How to find friends

Try these tips to help you form friendships

Places to look

  • If you have a friend, look at her circle of friends. The same thing that attracted you to the friend you have may be found in those she likes as well.
  • Reconnect with people you used to be friends with.
  • Join a club focused on an interest. You’re guaranteed to meet people with at least one thing in common with you.
  • Volunteer. There is nothing that builds camaraderie like serving alongside someone.
  • Start with a pen pal. Try www.postcrossing.com.
  • Keep it in the family. Dr. Dan Peters recommends cousins. “Cousins have a great potential to be a bridge to developing relationships outside the family. They share the same gene pool, and they have some of the same built-in characteristics, the same environmental exposure.”

Ways to behave

  • Accept invitations, even if you’re not sure you’ll like the activity. Part of being a friend is not always having it your way.
  • Practice extending invitations ahead of time. It can be nerve-wracking to risk rejection, so practice how you will extend the invitation, as well as how you will respond to every possible reply.
  • Practice “small talk.” Practice talking about the mundane things that people talk about to make conversation as they are exploring if they want to get to know the person better.
  • Decide on a place to go or something to do ahead of time so you have a specific invitation to extend.
  • Get help. If children are struggling socially, parents can try to locate social skills groups that work on perspective.

Keeping friends

  • Understand reciprocity. If you do something you chose one time, let your friend choose the next time, and don’t pout the whole time, either.
  • Manage jealousy. Recognize that being your friend doesn’t mean the person has to abandon all other friends and interests.
  • Don’t push friends away. Evaluate behaviors you may have or words you may use that alienate others.
  • End on a high. Don’t wait until you’re sick of each other and fighting to end the time together.

Titles on friendship for kids

  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  • Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • Holes by Louis Sachar
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Frog & Toad series by Arnold Lobel
  • The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo
  • Wanted: Best Friend by A.M. Monson
  • Big Al by Andrew Clements
  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  • The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George
  • The Cay by Theodore Taylor

Titles on friendship for adults

  • Divine Secrest of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  • Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
  • The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
  • MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche