I have a habit of putting on earphones whenever I travel through public transport or wait in queues. It’s not because I love listening to music all the time but because I don’t want to interact with strangers. I’m not an introvert, that’s for sure. So, why do I do it? I guess most of us suffer from this illness. Yes, I called it an illness because it is making us ill. We are no more interactive as we used to be in our childhood. We don’t get to know new personalities. We are slowly fading away as a civilization of beings with a vocabulary.
“Winning friends begins with friendliness.” ― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
Friendship is a huge factor in human life. We all have best friends from our childhood. Friends who will be there having our back for life. But, not everyone stays together. Everyone, with time, part ways. Some change cities, some change priorities, while some over the top morons change time zones. And now here you are standing alone on the path of life you chose to walk. It’s now up to you whether to walk it alone or take a company.
A new job, new city, and new people are all scary in the beginning but once you know your surroundings, you are fit to survive. Making new friends or talking to strangers is out of the question when we become adults. The only new friends we make are either our roommates or a few colleagues at workplace. And that too because neither you nor they have any other option than to become friends. Only a FEW of these new people might turn out to become our friends but that’s the limit. We don’t get further from this point. We are still unable to interact with a complete stranger. We still can’t talk to the person we admire or secretly follow ;)
So here are a few ways you can use as a ‘Hit and trial method’ for stepping out of your comfort zone.
Be an opportunist if you want to make new friends. If you want to be involved with someone then figure out what they want and help them get it. Now you’ve inclined them to see you as a potential friend. You may feel vulnerable approaching someone for the first time, but the other person can have even more hesitance. “Just go for it, What’s the worst that can happen?”
Well, not exactly like the one played by Jim Carrey in the 2008 movie. But almost like him. Accept invitations from your colleagues or existing friends to parties, trips or outings. Join a club or a hobby class. Share your ideas and dreams with strangers you meet at such events and you’ll be home with new companions to hang out with next time.
I’ve seen people being friends with a stranger they met on a trip, or in a coffee shop or a library. One of my Dad’s best friend was from a train journey. Do you like reading books? Then share your favorite books with them. You like Movies? Then go to movies or recommend some of the good ones you’ve seen. Do you like Music? Then share your playlist. But most importantly, talk. Talk about everything that you share with them. Get to know their interests and you’ll develop a strong relationship which can be long-lasting.
Don’t be mad at me for saying this, but you’ve got to disconnect your digital life to make connections in real life. Stop distracting yourself with facebook/twitter in a public place and put your phone inside your pocket. Unplug earphones. Turn the wifi off. Start listening to people. Many times the stranger sitting next to you wants to have a conversation but you simply ignore. That’s not how human relationship works. There are lots of stories around us, all you have to do is listen. The context of having something in common with the new people we meet makes it so much easier to move forward in life.
Making a new friend is just the beginning of the journey. Don't set too many rules and expectations. Instead, allow your friendship to evolve naturally. Friendships take time to form and even more time to deepen, so you need to foster that new connection. If you want your friend to be reliable, trustworthy and forgiving then you must make yourself equipped with these qualities too.
Give it a try and thank us later. B’bye :)