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10 tips
How to Make Friends
Meeting and making the right friends isnít as hard as you may think. Use these tips to sharpen your skills and surround yourself with good people.


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Whatever the circumstances for wanting a new friend, here are some simple tips.


Many misunderstandings and hurt feelings occur when you donít ask for what you want.”
Many people, especially couples, have expressed their concerns about making new friends because they have relocated, married or fought with old friends. The major impediments to socializing from this random sampling are: fear of rejection, shyness, perceived lack of opportunity and confidence. As a result, many feel stressed when interacting with potential friendsóthis repels rather than attracts.

While good friends are healthy for us both mentally and physically, many of us tend to make ourselves sick over not having a close friend at the moment. If you want to make new friends, you have to reset your natural rhythm to first be in rhythm with yourself. This means managing your stress levels and not turning into a stalker! Friendships take time. Itís just like dating. Stop trying so hard because when you push, others will pull away. Take it slow and ease on down this road.

The principles are the same for couples who are looking to make new friends. In fact, itís easier, especially if one spouse is more extroverted. If you make a new friend or your spouse does, the other spouse comes along for the ride and you can simply multiply the list below times two: playing tennis or golf, going to the movies or dinners are just a few ways to get acclimated.

Here are 10 tips to transform a relationship from acquaintances into friends?

1. Befriend yourself. Donít underestimate how delightful and resourceful you can be to yourself! Know how you differ from others where your uniqueness dwells. Consequently, you will realize what you bring to the table giving you personal empowerment. A good exercise is: Are you able to write a "business card" about your best attribute?

2. Find a creative hobby you love. This will help fill the emptiness in your heart and remove the desperation you feel to have a best friend. Potential friends run away from someone who is needy.

3. Reframe negatives into positives daily to make you a more appreciative, upbeat, positive person. Positive demeanors are people magnets. Smile at others. I can start conversations with veritable strangers with a smile and an affirmative look.

4. To meet new friends you have to venture out. Participate in activities which resonate for you. For example: the gym, a house of worship, a political club, a support group, a community group, or an organized tour. You will meet like-minded people and become a team player.

5. Donít gossip about others to fit inóeven though you will have eager listeners for the moment. Soon no one else will trust you. Celebrity gossip can be okay but good gossip is even better, as gossip is a form of social grooming when it is positive.

6. Be a good listener instead of waiting to speak. This will make you more connected and empathic.

7. Speak your mind. No one is a mind reader. Many misunderstandings and hurt feelings occur when you donít ask for what you want.

8. Donít give yourself away for the sake of a new friend. Friendship is a balance between giving and receiving. There needs to be boundaries for both sides.

9. If your attempts are rejected, move on. Donít get fixated on the one person who doesnít like you, while 99 others do!

10. Be your authentic self and express yourself naturally as opposed to what others want to hear. Suppressing yourself is stressful and unhealthy.

Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of "Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life," "Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout" and "Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul," a stress-reduction specialist, a radio show host and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com.


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