There’s no rulebook that tells you how to be the best best friend. But true BFFs know them—no questions asked.
1. You keep tabs on each other’s crushes and text each other very important updates. If she reads a cryptic Facebook status, sees him in the hall with another girl, or if he posts a hot selfie on IG, she knows who to hit up immediately with all the deets and screenshots. And vice versa.
2. She would NEVER post a bad pic of you on Insta, and because she’s your bestie, she already knows what qualifies as a bad pic. She will also take 2,000,000 photos of you until you snap the perfect one, and she won’t ever complain about it.
3. Her locker = your locker. If her locker is closer to your third period class, then that is where your third period books will be. This is the convenience of having a BFF you can count on.
4. Crush code names/ship names never leave the circle, ever. They are sacred and never to be shared, especially since you use them to communicate about bae in public.
5. If you’re home sick, she knows to take notes for you and bring you any makeup work/homework you need. She fills you in on everything that happened at school that day, from classwork to the latest juicy gossip.
6. If you don’t like someone, she doesn’t either. She won’t necessarily be rude or mean to them, because that’s not
, but she won’t be caught going to the movies with her, obvi.
7. She gives you the “look” whenever your crush walks by. No matter how much it annoys you because you swear your crush notices, you secretly kind of love how she’s so in tune with everything you’re feeling/thinking.
8. Your inside jokes also do not leave the circle. Because if they did, what fun would that be?
9. She’s obligated to tell you if you have something on your face/in your teeth/on your shirt. She knows it won’t hurt your feelings. And you can always count of her to save you from total humiliation.
10. She immediately knows to come over with her Netflix password and your fave candy when your crush blows you off. You don’t even have to ask. She knows when it’s time to pick out your fave chick flicks and watch them all weekend together.
11. Her closet is your closet and vice versa. You have no problem coming over to her house unannounced just to borrow shoes and get help picking out the perf outfit to possibly bump into your crush in.
12. When you spot a hot pic of her/your celeb crush, you must screen shot it and send it over ASAP. It helps for when you just can’t with Monday mornings, or you’re feeling down after bombing a test.
13. It is absolutely unacceptable to watch your fave show without texting each other every few minutes. “WHAT?? NOOOO! WHO KILLED MONA?!”
14. You must send each other pics of your OOTDs, especially when going to a party/special occasion. You want to make sure you’re on the same page—not too over or underdressed—and maybe you’ll want to be twinsies that day.
15. Whenever she points at you during a sing-along, you know it’s time for you finish the lyrics. You don’t even have to think twice about it.
Did we miss anything? Tell us your BFF rules in the comments!
Falling in love with your best friend is a very common tale. You’ve walked that road. Now you want to know how to make her fall in love with you. The good news is that you’ve already accomplished the hardest part.
The Hard Work Is Done
When it comes to getting a girl to fall in love with you, creating an emotional connection and a sense of trust and safety are the hardest things to do. You’ve already done this — that’s why you two are best friends. What you need to do now is change the dynamic of your relationship, moving from trusted friend to the type of man she can see herself having passion with.
To get her to reciprocate your love, you’re going to need to start setting boundaries. What this means is that you need to stop being there for all her emotional needs. For example, if she’s always coming to you to complain about her love life, you need to set a boundary that stops that. It doesn’t have to be some grand declaration; It can be very simple actions, for example, don’t respond to her texts or screening her calls using voice mail until you know why she wants to talk.
The biggest way that you’re going to start changing the dynamic of your relationship is to flirt. But how to flirt? Here’s a couple tips on making it happen the right way:
- Keep It Light: When it comes to flirting, you want to be playful. Think of yourself as being a self-amused little boy. Make her laugh, make her smile, get her having fun. Don’t take it too seriously and don’t go into it looking for her approval or acceptance. Remember, it’s a game and games are supposed to be fun.
- Roll With the Punches: When you start joking around and flirting, she’s going to make jokes to test you and see how well you react. The good news is that if she’s doing this, it means she’s interested. You just need to roll with it. For example, if she says something like “Too bad you’re short or else we could date,” you say “Too bad you’re so tall!” You can also say things that deflate the joke like “You’re like my little sister — cute, but annoying.”
Above all don’t get flustered or ruffled. Remember, you’re self-amused and don’t need anyone else’s approval.
Leave Her Wanting More
Whether you’re trying to get your best friend to fall in love with you or a girl you just met, leaving her wanting more is one of the best tools to have in the box. How do you do that?
- Time: Get together for short things that allow you two to have fun together for a set period of time. Good examples of these kinds of dates include going to comedy shows, a round of mini golf or going to a carnival together.
- Talk: At a high point during the interaction, tell her how much fun you’re having, but no more than twice on a single date. Make sure to tell her that you’re attracted to her for reasons other than her appearance.
- Touch: Touching dramatically increases intimacy. Her forearms, shoulders and upper back are totally “safe” places where you can touch her. Plus, touching her gives her permission to start touching you.
Combine these three and she’s going to start spending a lot of time missing you when you aren’t around.
Build Your Confidence
It’s true: The sexist thing to a woman is confidence. Getting your best friend to fall in love with you is going to require you building your confidence. I know what you’re thinking: Easier said than done. But you can build your confidence. Here’s how:
- Better Body Language: Adopting the body language of a confident man will eventually make you more confident. Smile a lot and do “body checks” throughout the day: Are you standing up straight, for example? You’ll be amazed at how much difference this makes and how quickly it makes it.
- Get Used to Talking to Women: Whenever you have the time, go out and talk to women. It doesn’t matter if this is at your favorite bar or a strip club: The point is to get comfortable with talking to beautiful women without getting rattled. Talk to women without trying to pick them up. Instead, just get used to being around them and chatting.
- Act As If: “Act as if” is also known as “fake it until you make it.” It’s scientifically proven to work. If you want to be a confident guy, take a look around you and see how confident men act. Pretend that you’ve already achieved your goal. It will bring you that much closer to actually achieving it.
- Get Physical: A lot of guys lack confidence because they’re not in touch with their bodies. If you aren’t exercising regularly, do it. Not only is it good for you, it’s going to get you feeling better about yourself. If you’re having trouble getting motivated, start going with a buddy.
- Treat Yourself: One way to start feeling more confident instantly is to get some new threads. Dig through men’s magazines and then hit up the mall or a hip vintage store. If you’re not much of a clotheshorse, ask the sales girl for help. Even a new pair of jeans and a t-shirt can have you feeling like a million bucks. Ditto on a haircut.
Just a few simple things can start unlocking the confidence that you already have within — and getting your best friend to fall in love with you.
AJ Harbinger – author of 1157 posts on The Art of Charm
AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born. View all posts by AJ Harbinger →
3 Comments on “How to Make Your Best Friend Fall in Love With You”
Awesome advice. Think i have been doing it all wrong. But i started these tips a couple days ago and i am noticing she is already texting me to see what i am doing. We have been friends for a few years now and yes we had sex a few times but she looks at me more as a friend and needs me all the time to help her out. Well i cut that out in good way by saying my car isn’t working and i stopped texting her. I know if i follow through with theae six steps my chances are going to increase considerably as I know she does care for me. Thank you so much
Want to be the best friend ever? Of course you do. That’s why we’re sharing 20 ways to make your BFFs day (and show her how much *really* care). Spread the love this V-Day—and beyond—with these sweet sentiments. Check them out below.
1. Scrolling through IG and find a meme that reminds you of your girl? @ her, ofc.
2. Write her a note filled with silly jokes guaranteed to make her grin.
3. At your next sleepover, be ready with a queue of her favorite flicks.
4. If she’s a charter member of Johnny Orlando Lovers Anonymous, grab that mag with Johnny’s cute grin plastered all over it and slip it into her locker. She’ll be thrilled you thought of her and her crush, even if he’s not your type.
5. Head to the drugstore and pick up a king-size bar of her fave candy.
6. When you say you’ll write to her at camp this summer, actually write to her at camp this summer.
7. Let her pick the next movie you see together.
8. She’s got a big crush and you just broke up with your BF? Drop the jealousy for a sec and scheme ways to snag her her sweetie.
9. Go with her to the club meeting she’s too freaked to attend solo.
10. Know someone you think she’d totally hit it off with? Offer to introduce her, and then do it.
11. When she says she’s fine but you can tell she isn’t, don’t bug her. Instead, do something spontaneous and fun that’ll get her mind off of things.
12. And when she’s ready to talk? Zip those lips and listen to what she says—even if it’s a problem between the two of you.
13. If she loves your nail polish color or the cute barrette in your hair, pick one up the next time you’re at the store and hand it over when you see her next.
14. Offer to play that game she loves but you totally hate. Marathon Monopoly? Count you in!
15. Post adoring comments on her latest Instagram pic.
16. Show her how much you believe in her by running lines for a drama audition, playing goalie before soccer tryouts or reading her short stories.
17. If she’s feeling blue, Snapchat her an old pic of you two having a blast or send a text about a great memory that just sprang to mind.
18. Say thanks, whether she’s tossing out your trash at lunch or waiting for you by your locker after school.
19. Offer up a sincere compliment. Those shoes? Amazing!
20. Give her a bear hug. Like huge, in the middle of the hall. Just because you missed her during math class.
How do you show your friend how much you care? Dish in the comments!
For most of my life, I’ve been a woman with male best friends. I don’t mean that in some gross, off-putting “I don’t get along with other women because I am way too sexxxy” kind of way вЂ” most of my friends do happen to be women. But for whatever reason, I’ve typically also had more close male friends than the average lady.
When you’re a woman with a male best friend, people think that you’re up to something. They can’t quite agree on what it is вЂ” are you trying to get laid? Trying to inflate your ego by being the “cool girl”? Trying to do both at the same time?
And even if all that judgment doesn’t bother you personally, you still have to deal with the weird hang-ups of your other friends, your family, and even science. There are new psychological studies conducted seemingly every year devoted to picking apart the extremely pressing question of whether men and women can be friends, even though they never seem to come to any concrete answers. (Over the course of two years, Scientific American covered one 2012 study that claimed that men and women can’t be friends because men are disgusting horn-dog monsters, and one 2013 study that showed that men and women can be friends.)
And yes, sometimes, male BFFs do end up becoming something more. But often times, they don’t. And no matter what happens, women with male best friends aren’t pulling some kind of sexual long con. I’m not saying we deserve a medal for dealing with the pressure of everyone’s suspicions and expectations and still managing to maintain kick-ass friendships in the process, but . okay, maybe I am saying that. Here are 34 things only we women with male best friends truly understand.
YOU AND YOUR MALE BFF ARE LIKE ANY OTHER PAIR OF BEST FRIENDS
You care about each other intensely, support each other unconditionally, and mock each other mercilessly.
OKAY, THERE ARE A FEW THINGS THAT ARE DIFFERENT WITH YOUR MALE BFF
Even if he’s one of the girls, or you’re one of the guys, the male-female BFF dynamic has a few subtle differences from other kinds of friendships.
LIKE, YOU GET TO BE AN UNQUESTIONED FASHION EXPERT AROUND HIM
Even if you keep your own clothes in a giant pile in the middle of the room, you’re basically Rachel Zoe when he’s trying to figure out which pair of khakis to buy (try to talk him out of the ones with the pleats kindly, if you can).
YOU TEND TO GET AWAY WITH DIRTIER JOKES
I’m not saying none of your female friends want to hear that joke that ends with the farmer’s dick falling off in the automatic milking machine; I’m just saying male friends are usually a more consistent audience for your “blue” material.
AND THOUGH HIS COMPLIMENTS ARE ALWAYS A LITTLE WEIRD, YOU APPRECIATE THE EFFORT
It’s as if every few weeks, someone tells him that women like to be complimented, so he says something nice about your hair (even if it looks exactly the same as it always does).
HIS DATING ADVICE IS BIG BROTHERLY
Your female friends will carefully listen to the unique elements of your current dating drama, and come up with thoughtful and relevant advice; your male friends will tell you that this guy is an asshole. No one hears more about how guys are “all animals” than a woman with a male best friend.
SO WHEN HE ACTUALLY GETS ALONG WITH YOUR NEW BOO, YOU KNOW THEY’RE A KEEPER
His approval means a lot, which is terrifying, if you think about it.
BUT FOR THE MOST PART, YOU DO THE SAME THINGS ALL BEST FRIENDS DO
You know: hanging out, confiding in each other, watching hilariously bad movies, picking out neon tie dye t-shirts together. Typical friendship stuff.
WHICH IS WHY IT’S WEIRD THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE SEEM TO THINK YOUR FRIENDSHIP IS DIFFERENT
You try not to care, and just focus on your awesome friendship. But it can be really exhausting to spend so much time correcting people’s perceptions and answering their super invasive questions.
EVERYONE ASKS IF YOU TWO ARE DATING.
. EXCEPT FOR THE PEOPLE WHO JUST ASSUME THAT YOU’RE DATING
Has it suddenly become really trendy for people who are dating to never touch each other? Is that why everyone assumes that you’re dating?
AND THEN, THERE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO THINK YOU SHOULD BE DATING
Their advice usually goes something like this: “Romantic chemistry, schromatic chemistry! You already like his personality, he’s located conveniently near to you, and he has genitals and everything! What are you waiting for?!”
You think you have some very cool friends, but did you ever gave this thinking a second thought? If your answer is a “Yes,” you might not have a cool best friend as you think. Why? Because, if they were such a good friend, you shouldn’t have doubted it even for a millisecond of time.
Having a best friend is the most important thing in life, as they are the ones with whom you will share all your joy, sorrows and some very private secrets.
When you have a lot of friends, it becomes challenging to know, who is being true to you and who is just another FAKE friend.
At any given time, you can find lots of false friends who portray themselves as if they are your best friend forever. You seriously need to keep away from such energy suckers.
To make sure are staying in a positive environment that’s best for your success and happiness, ensure that you Best Friends (As you think!) aren’t guilty of these ten things.
If s/he is your best friend, they will never do these ten things:
1# They remain faithful to your back
Yes, best friends ( a true one) will never gossip about you on your back. They will say whatever they feel like, on your face and not behind your back.
For them, speaking what they believe in, on your face isn’t a hard task. Your BFF’s know that you will never get offended by their words.
Moreover, they will never say anything that might hurt you even in the slightest manner.
Your best friend simply likes you, and that’s the reason why you are their best friend.
2# They keep your secret, a secret!
Yes, best friends never reveal your secret to anyone, no matter how close they are to that particular individual.
When someone asks them something ( a private affair) about you, they will just reply, ‘I don’t know about that,’ rather than to reveal the secret.
If any of your friends aren’t able to keep your secret, they aren’t worth your trust.
3# They don’t argue with you
When was the last time that you argued with your best friend? A long time back? And how long did it last? Five–to-Six short minutes? This states that best friends usually don’t fall into an argument. Of course, as a human being with the ability to think, arguments are inevitable, it will happen once in a while. But not as often.
Even if they argue with you, they do it respectfully and always try to end it as soon as possible.
A true best friend should be able to accept you the way you are; you don’t need to be perfect to get a best friend. The world is full of like-minded people, and therefore you shouldn’t have to worry about that.
4# They are good listeners
Yes, best friends are excellent listeners, they will listen to whatever you tell them – your sorrows, your joy, your breakup, or the fight you had with your boss.
No matter, how long you keep on chattering, they will be listening quietly and with great enthusiasm. But, that doesn’t mean, you won’t give your friend a chance to speak.
Simply let the conversation flow naturally and stop when either of you is tired of listening/speaking. It is not a real friendship if only one person does the whole talking and other does none.
5# They never discourage you
Best Friends never say a word that will discourage you from pursuing your dreams, no matter how BIG it might seem. Most of the times, they will encourage you for everything you want. Even if they discourage you for something, it will be in your best interest.
No best friend will be cruel enough to discourage you for something out of jealousy or for his/her own benefit. Advice from best friends is always helpful and constructive that will help you to become a better person.
6# They don’t care about your past
The Past is gone and cannot be changed; therefore best friends never give a damn about it. In your past, you might not have been as good as you are now, but that doesn’t matter.
Best friends believe in living in the present, no matter how colorful or grayed your past might be.
Just reveal some of your pasts’ to your current best friend and see how they react to it.
You can quickly know, what’s on their mind!
7# They never leave you alone
Ever saw your best friend leaving you alone and hanging around with other guys/girls? No, right? Best friends never do that.
They will never let you alone in social gatherings or anyplace. Instead, your best friend may leave others to give you company. They even take you wherever they go!
8# They never get jealous
They don’t get jealous of your success. Instead of thinking “Why not me?” best friends are always happy for you. They don’t waste their time in a pit of jealousy when something good happens to you. They love your progress and always believe in your potential.
9# They don’t take it for “Granted.”
Best friends view friendships from a serious perspective and therefore never take it for granted.
They don’t see the bond as a short-term deal that can be wiped off when it becomes troublesome.
Best friends aren’t there for watching funny videos, chatting continuously or playing snooker, they are the people who are ready to help you in difficult times without a second thought.
Sudden job loss, breakup with your girlfriend, fight with someone or anything else, they are there to help you cope with the situation.
Whenever possible, they will lend their hand to make you feel better.
10# They never let you suffer alone
No matter how hard you try to hide your feelings, your Best friend will come to know about it. They will never let you suffer alone.
Instead, they will make their greatest effort to bring a smile on your face.
And yeah! If s/he is your best friend, they will definitely know a sure shortcut-way to bring an instant smile on your face, even if you are in your biggest grief.
11# They don’t let you do crazy things alone
Yup! Your best friend is as crazy as you are, and won’t let you do anything crazy without him/her.
They are ready to go out with you and experience the most insane moment without thinking about what others might think.
For them, you and those crazy moment much more expensive than people’s opinion about it.
Think you know your best friend well? Try these Best Friend Tag Questions.
“Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.”
Up until a year ago, I saw the world as a place where very few doors opened for me. At first I thought it was due to being extremely introverted. But as time went on, I started to struggle with making friends.
I didn’t have many of them—and opportunities only knocked a few times a year. That’s when I realized my problems stemmed from my passivity and fear of actually going out and talking to people.
My few closest friends always told me to join a club or go to parties. People always told me where to meet people. But they never really showed me how to actually create conversation.
On top of that, I never really liked going to big social gatherings. I’m introverted and tend to be overwhelmed when a lot of people are around. I like talking one-on-one.
So I decided to do things my own way. I started talking to strangers on my college campus and in the city because I was tired of staying on the sidelines.
It was scary for a naturally timid person like me, but I decided to fight the fear.
Great things come to those who are willing to risk rejection and put themselves out there.
After two months of doing this, I made some great friends, simply by starting conversations.
It’s an empowering mindset to be able to create conversation with potentially anyone. There is always the choice to talk to whom I want to talk to.
I asked people what drink they bought from the coffee shop. I asked someone about her customized bike. I asked people to share opinions on things that affected me.
Some people opened up to me. Some people stayed shut down. Some of them continued talking about themselves when I put the spotlight on them. Others simply answered my question and left the conversation there.
All of these interactions allowed me to understand how to engage with people. For example, I learned that tone and body language are more important than saying the right thing.
Through my experiences, I learned that people are usually friendly and happy to talk to you.
I’ve been able to meet more people than I ever expected just by opening up to them.
That’s when I learned that it was up to me to be proactive and create my own doors instead of complaining that none were opening for me. It was up to me to create my own opportunities by connecting with people.
Besides feeling more connected, I feel happier knowing that I have the power to talk to whomever I want to. More opportunities arrived by networking with others. For example, I was able to pursue photography with a new friend simply because I reached out and asked.
Here are the 11 tips I learned about turning strangers into friends:
1. Say the magic word: “Hi.”
It sounds so obvious, but it’s the first big barrier. You have to be willing to put yourself out there to start a conversation.
I noticed that people are welcoming after you break the ice. It’s not something that everyone wants to do because it takes some courage to go up to someone you’ve never met before and start a conversation. However, more people are welcoming than we generally expect. When you encounter someone who isn’t, remember that someone else will be.
2. Detach yourself from the outcome.
When you don’t expect any outcome, you won’t be disappointed or offended if someone doesn’t respond to you.
There’s a difference between perceived outcome and what actually happens. How many times have you worried about a worst- case situation only to find out that it turned out much better than you anticipated?
If I don’t expect any outcome from whatever I’m doing, then I can be in the present moment and adjust accordingly.
3. Tolerate rejection.
If they reject you, it isn’t about you. It’s about where they are at mentally, so don’t take it personally. If they passed up on the opportunity to connect with you, then they missed out on something great.
4. Don’t mind what strangers think.
This is your life, and you have the right to talk to whomever you want to talk to. Not everyone is that open. Allow them to be how they are and think how they do, without letting it challenge your courage.
5. If you feel the fear, do it anyway.
One of the best ways to combat the fear is to do it repeatedly. Push through the fear and it will start to feel more natural.
The fear may never fully subside, but if you continue to battle through it, the momentum you create will be more powerful than the remaining fear. For example, when I feel terrified of approaching someone, I think back to a calming moment or a moment that made me laugh. Then, the fear didn’t feel so daunting anymore.
Don’t worry if you seem a little awkward or aggressive at first. If your intentions are authentic, you will come across that way more and more each time you try.
It’s just like any other skill where it gets easier with practice. A few of my first conversations with strangers felt scary and awkward, but they didn’t do any harm. It made me learn what I needed to work on.
7. Make it about them.
Talk about their interests, opinions, and ideas. Then respond to what they share.
The best way to keep someone interested in a conversation is to show an interest in their life. Everyone likes to talk about themselves. Even if you don’t know a lot about a particular subject, keep asking questions to understand them.
8. Make them laugh.
Laughter makes the conversation fun and joyful. People enjoy talking with others who make them laugh. So get out of your head and don’t take anything too seriously—just have fun with it!
9. Try to discover their core passion.
If you see their eyes light up when they talk about something, ask more questions about that.
If you find a keyword that helps you figure out their interest, try to talk about that. For example, if I asked “How’s the weather?” They say, “It’s nice that it’s foggy since. It’s better to run in it.” Then you can go ahead and talk about running.
10. Go out and smile!
Smiling gives a good first impression. Practice in the mirror. Then smile to the world.
I noticed that people relaxed themselves when I smiled first. When I continued smiling throughout the conversation, they smiled back and really opened themselves up to deeper conversation.
11. Imagine that the other person is already your friend.
This way you’ll treat them that way instead of seeming awkward—and being comfortable around someone is the best way to start a new friendship.
Take a chance today and talk to someone new. When you’re friendly to someone, they’ll most often be friendly back.
The minute you graduate college is the very moment your social life inevitably tanks. You go from effortlessly surrounding yourself with people you love 24/7 to most likely moving back in with your parents in a town you now find totally alienating and barren. Or, perhaps you luck out and find an awesome job in a city. only to move there and realize you know no one except that one girl who was in your AP English class in high-school.
For the first time ever, you donвЂ™t belong to any institution that fosters lifelong friendships. Elementary school, high-school, and college all encouraged socialization; thatвЂ™s what those terrible ice-breakers and orientations were for. Now, youвЂ™re lucky if you even meet someone your age.
Worst of all, in our 20s, the friends we do have seem to keep scatter like pool balls. Your best friend from grade school will move to New York for an unbelievable job opportunity. Your college friends retreat back to their hometowns in the Midwest. Everyone you know will soon be gone, and itвЂ™s up to you to reestablish a group of friends.
So, where to find new friends? And who may those friends be? Here are 15 types of friends you’ll make in your 20s.
your Coworkers you mostly only hang out with while drinking
If you work in the food and beverage industry, which a lot of us do right after graduating, the servers and baristas you work with practically become family. You work hard together, you party hard together. ThatвЂ™s the way it goes. I still have a few friends from my waitressing and barista days, because restaurant bonds just canвЂ™t be broken. Still, damn, we blew off a lot of steam.
Your coworkers’ friends you can’t remember the names of
They meet up with you guys a few hours in, and now you’ve met them too many times to ask.
The girl who’s always on the elliptical next to you at the gym
Bonding over how much working out sucks is, like, the best bonding. Plus, youвЂ™re at your most vulnerable; youвЂ™re sweaty, your hair is a wet birdвЂ™s nest, and youвЂ™re probably not wearing makeup. Instant trust.
Your SOвЂ™s friends
If you have a boyfriend/girlfriend, the easiest way to accrue more friends is by befriending the people in their lives. These friendships will probably start with double or triple dates вЂ” which can be horrible and awkward вЂ” but can lead to more organic functions, like happy hours and weekend trips.
Your chill neighbor
You soon discover you are super lucky to even have one tolerable neighbor. So if you run into a normal person who lives in your complex, hold on to them for dear life. Oh, and having someone reliable around to watch your cat while you’re out of town for the week is a total godsend.
That girl you have a two-hour long conversation with at the DMV
The DMV is pretty much the seventh circle of hell. But sometimes, commiserating is the best way to build lasting friendships. ItвЂ™s kind of like that time you found your best friend in high school when you were partnered up to create a catapult for physics class. Everyone can bond over misery. Get those digits.
A few people from your grad program you can relate to
If you decide to apply to grad school, youвЂ™re kind of given a Get Out of Isolation and Friendless Despair card. In graduate school, you’ll meet all kinds of people who share the same interests as you. You might even end up working in the same universities, labs, or firms.
Your best college friend’s new friends
ItвЂ™s always weird to make plans with someone, only to discover that they brought along a new person you don’t know at all. Like, what are they doing here with my friend, encroaching on our time?! You might feel threatened, but really, you should treat this as an opportunity to meet people, and get to know them. Usually, they’re pretty cool.
The barista who totally gets you on a spiritual level
I spend a good 40 percent of my time working in coffee shops. Baristas know my orders by heart, and they probably know more about my career and milk allergies than most people do. If thatвЂ™s not friendship, then I donвЂ™t know what is.
The girl you spot reading Bad Feminist at the bookstore
Is it weird to start talking to a stranger about the book theyвЂ™re reading? Probably. Might you make a new friend who has excellent taste in literature? Absolutely.
Your brotherвЂ™s new girlfriend
Although we are sometimes wary of the people our siblings bring home, there is no reason not spend some time with them. Chances are, she’ll make you feel younger.
Your parentsвЂ™ friendsвЂ™ daughter who is back in town
Sure, you’re being forced into it, but take her out for drinks and use your parents’ crazy antics as conversation starters.
Since I work on the Internet, I have a bunch of bloggers I’m friends with. We gchat about our love lives, the perfect gifs we found that day, and whether or not weвЂ™re excited for GIRLS to come back. It’s kind of the perfect friendship . minus the whole long-distance thing. Netflix is also a solid friend.
Roommates you found on Craigslist
The most accelerated way to truly get to know a person is live with them, right? This can go horribly awry obviously, but it could also be the best thing ever.
The one person in your yoga class who whispers вЂњthis is bullshitвЂќ under her breath
Finally. Someone understands. Don’t let her get away.
These are the keys to maintaining long-term connections.
Some people have an easier time establishing and maintaining friendships than others. And some of us long for closer friendships or try to figure out why an existing or promising relationship fizzled out. In these cases, we may jump first to judge a friend’s behavior, rather than our own. Perhaps we forget that relationships rely on mutual interactions. It is important, them, to examine our own contribution to the dynamics of a friendship. It is only our own behavior that we can change, and there are certain personal characteristics it’s essential to cultivate to build healthy, lasting friendships.
The 13 Essential Friendship Traits
How much do you agree with each statement?
- I am trustworthy.
- I am honest with others.
- I am generally very dependable.
- I am loyal to the people I care about.
- I am easily able to trust others.
- I experience and express empathy for others.
- I am able to be non-judgmental.
- I am a good listener.
- I am supportive of others in their good times.
- I am supportive of others in their bad times.
- I am self-confident.
- I am usually able to see the humor in life.
- I am fun to be around.
These traits fall into three general categories, each representing an essential aspect of relational behavior. If you find that you disagree with many of the statements, you may struggle to develop meaningful, lasting friendships.
Below is a description of how each trait influences relationships, organized by the realm of behavioral expectations in which it falls:
Traits of Integrity
These qualities, represented by the first 5 traits on the list above, are related to core values held by most cultures—trustworthiness, honesty, dependability, loyalty, and, as an interrelated quality, the ability to trust others.
- Trustworthiness is often the “make or break” element in any interpersonal relationship. Any breach, regardless of perceived magnitude, can devastate a relationship. Trustworthiness is comprised of several components, including honesty, dependability, and loyalty, and while each is important to successful relationships, honesty and dependability have been identified as the most vital in the realm of friendships.
- Honesty requires that we speak openly from the heart and incorporate objectivity into our words.
- Being dependable means that friends can count on you to be there when you say you will, to do what you say you will, and to be willing to stand up for friends, especially when they can’t stand up for themselves. If you are as likely to let friends down as come through for them, the relationship often becomes superficial, less engaging, and even resentment-provoking, if it doesn’t end altogether.
- Loyalty is valued early on in all of our relationships, from the time we make our first friendships. We need friends who won’t spill our secrets to others, gossip about us, or allow others to criticize us.
- Beingable to trust another person involves being comfortable with vulnerability. If you have difficulty sharing your authentic self with a friend, it is doubtful your friend will be easily willing to do this for you.
Traits of Caring
These qualities, represented by the traits listed as numbers 6 to 10 above, includes empathy, the ability to withhold judgment, effective listening skills, and the ability to offer support in good times and bad. These traits require personal insight, self-discipline, and unconditional positive regard for our friends.
- Empathy is the ability to understand what is going on with a friend, to recognize how he or she is feeling, and to interact and respond accordingly.
- The ability to be non-judgmental reflects our ease in accepting a friend’s choices, regardless of how they may differ from our own.
- Good listening skills are essential to allow the communicating of intimate thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This sharing is a gradual process of give and take that deepens over time.
- Being supportive of others in their bad times is a defining quality of a good friend, but being supportive of others in their good times is also essential. The saying goes, “Everybody loves a winner,” but for some of us, this just isn’t so. If you have trouble celebrating another’s good fortune and experience envy or even bitterness, this may limit the depth of your friendships.
Traits of Congeniality
This group, representing by the final three traits listed above, includes self-confidence, the ability to see the humor in life, and being fun to be around. This trio of traits has also been associated with overall well-being and happiness in life.
- Self-confidence is an appealing characteristic in any friend, and may even be contagious. When we are in the company of self-confident individuals, we typically feel our own confidence rise.
- People who are fun to be around are better company than friends who walk around with a dark cloud hanging over their heads. The former enjoy life, handle challenges in proactive ways, and keep negative experiences in perspective.
- People who have the ability to see the humor in life help us deal with the curveballs (or spitballs) life tosses at us. We all benefit from friends who are able to keep us from taking life too seriously.
Before You Can Increase Your Friendship Quotient, You Must Admit That the Need Exists
Remember: Everyone brings a different level of the 13 traits to their relationships. However, the very best friends offer a generous helping of this baker’s dozen. Take an honest look at your own behaviors and see if you need to raise your “friendship quotient” to raise the likelihood of maintaining the close connections you desire.
What brings you happiness in life? Friends, family, material success? Share your experiences as a participant in the online survey, Exploration of Happiness over the Lifespan