One of the loveliest things about having friends is that there is almost always room for more. Just like any other part of our comfort zone, we often get comfortable with the friends we have and don’t think about reaching out to new people. But it’s still important to try and stretch out beyond it.
New friends are wonderful not just because we’ve expanded our comfort zone—for every person we befriend, they bring out something unexpected in ourselves. But making friends can be scary. In some ways, it’s harder to make a new friend that it is to ask a person on a date. You are putting yourself on the line for potential embarrassment and rejection, with the additional pressure that seeking friendship with someone can seem strange. As Susan wrote in Dare to Connect, “While asking someone for a date is a familiar and readily accepted idea, approaching someone with friendship in mind is often looked upon with suspicion. Hence creating a friendship is more difficult for some than creating a relationship.”
Just as seeking romantic companionship is important, so is seeking friendship. Susan has some pointers for when we are looking to make a new friend:
- There needs to be an initial ‘chemistry’ between people.
- It is important to risk rejection and take responsibility for making the first approach.
- Interested people are interesting people.
- Friendships, like all relationships, need to be cultivated, they must be cared for and tended.
- Becoming part of other people’s lives takes time.
- Remember that no matter how anyone acts towards you, you are a worthwhile person.
Friends are a part of leading a full, well-rounded life, so don’t just wait for new friends to come to you, get out there and seek new friendships. Your heart will thank you.