How Do You Make Friends?

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Leaving school for the day, classmates pass by you. They’re chatting to their many friends, discussing how excited they are to be attending that upcoming concert. Other teens walk pass you, gossiping that Jill may like Mark, but Jill is Mark’s ex’s sister and then Mark, etc.

Everywhere you look, everyone is surrounded by a group of buddies. How does everyone except you have friends? Even one would be good at this point. Maybe you just weren’t meant to have friends.

These thoughts don’t stop you wishing you could have your own little group of buddies, supporting you and getting you through life’s troubles. But only the really confident, chatty teens get friends… right?

Not necessarily. Here’s how to make friends:

1) Scout the classroom for nice people
You know who I mean. Those teens in your class who don’t mind talking to you, who don’t try to avoid you when they see you coming down the corridor. If they don’t mind chatting to you, then they’re a good set-up to make friends with.

2) Sit next to them
If you don’t have assigned seating in your class, then go out of your way to sit next to them (unless they’re at a two-table desk and their best friend always sits next to them, then leave them alone). Sit next to them whenever possible – at lunch, in P.E., if they’re friends aren’t in that day, etc.

3) Talk to them
It’s great to make an effort to sit next to nice teens, but there’s no point in doing so if you just stay mute. Teens tend to get put off if silent people sit near them and say nothing, it makes them feel awkward. Although it is nerve-wracking, try to get a little conversation going. Even if it’s just a few lines the first day, that’s fine.

4) Ask for their number
Once you have talked to the person a few times and you two seem to be getting on great, ask for their number. It’s easier to just friend them on facebook, yes, but even their acquaintances are doing that. You want to show that you’re willing to become friends, so take the extra step by asking for their number. There are sly ways to ask for it if you’re scared. E.g. “Are you on Viber?” “No.” “Oh, well can I have your number then?” etc.

5) Get and engage in their social network
This point isn’t as important as the above (and should never substitute asking for their number), but it is handy. If they’re on facebook, make sure to ‘Like’ their statuses, pictures, etc., to show you’re interested in them outside of school too (not every status obviously, you’re not creepy).

6) Hanging out
The importance of this can vary. If you’re befriending a quiet person, they may just be happy to hang out every few weeks with you. For a more social person, though, you should try to hang out every week. But each person is different. For example, quiet people may be lonely and would like to hang out every week. The best way to test this is to ask them to hang out at least once a week and see how open they are to hanging out so often.

Making friends can be hard if you’re not used to socialising. But once you’ve made one, you’ll realise it’s not that difficult and making more friends should come along a lot more easily. The main thing is to keep talking to those nice classmates and to keep in contact.

Photo by Marion Klein

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