Even if You’re an Always-Busy or Socially-Awkward High-Achiever
“Friendship is one of life’s most important features”. But the weird thing is we don’t always find that out until we’re all alone on a Friday night, stuck with cold pizza and reruns of Two and a Half Men, wondering if we’ll ever get out of this social sinkhole.
“As humans, we’re incredibly social creatures, and this nature is often consistent across board, even as always-busy or socially-awkward individuals”, Friendship Coach, Chris Lenz, says. No matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur or the amazing work you do as an engineer, software developer, or IT professional, life always feels better when we have people to share it with. Plus, science definitively tells us that having great friendships can be key to promoting happiness, good health, and fulfilment in our lives.
The problem, however, is while we all want great friendships and long-lasting relationships, we might not always know how to go about this. Thankfully, there are various tips and strategies we can implement to move beyond our challenges and achieve the social competence we desire.
If you’re at the point where you have made a commitment to widen your social circle with meaningful relationships, then you’re in the right place. Here, Chris shares actionable tips for finding great friends and cultivating fulfilling relationships that you can start to implement today.
How to get started
“People ordinarily assume that, as social creatures, we should all be able to make friends easily and find common ground with those around us.” “But”, Chris points out, “this assumption can often be false”. In fact, studies indicate that around half of all people struggle to make new friends. Difficulties with creating friendships are more common than we assume, and this can be doubly so for extremely busy or socially awkward persons.
When you’re always grappling with a perpetually full calendar, creating and maintaining relationships can feel like hard work. Making new friends can feel even more challenging when you genuinely struggle to find people on the same wavelength as you, experience crippling bouts of social anxiety, or simply don’t know how to connect with people.
The truth is it’s not always easy to engage with people and form friendships as fast as we want. But the good news is that it is possible, and with these four action points that Chris shares below, you can immediately start working to improve your social competence.
- Realize there’s nothing wrong with you: The first thing you need to do is let go of the self-blame. We all find it hard to do certain things, and if yours is making new friends, there’s hardly anything wrong there – you’re not alone. Chris Lenz himself was once painfully introverted but he found his way out of that challenge and you can too.
- Step out of your comfort zone: Be prepared to get into conversations and try things that may feel uncomfortable for you. There’s a reason why it’s the comfort zone – we hardly feel challenged there and are almost never driven to change. But when you expose yourself to new experiences, you’ll find yourself learning faster than you thought possible.
- Identify and develop your strengths: Chris explains that we all have experiences, abilities, quirks, and skills that are unique to us. And when we cultivate these, they can become important clarifying points that help us attract people, strike up conversations, and become comfortable with people. Find yours and give them a good workout.
- Set specific friendship goals: Finally, set a target of exactly where you want to go in your social life. Setting specific friendship goals helps us ensure we’re aiming for something realistic and it sets these goals in neon lights so we have something concrete to work towards.
With these initial action points, you now know exactly how to shake off the friendship blues and begin to widen your social circle. Next up is how to go about finding new friends (or reclaiming old ones).
How to start finding friends fast
“One thing we often overlook when it comes to making friends is how intentional the process actually is”, Chris says. Making new friends requires taking deliberate, and in many instances, specific actions to build relationships with others. What this means is you can’t really afford to skate through this if you want best results.
You need to be truly committed to transforming your social life and creating relationships that add to you. That said, here are great tips on how to start finding friends:
- Reconnect with old friends: Looking to encourage new friendships in your life? Why not renew some old ones? In terms of relationship building strategies, this is a low hanging fruit within reach of just about anyone. And the science is firmly behind this one too. With old friends, you can revisit that spark that brought you together and build on top of that with the experiences you’ve both had in the meantime.
- Explore friends of friends: This is another quick strategy you can utilize. Often, we have access to a far larger network than we suspect, and in many cases, all it takes to access this is to the friends of our friends. These are those people our friends have introduced us to, people we’ve seen around them, and others who you know by reason of that friend.
- Make friends at work: Colleagues at work can be a superb source of new friendships. Science even has some input here too. Co-workers who sit at large tables can be especially great to form new friendships with because they typically have bigger networks and know more about their colleagues.
- Start with a smile: Apart from instantly transforming our features and making us look more attractive, smiling lets others see your human, approachable side and this can be a great precursor to a lifelong friendship.
- Be a good listener: People who are good listeners tend to have more confidants and people who trust them. When you truly pay attention to someone, it makes them feel valued, respected, or even loved. Everyone wants to be friends with someone who makes them feel like that.
- Be vulnerable: Friendships are also often born when people truly connect over things that mean a lot to them. By opening up about your dreams, challenges, or expectations, you let others see your human side just as they show you theirs. This can create a powerful bond over which solid relationships are formed.
- Be part of a social group: If all else fails, being part of a group with people who have similar interests can help you make new acquaintances who eventually become friends.
With these tips, you now have all you need to transform your outlook and begin to build the social life you desire. And if you need a bit more hands-on assistance with getting started on widening your social circle, Chris can help you break out of your shell and start developing the meaningful friendships you desire.
Simply schedule a free consultation today and Chris will get started on helping you understand the nature of your challenges and strategies you can implement to find new friends and create long-lasting relationships.