How You Can Make True Friends, 7 things to consider
“THE only way to have a friend is to be one,” wrote Emerson, the American poet. Friendship is a two-way street involving the spirit of giving. Introverts and those with selfish tendencies find it difficult to make true friends. Nevertheless, they can succeed, as we shall see.
True friendship grows out of love because love draws people. Yet some have difficulty making friends. How can a person overcome this?
“Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves,” advised Dale Carnegie. When strangers meet, perhaps at a social gathering, who are the ones that make friends? Not the big talkers but those who take a warm interest in others, drawing them out and really listening to them. Remembering names and interesting facts about new acquaintances can also help to develop friendships.
In Fundamentals of Interpersonal Communication, Kim Giffin and Bobby R. Patton recommend self-disclosure and genuineness. “For someone to be important to you,” they say, “you must know something about him/her that matters to you . . . [Be] open and frank at all times . . . Your responses to the other person must be sincere.”
True friends are not only honest but also considerate, never imposing on each other or being overly possessive. They understand each other, can sense the other person’s view of things, and can thus show empathy. As the relationship grows, they open their hearts to each other, becoming not only true friends but also close friends. Not all true friends are close friends..
Some Guidelines for True Friendship
Be selective about those with whom you associate.
Take a warm interest in others, and be a good listener.
Do things together—shared experiences strengthen friendship.
Be frank, open, and sincere at all times.
Show empathy and compassion when others are in trouble.
When friends make mistakes or upset you, be ready to forgive
When friends are slandered or unfairly criticized, be loyal and defend them.