20. Friendship Building


Friendships don’t just happen Although one person may start a friendship, both partners will need to contribute to the building process. You can initiate a friendship by moving toward a prospective friend and starting a conversation. You will probably have very few friends if you wait for them to come to you.

Remember that initial relationships with others are generally a little awkward. Allow yourself some time to feel comfortable with the beginning of a friendship — the initial awkwardness is natural and will lessen as you get to know each other.

Following are some tips to help you get started making new friends.


Be where other people are. You aren’t make friends if you aren’t in the situations where there are people. Involvement entails both communication and listening. Share feelings, ideas, opinions and activities, and listen — listening to both the speaker’s words and feelings conveys your interest.

Send Friendly, Non-Shy Signals to Others

It helps both your and them loosen up. Try these suggestions from Dr. Arthur Wasamar, author of Making Contact, a system he calls SOFTEN. Soften breaks down this way:

Smile — It shows you’re friendly and would enjoy the other person’s company.

Open Your Posture — Uncross your arms and legs; you’ll look more relaxed.

Forward — Lean toward the person, or move closer to show you’re attentive to what he or she is saying.

Touch — A hand on another person’s arm is a welcome gesture (make sure you don’t touch too much, however)

Eye Contact — This shows that you don’t want to miss what’s being said.

Nod — A nod communicates that you understand what’s being said and you’re interested in keeping the conversation going.