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.
- 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