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So, you're at home on a Friday night trying to figure out something fun to do. It has been a long week and you just want some good, quality fun time. So you pull out your book of friends to make a call, and to your surprise, it's empty. This not-so-happy realization hits you hard, and you end up staying at home watching TV and eating whatever you find in your fridge.
This scenario happens more often than anyone wants to admit, and it happens whether you are a teenager or adult, single or married. The truth is, in order to have friends, you must be a friend.
In order to be a friend, you must be a friend — meaning, you need to be proactive. Here are some ways to help you do just that.
In order to be a friend, you must be a friend — meaning, you need to be proactive.
- Find common interests with others. This may sound easy but often we do not take the time to actually out what you have in common with others. There is something great about finding other people who have similar beliefs and hobbies, like the same taste in movies, games, sports, etc. It makes for easy conversation and can lead to future opportunities for activities.
- Get out and serve. Service brings joy and happiness, and joy and happiness bring feelings of confidence and fulfillment. These feelings and characteristics have the ability to attract quality people who can become great friends. Finding new opportunities to serve also puts you in contact with people who may not have been in your previous social circles.
- Invite others into your world. Take the opportunity to invite a potential friend — whether an individual or family— over to your home for dinner, games or just to get to know each other better. People love to feel liked, and they especially love to feel that others have a genuine interest in wanting to build a friendship. It only takes one invite to make a lasting friendship.
- Be a friend. Do not wait around for someone to knock on your door and say, "Hi, I have been looking for a new friend and I have chosen you." Be proactive. When you see someone in need, help him or her. When you see a fun activity going on, go participate. If you see someone is down, allow him or her to talk to you while you just listen.
- Get involved. There many things going on in your community right now. It only takes a few minutes to go online and do a search. You may want to join a non-profit foundation and donate your time, or maybe you see an association that aligns with your personal values. It may also help to go to events where you may already know someone who can help you make introductions. Whatever you do, just get out and meet people. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the other hundreds of ways to connect using technology cannot replace the eye-to-eye contact when it comes to meeting people and building friendships. In fact, technology is usually not the best way to start a friendship, but it is a great way to build and maintain one after there has been an actual connection made. So, find out what events are happening in your area and go to them. As you do, be sure to wear a smile and allow yourself to talk with people. We have often heard the statement, "You attract the kind of people you are." If this is true and you are one that is negative, faultfinding and not fun to be around, then do not be surprised when you open your book of friends and it is empty.
So go do something, get out there. People cannot be your friend if they don't even know you exist. We are entitled to build good friendships, but we cannot just sit back and expect that it will happen without our best efforts. It’s all about taking action and making it happen.
Seth Saunders is currently branch president of the Pembroke Branch (Spanish) and a founding board member of the Pink Shoe Hero Foundation. Seth has been married 15 years to his amazing wife Amber and is the proud father of three wonderful sons.