There are numerous ways to have and to keep great friends. Here are five things you can do today that will make you more “friend friendly.” Let me share five very easy things that you can begin doing today that will make your list of friends longer tomorrow.
1. SHOW YOURSELF TO BE FRIENDLY – Many people wait for others to make the first move. All the time people say things like, “They never even spoke to me.” It never dawns on some people that this is a two way street. If you want friends you must initiate friendship. Speak to people before they speak to you. Reach out your hand to shake people’s hands before they reach out their hand to shake yours. Showing yourself friendly requires you being the initiator; being on the offense and trying to score a response from a potential friend. I am not talking about being loud, I am talking about being warm and cordial. This is very basic but many people are lonely because they wait to be spoken to and only desire to be noticed by others. People with many friends approach people and initiate friendliness.
2. SMILE – Are you really anxious to approach and initiate a conversation with someone that looks like they are passing a kidney stone the size of a baseball? Few people want to initiate a friendship with a chronically sour looking individual. Some people look sour because they do not smile. A worthwhile exercise, for anyone who wants to have lots of friends, is a smiling exercise. Try smiling at people for an hour and see if you can begin to receive return smiles. Do this at the grocery, sporting events, gym, church, or at work. Every person has the ability to light up a room with their warmness. The room should be different because you are there. One person can make a difference; good or bad. I always think about the guy who pulls out a cigar and lights it up. He most certainly makes a difference. Having a warm smile can also make a difference and it will help you in your quest to make friends.
3. BE POSITIVE – For friendships to develop conversations must take place. If you have positive things to say about people, places and things you will be more attractive than a person that speaks negatively. People who converse about what is right instead instead of what is wrong, usually has more friendships. A few examples of negative conversation would include things like: Gossip; Criticism; Complaining; and Condemning. Dale Carnegie said it wellin his book: How to Win Friends and Influence People, “Do not criticize, condemn, or complain.” It is just good advise. So what is the flip side of all this? Be genuinely interested in the other person. Be an encourager and choose to lift people up not put them down. A genuinely positive attitude accomplishes more than a negative one. A friend of mine used to say there are two types of people; Balcony people and basement people. Basement people are always down and they pull others down. Balcony people are usually up and they try to pull others up. Balcony people win more friends.
4. RESPECT CONFIDENTIALITY – Good friends talk about many intimate and private things. A person that wants many friends is able to keep these things confidential. If I shared with my friends that I had made a huge mistake at work, I would want that to be confidential and not part of some gossip mill. I believe it was John Maxwell that taught on the principle of the two buckets. One of the buckets is filled with gasoline and the other bucket is filled with water. He simply said we need to know how to use the buckets. Somethings we want to throw the gasoline on to keep it going. A good example of this might be a statement like this, “Did you know John got a promotion?” There are other times when you need to use the water bucket to squelch something like a character assassination. An example of that might be, “I heard that John’s wife, Wilma, had an affair.” The really good and appropriate things that are said to us could use the gasoline. However, when what is said is negative, or harming, or private we should use the bucket of water so that we are not guilty of spreading negativity. People want to have friends that understand the two buckets because when the buckets are used inappropriately the buckets can damage relationships. If you want great friends respect confidentiality and learn the principle of the two buckets,
5. HAVE A GOOD AIR ABOUT YOU – Hey smell good, have fresh breath, bathe regularly! You need to have good air about you as apposed to bad air. Some people are attractive just because they are neat and clean. Some people are liked and people are close to them because they smell good. It is good air! Being close to someone who smells like cigarettes, coffee or alcohol is repulsive to say the least. Bad air produced by poor hygiene can be corrected with good hygiene. Bad breath can use a mint or mouthwash or toothpaste. If you are prone to bad breath, learn to carry mints or a mouth spray, have toothbrush in your desk, and some mouthwash nearby. We will have more friends if we are aware of the air. Ask yourself, “Am I polluting or improving the air around me?”. If you have a good air about you, your friendships will flourish and be long lasting.
Practice these five things and begin to acquire new friendships yet today!