Ten Valuable Truths for Making Friends

Ten Valuable Truths
Making Friends


Janene Baadsgaard


After attending four elementary schools, two junior highs and two high schools while I was growing up, I learned several valuable truths.

*If I want friends, I can’t wait for people to reach out to me – I have to reach out to them  

. . . first.

*If I want people to be interested in me – I need to be interested in them . . .  first.

*If I want to develop intimacy with someone, I need to share intimate details about myself

 . . . first.

*If I’m a happy friendly person, I will attract happy friendly people to me.


Because I never knew when my parents were going to announce yet another move for our family, I developed strategies to make friends quickly.

First, I notice and quietly observe people everywhere I go. I’m always on the look-out for some way to compliment the person next to me.

I make eye contact, smile and say something simple like “Hi. What do you think of this weather?”

Then I ask for their name or point out something complimentary I’ve noticed about them.

It’s easy to keep the conversation going when you’re more interested in the other person than worried about how you are being perceived.
To keep a conversation going I ask for their opinion about something.

 As I’ve grown older I’ve learned these truths:

*If I genuinely like people . . . first, they like me back.

For example, if I mentally focus on what is wonderful about the people around me instead of why they bother or annoy me, they seem to instinctively know that I like them. I believe people can perceive your thoughts on some level.

*If I’m engaged in helping the community, I find great friends.

For example, I was always concerned about the condition of the old abandoned cemetery in my town and volunteered my time to get it restored. I made numerous history loving friends in the process.

*If I’m continually learning, I meet the most interesting people.

For example, I am a member of a senior citizen orchestra that takes beginners. People who keep learning make great friends. We meet twice a week for two hours and on breaks we share what is going on in our lives.

*Participating in a faith group brings me together with people who make good meaningful friends.

 For example, I participate in a book club with women from my faith group. People who love to read make interesting friends. Our monthly discussions become more intimate as we learn to know and appreciate each other.

*The best way to make emotional contact is to be open and honest about myself and my difficult or embarrassing life experiences.

For example, I am not afraid to share difficult experiences I’ve had. When I open up about myself, I invite those around me to do the same. Once I was at the grocery store and my son turned to the person behind us and said, “Hey you want to see my new Spider Man underwear?”

If I expect others to share their “underwear” or difficult experiences with me I need to be willing to share embarrassing or difficult life experiences with them.

*When I throw caution to the wind and expose myself to rejection, I have the chance to make wonderful life-long friendships.

Once I heard a woman talk at social gathering. I really enjoyed what she had to say.

Later I thanked her for her talk and said, “I can tell you are an awesome person and I’d really like to get to know you better.”

We talked casually whenever we saw each other after that. When she found out my daughter was getting married, she called me up and found out ways she could help me. As we spent time together planning the wedding, we talked and talked and talked. This women and I became life-long friends because I wasn’t afraid to tell her I wanted to be her friend and she wasn’t afraid to include herself in my daughter’s wedding plans. Emotional sharing came later after we learned that we were safe with each other. We discovered that we’d both been raised in troubled homes. We were able to become the loving sister to each other that we both longed for.
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1 comment:

Amy said...

You are so fabulous at making friends! I learned so much just from observing you. Your example did so much to teach me how to reach out and connect with others.