Sometimes as a plane takes off, or a line for a bus inches forward, I occupy myself by making a mental list of things I’m grateful for. The list is never-ending, but the item on the list that I’m always most grateful for are the people in my life, my friends and family.
I don’t think that I’m a grand expert of friend making, but I must have done a few things right to end up with such great friends, and I think I can tease out some core ideas.
The first is to not annoy. When I think about great people I’m not good friends with, the reason for the distance is always some level of annoyance. And it always seems to be a shame– such a great person, but so hard to spend the time with them that it would take to become friends.
I’m sure I do plenty of little annoying things, but my time in pickup helped me develop a self-awareness to seek out those things an eliminate them as best as possible. If you have trouble making friends with people you think should otherwise be your friends, it might be time for some deep introspection and work on awareness.
When I think about the friends I’ve made in San Francisco, I can trace them back to just a couple of people who introduced me to all of their friends. One thing that people sometimes don’t consider about introductions is that it’s always a risk. If you introduce someone to me, and they don’t like me, that might damage your relationship a little bit. Introductions take trust.
With that in mind, you should think about yourself. Will you make that person look good, or will they have to worry? How do you reflect on the person making the introduction? The answers to these questions will account for how your friends multiply. If you’re a lot of fun and make everyone who introduces you look good, everyone wants to introduce you. If you’re a liability, even your best friends may hesitate to introduce you to others.
And last, you have to bring something to the table. Something that makes your friends lives’ better. It could be that you’re a great listener, that you’re really funny, that you organize events for your friends, or that you give great advice. Almost everyone has the capacity to do this, but some aren’t proactive about it. When I was very introverted, it took me a long time to actually add things to friend circles. Now that I’m more extroverted, I’m able to become a contributing member of a friend group faster.
Friendship can be automatic, but that’s allowing chance to dictate one of the most important aspects of your life. Better is to really think about what’s going on, engage in some introspection, and proactively improve your social life.
Photo is a bunch of friends and two random Japanese girls. You can still see traces of when I shaved a Monkey’s Tail beard.
Sorry this came out Saturday. I lost track of what day it was because of the train trip. The days seem to fly by here. Once this flurry of travel ends I’m going to start autoqueuing and have a consistent post schedule.