Making Friends: The Science, Approach, and Advice

Rachard Dale, Writer

Having friends is an essential part to any environment, however how to make friends remains an enigma to many to many of us. Mrs. Woods, one of few Guidance Counselors tasked with aiding students assimilate into the school, had a bit of insight on the matter.

Mrs. Gardner believed that fundamentally making friends comes with the ability to strip down any self given  restrictions and essentially make yourself vulnerable to the people around you. In other words honestly express yourself, and be accepting of how your environment reacts. In fact, many studies how shown that people tend to gravitate to people who are like minded, so be yourself and have your natural friends come to you.

Additional tips ^.^ :

  1. Be open minded: humans are not made off an assembly line, and for that reason nobody will be the same, so acceptance and exposure to these differences is essential not only for making friends but also the professional world as well.  
  2. Don’t push yourself too much: if you don’t know what to say, don’t stress over the next sentence, instead listen to what the person is saying and take a moment to ingest it, then ask them a question about the topic. this does two things:
    1. It allows the person to talk more about themselves, something we all enjoy
    2. It builds a real relationship because listening to someone will make them feel comfortable around you, while building on your natural curiosity
  3. Take the Ben Franklin approach: ask for a favor. Asking for favors make a person subconsciously like you because it allows the person to feel invested in you and this investment is associated with familiarity (plus asking for help when you need it, is  perceived as a form of confidence, for the same exact reason why making yourself vulnerable helps you make friends. Nobody is born great at everything, and we have all learned something from someone)   
  4. Be positive

Making friends and bonds with everyone around us is fundamental to our ability to survive. This is largely due to the fact that our prehistoric ancestors were hunters and gatherers who used communication as a way to build communities, hunt for food, and convey ideas and thoughts. Because of this, making friends has become something that is not only ingrained us as a species for practical reasons, but also shows itself in the various health benefits it bring to the table (such as reduced stress, increase happiness, and increase a sense of belonging and purpose). And so, without further ado, introduce yourself to someone new and make a new friend.