The dictionary defines a friend is a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.
Nowadays, a lot of people are losing their social skills because their day to day physical interaction and communication are reduced. Making friends has now become a strenuous task. Even when we decided to be deliberate in making friends, we rely on Facebook and other social media platforms for connection.
According to R.I.M Dunbar, PhD, a professor in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, it would seem that we can only really accommodate about 150 friends as the set limit by our brain size. But do we really truly need as much as 150 friends?
Making friends and having true friends contribute to our happiness. No wonder social media users get happy when they have huge number of likes on the contents that they share on their social platforms. But social media followers and the huge engagements gotten on posts are not indications that one has got friends.
Also, it’s quite natural to lose friends as you grow older. This is absolutely okay. Don’t get bothered!
Now here are 6 tips on how to make genuine friends:
1. It starts with you
Be deliberate about the type of friends that you need. Go after them. Choose your friends first before they choose you.
2. Genuinely care
Genuinely care about your friends. Be interested in who they are and what they do. Ask them open ended questions and pay attention to their answers.
3. Never stay virtual
unless it is imperative (proximity issues). Move your friendship to a physical plane. Have planned physical hangouts regularly.
4. Help your friends grow
Impact their lives positively by becoming a growth agent in their lives.
5. Remain sincere
Do not patronize your friends with words that you know that they will love to hear. Tell them the honest truth when you have to.
6. Be opened
Let your friends know how you are doing. Stay real! Do not cover up or fake who you are. Your friends do not expect you to be perfect.
Good friends are hard to find. The rule to finding and keeping them is ‘Likes Attract’. You have to learn to be a good friend in order to attract good friends.
Lastly, never force friendships!