How do you make friends at school?
It's not always easy getting to know new people ... but these 10 practical tips might help
The number one question when adults talk to young people is, "do you like school?" The second question is, "do you have lots of friends?" Sometimes I wonder what the reaction would be like if we were more honest and said, "No. I really need to make some more."
There are definitely times in life when we need more friends. But making them seem so daunting. How do you make friends?
It helps to realise that friends first of all usually have something in common with each other. Perhaps you like the same things or have similar interests, you have been to the same places or you have the same values and beliefs. You might look similar or own similar things or you may have experienced the same things at the same time in life.
What happens if your experiences are different from the people around you? Perhaps you need to have some new experiences or be even more interested in the lives of others.
But it’s not as simple as that.
A ‘spark’ of liking is also needed to build a friendship. Unfortunately that's almost impossible to describe or define. Often we know immediately that we like someone, but it can happen slowly too. I have a wonderful friend whom I love spending time with. However when I first met her I didn’t like her at all - for almost a full year. We had to spend more time together before I realized that we actually had a lot in common.
Here is a challenging thought: people who simply ‘want friends’ can rarely find any. Friendship must be about something. So to have friends, we need to be friendly but we also need to be interesting, and interested in life. Getting involved in different groups, missions and projects can be a great way to make friends. Here's a few other ideas to get you started:
- Hang out with people, even if you feel shy or awkward
- Get involved in groups, projects, missions and stuff you’re interested in
- Go to youth group and church and join in with their social stuff regularly
- Invite a few people to see a movie or go to the beach with you
- Watch how others ‘chat’ to people and learn from them
- Have a respectful attitude towards others
- Find things you have in common with people
- Keep a gentle manner and tone
- Be polite, but also be open and honest and ‘yourself’
- If you constantly feel like you’re failing, go talk to an older, wiser mentor person and get some tips.
“Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow travellers.” CS Lewis