The Talent of Making Friends
When I started coaching, one of my first clients approached me with the goal of making more friends. She said she didn’t know how. She lives in a small town in the southern U.S. and said she never quite fit in. Identifying with that a bit, I decided we could give this goal a chance. We were successful, and here’s what we found:
- You’re not going to make friends sitting on your couch. The doorbell is not going to ring with an interesting person who suddenly wants to chat and have tea with you. Get out of your house.
- Find a group with which you share a common interest. You’ll have something in common right off the bat. Reading? -book club. Sewing? -sewing circle. Exercise? – gym buddies. Activism? -volunteering …the point is, you have at least one interest that is common with other people. Use the internet to find groups in your area with that interest and go meet the people!
- Be positive. It’s not as easy as it sounds. If you struggle in an area, and it’s a longtime struggle, positivity may not come easily. This is where my Inner Freedom coaching method comes in handy – it helps you recognize your inner resistance (fear) so you can get through it to the other side.
- Follow up. After you leave your house, find the people who like your interest, and are positive when you meet them, get back in touch relatively quickly. Relationships are like gardening… after planting a seed, caring for it, and tending it you’ll eventually see the plant pop out of the ground.
- Make the first move. This is another area like “be positive”… not as easy as it sounds. Some people are literally frozen by the fear of meeting people. This is where a compassionate counselor or great coach can help.
- Be yourself. For goodness sake, be genuine. If you don’t hit it off with someone, check that person off your list of prospective friends and move on! If you aren’t genuine, then the friendship won’t be a true friendship. Be true to yourself and who you are, no matter what.
- Disengage. For some reason I allowed myself to try to be friends with one of the other moms in my daughter’s classroom for several years. The truth is, the woman is a miserable gossip who is negative in nearly every interaction. Maybe she didn’t like me – I’m not sure, and frankly I don’t care. When I finally realized what a nasty person she is on the inside, I moved on! She didn’t reject me as a friend – I removed her from my prospective friends list!
- Say YES! Say yes to invitations based on your goals for the friendship and for your overall relationship profile, not based on how you feel in the moment when you receive the invitation.
This was a really fun coaching experience. We finished our six-month journey and took a break to see how she could do on her own. From time to time we touch back just to catch up, but I’m filing this under the “TOTAL SUCCESS” category, and am super proud of my client for setting her goals, following through the program with me, facing her fears, and achieving what she wanted. Everybody wins! Schedule your own breakthrough session and see what coaching can do for you.