#Askingforafriend: How to make friends

By Kristan Farley
GCU Office of Student Care
#Askingforafriend

New school year, new people! Some are outgoing and seem to know everyone in a matter of days. Others have to push themselves to go out and tend to build connections more slowly – they even may have anxiety related to meeting new people.

Everyone is different, and one style is not better than another. Know that you are a valuable person worthy of love and compassion, no matter where you are outgoing and know a lot of people or are quieter and more comfortable with a few people in your circle.

Whatever your style, friendships take courage and time. A few things to remember when starting new relationships:

  • Be yourself: Your first job in a friendship is to know yourself and what your style, values and preferences are. Then you select friends who are a good fit for you and share similar interests. Next, you make space for the other person, and hopefully the other person makes space for you. That way, both of you can be authentically yourselves without judgment.
  • Be courageous: I know it can feel scary because you don’t want to be rejected. Most everyone feels this fear. But it is worth the risk. If someone doesn’t respond positively, remember that not everyone is a good fit for you but you are enough and worthy of love and relationship. Keep trying until you find a mutual connection. Practice saying things like this: “Hey, I heard you guys talking about going to the game. Would it be OK if I come?” “Would you like to grab lunch today after class?” “Would you like to study for this test together this afternoon?”
  • Be patient: It takes time to build a comfortable connection. When you have previously enjoyed a community with family or friends you have known a long time, these new people you meet will not feel as comfortable until you have shared experiences over time and have learned to build trust. It is OK to grow vulnerable with others gradually as you learn to trust them. We don’t have to be best friends on the first day.
  • Be intentional: Keep growing as a person by asking yourself what type of friend you want and if you are that type of friend. Practice these virtues and keep growing in your own self-acceptance and confidence. A person who has a healthy confidence feels safe to others. Confidence means that I know I can make mistakes (because everyone makes mistakes), and when I do I can make amends. Grow comfortable with yourself in the process – this makes others comfortable as well.

You are going to have a lot of opportunities. Practice the kinds of conversations you want to have. Be curious and ask questions about people. Get to know them, and be a good friend to make a good friend. Over time, you will find your people. Be patient!

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Chapel

Chapel

GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

"(Jesus) was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross." (Acts 2:23)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/