energy out their. Laugh at your classmates jokes (if they aren't funny, jokes) and smile at people when you walk by. If you'r exterior cracks and you let people in a little then you have a much better chance of making friends.
Psychologies today stated that the fastest way to make a friend is to have “a nice countenance about your face” this means having a nice warm face when you meet someone for the first time.
6 - Names matter
I am great at remembering names. I have worked out a little story in my head that helps me pluck someone’s name out of that dark corner of my mind where I stored it. My friend at high school could not remember names. He was a smart guy and he could remember the details of faces of all the people he hung around with. He could recall that time when we all went out to the mall together and chatted with girls and even quote movies for paragraph's on end - But he can’t remember a name.
He lost a lot of friends over the years because he would call people "bro", “you” or “ted" which was fine, unless you name was Jonny. A name is really important to someone – it forms a vital part of their identity. Find a way to remember people’s names if you want to make friends fast.
Heres a link to 11 ways to remember names.
5 - Listen to others
Everybody wants to be heard. It can be easy to think that the best way to make friends is to show off how cool you are. This involves talking to others about you, doesn’t it? Well, no – it actually doesn’t. It involves being part of a group and a large part of that is listening to others. This is all a part of becoming more mature. When you were a three-year-old you could just walk into a room and start talking and everyone would instantly listen to you. But you don’t have that power any more. If you walk into room of your peers and start to tell them how great you are then they are guaranteed to switch off.
Have you ever had a friend who talks way too much about themselves? its annoying isn't it? Well, don't be like that! Asking questions is one of the fastest ways to get to know people and make them feel heard. Some typical questions may be:
"What did you get up to in the weekend"?
"Do you play any sports?"
"What sort of video games to you play?"
Asking questions takes the pressure off you and onto the other person to talk. It also allows you to quickly find out what people are interested in and allow you to find out if you have any similarities which can be a big part of friendships.
4 - Take what you have listened to and talk about it
Although it goes a long way, listening and taking it all in does not win you friends on its own. You will need to participate in conversations yourself at times. We all know someone that rarely talks. It might be someone in your family, someone you know from school or someone in your community. They might sit and listen all day to what is going on but they don’t participate. And it can be kind of hard to understand what they are thinking and involve this person in your conversation. Well you don’t want to become that person.
Listening is great. It gives you access to all the interests of others (and this really helps you to make friends) but the others in the conversation want to know if you have the same interests. Once you have listened and you understand what is going on then join in – but remember that nobody likes a show-off.
3 - Make others feel important
We all want to feel as though we are the most important person in the room. It is a natural thing that happens to each of us. There is nothing wrong in feeling like that. When someone pays you attention then you feel ten feet tall and you walk around all day with a smile on your face (remember that) and a spring in your step. You need to be able to transfer this feeling to others. If this makes you feel great when you know that it will make
Let people know what you like about them. It can be their sense of humour, their skills on the sports field or their taste in music. Making others feel good about themselves does two things-
- It makes friendships that are built on solid foundations
- It enables others to spend time making you feel important too
Another great way to make others feel important is to give them your time. When people ask me how 'how do I become more popular in school?' I tell them to give them time away to others. I remember when I was starting a new sport team and my couch find I wasn't making friends to easy. He told me to just 'hang around more'. I was usually the guy who left straight after a game but a lot of guys (who also had nothing to do) would just hang around after the game. It almost became automatic to start and conversion who other students.
There is some more great tips in wikihow 'How to Make Friends'.
2- Focus on the Few
I used to think about being so popular that I didn’t have the time to spend doing anything except maybe saying saying “hi” to people as I walked passed them. Now just think about that for a moment. Where is the fun in that? Making friends is about 'knowing a lot of people' but spending quality time with people.
You will have a much happier school life with a few quality friends than with a friendly connection to the whole school. Your friends reflect what you are interested in. You grow together and have those great experiences that you look back on months or years later. Having close friends actually means something to your life. The power of a few good friends is a thousand times the power of having 500 Facebook connections.
Being yourself is about knowing who you are. Maybe you like soccer, photography and tech reviews on youtube. Dont act like you don't just to fit in. You could miss out on a friendship with someone else who has simular interest.
Fitting in can require being interested in others, that doesn't mean you have to be interested in everything they do. For example one of my friends loves rugby. When ever I see them i'll ask how his training is going and he'll talk about it for 5 minutes. Usually straight after he'll ask me about youth work and i'll talk for 5 minutes. Either of us is overly interested in the topic the other is speaking about but we like the person and want to make them feel we care about them and what they do, regardless of what is is. Thats what friendship is all about.
I really hope this helps. For the best book I've ever read and what this article is based on check out the award winning free book and New York's best seller; How to Win Friends and Influence People
Some who find it hard to make friends often get bullied. Please see this article if you need help or advice regarding Australia's biggest issue; Bullying
About the book above. Warren Buffet is one of the wealthiest people in the world today. He made his money through investing. In an interview a couple of years back he was asked 'what was the best investment you ever made" and he replied: "a course i did called 'how to win friends and influence people'. See, making friends is not only important for us emotionally but can also help us at school and later in work. Just like anything in life some people are naturally really good at it while some of us have to work a little harder at it. .
Making friends can be really hard. When we're at school it can seems like everyone has it together but when you get older you hear the same story from so many people, about how they where lonely at school. Remember, there are people just like you - looking for a friend - just like you. If you can introduce yourself and focus on being a goof friend instead of just trying to make friends you will find it a lot easier.
What other things to you think are important? Let me know! And, as always please let me know if this helped below.
P.s thanks for your comments below. I'll put together a video to answer all those questions. In the mean time, here is my favourite youtube video on how to make friends. Enjoy