Making Friends

Friends – Who are they?

Friends are people you can depend on in:

  • Keeping you company when you are alone
  • Sharing common interests and experiences with you
  • Helping you to feel good and entertained
  • Seeking your company in having funs in parties, events and gatherings
  • Hanging out with you for a meal, a movie or just an outing to have a good time as a social group
  • Providing the emotional support needed such as good listening ear, empathy, reassurance, advice, suggestions, feedback, encouragement, and acknowledging your strengths
  • Providing you information about current news and events
  • Providing you with help when you need it
  • Giving you a sense of belonging to a certain social group with a common interest

How do I choose a friend?

You may have your own reasons for having friends. Therefore, you choose your friends according to the reasons you would like friends for.

How do I make friends?

  • Approach people and get to know them
  • Greet them face to face and state your name
  • Ask them questions about themselves (e.g. where do they come from, what hobbies they have)
  • Listen to their answers
  • Find something in common to talk about or ask them to play with you

When people are approached in this way, they feel important because you are interested in them. However certain information about them may be personal and they may not want to tell you. Respect their space and not force them to tell you anything that they may not want to tell you.

What can prevent people from making friends?

  • Labeling people with negative names
  • Being argumentative and always having the last word
  • Being so agreeable that you do not have any opinion of your own
  • Being bossy and telling people what to do all the time
  • Talking only about yourself all the time
  • Gossiping bad things about others
  • Being negative and sarcastic about life and people in general
  • Being mean to people
  • Showing off and bragging about yourself
  • Bullying others and forcing people to do things they do not wish to do
  • Lying and cheating people

What happens when I don’t make friends?

  • You can become very lonely
  • You are likely to receive little help when needed
  • You will lack emotional support when parents or guardians are not around
  • You will have few or no one to play with or to hang out with (hence, lonely again)

What can I do if I get rejected by someone to be a friend?

Sometimes other people may not be interested to be friends with you. They may tell you nicely or they may be rude to you. It is all right to feel hurt, sad or angry. Here are some techniques to solve this problem:

  1. Think of how you might try to be this person’s friend or,
  2. If you do not wish to be friends, how do you make sure that you don’t make this person your enemy?

You can tell yourself:

  • “I don’t like being rejected but I can handle this”
  • “It’s OK. I can be friends with others”
  • “I feel unwanted. I don’t like it. I’m a good enough person; I can find other people to be friends with”
  • “He’s rude. I don’t like him. But that is his problem. I’m not making it mine”
  • “This sucks, but I can handle it”

What would I feel or think when I am rejected?

People who are rejected may think and feel this way:

  • “Am I such a bad person that she doesn’t want to be friends with me?”
  • “He’s such a snob and I’m not cool enough to be his friend. I hate him!”
  • “She’s not interested in me. I must be a boring person”
  • “He wants to make me feel like a fool. That moron! Who does he think he is?!”

These thoughts are negative and seemingly angry. They don’t help because they make you a bitter and cynical person. If you find yourself thinking this way, try to find some positive alternatives and do something about yourself so that you feel better.

Where can I go to make friends?

  • School
  • Neighborhood
  • Community centre
  • Sports centre
  • Shops/Shopping centre
  • Places of worship (e.g. mosques, churches, temples)
  • Camps
  • Parks
  • Social events- e.g. open houses, parties, jogathons, etc
  • Internet- through chat or email
  • Basically anywhere

How do I make friends on the internet?

  • There are many networking sites (e.g. www.facebook.com, www.friendster.com, www.hi5.com, www.multiply.com) that allow you to connect with people all around the world. You complete a profile of yourself and search for people who have similar interests as you have. You can contact them and ask them to be your friends
  • People have blogs (internet diaries) on their website that you can access. You may read about them and decide if you want to be friends with them
  • Large e-mail account providers usually also provide virtual chat-rooms where you can chat online with people who are also registered under the same e-mail provider (e.g. www.yahoo.com,www.hotmail.com, www.icq.com)

How do I prepare myself before making friends?

You may want to think about:

  • Who you would like to be friends with?
  • Where you would like to meet this person?
  • What you would like to say to him or her?
  • What you can say or do to make this person your friend?
  • What you can do if you are rejected?

Practice with someone you can trust. If your methods do not work, find other methods and try them.

Is it OK to be nervous when making friends?

Sometimes meeting new people can be a nerve-wrecking experience especially when you feel attracted to them and want to make a good impression. Feeling nervous is a very natural feeling, even when making normal friends. With time and practice, you will get use to it.

But I am shy. I don’t like approaching people. What can I do?

Many people are shy and prefer other people to approach them first. You can still make friends this way but you can make even more friends if you are able to approach others. Try to take the first step and get use to it. Your shyness will gradually reduce. Seek help.

Who can I go to for help?

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Teachers
  • Counselors
  • Psychologists
  • Spiritual teachers

Related links

  • Assertiveness
  • Communication skills
  • Decision making
  • Understanding personality
  • Negotiating skills
  • Positive thinking
  • Problem solving skills
  • Relaxation
  • Stress management
Last Reviewed : 20 April 2012
Writer : Prof. Madya Dr. Alvin Ng Lai Oon
Reviewer : Pn. Fariz Sakina Bt. Abdullah