Is there any secret to making friends?

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    In an earlier post, I indicated that proximity, commonality, and repetition are the major ingredients found to be essential to forming new relationships. However, other factors are very important as well.

    The three ingredients described above are essential in order to meet people and to foster conversations and help get the ball rolling. Two other ingredients that are considered important to forming healthy relationships are positivity and balance. You may find people in your community or online with whom you have things in common. Perhaps you even get the opportunity to speak with them on multiple occasions. What may be most important is that people leave encounters with you feeling good about you and about themselves. For this reason, it is a good idea to keep the conversation positive and to make sure the dialogue is balanced.

    As a general rule, people don’t like to be around others who are always complaining, whining or focusing on what’s wrong rather than what’s going well. Negativity is generally seen as a turn off. “Into every life a little rain must fall” is the old adage heard time and time again. However, it’s better to enjoy the sun when it’s shining rather than talking about the rain we all unfortunately experience. Similarly, it is important that you make sure to listen to the other person and give them a chance to talk about them or what they wish to discuss. This is not to say that the conversation must be 50/50. Sometimes one person talks more than the other and this is fine. What is important is that both parties feel heard and that both people feel that their friend is genuinely interested in what they have to say, even if they don’t have much to say.

    So in summary, in addition to finding people with common interests and seeing them often, consider keeping the conversation focused on the positive and make sure you are as good at listening as you are at talking. Good luck!!

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