Find Friends

Let’s face it, without friends to share the good moments in life with, it reduces one’s quality of life. And if you’ve taken the position of, “I don’t need no stinking friends,” then it is certain that you will not. If you ever find yourself in need of a friend (which happens from time to time) you will not have anyone to turn to when it would be beneficial to have someone you could lean on.

I’m not saying you have to have a hundred friends, although someone I work with has hundreds of friends – probably the most connected person I’ve ever met – and while he maintains genuine friendships with them, when he needs a friend for anything (personally or professionally) a simple text, email or phone call is all it takes for them jump at the opportunity to help him. A few friends, like four or five, who live in within a hundred miles or so would serve you well.

These should be special friends. That means they are compatible, share some of the same interests and passion as you, integrous, trustworthy and you will have each other’s back. It’s not likely this will happen overnight but to remain open and willing to invite a few special people into your life would help to attract the right kind of people but don’t expect your new friends to materialize in front of you.

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You have to put yourself in the right places to find friends who are the kind of people that would make good friends. You might even have to create opportunities to find friends. Consider joining an organization, creating your own club, networking event, regular themed meet up or meeting that will attract participants who are likely to share similar interests.

As you’re attracting a core group of friends who will “have your back” and you theirs, keep in mind that you are not desperate, and do not try to force a friendship. If you’re in the right place at the right time, a potential friendship will blossom naturally. Though you may need to make the first move (invite someone to coffee, etc.) be thoughtful enough not to seem aggressive while finding friends. Maintaining a genuine friendship is not hard work; they simply grow and mature without much effort.

Once you’ve met someone in public, you will need to move to a more private arena to build a relationship. True friendships are built off-line, not just during breaks at events. If you think you are too shy, you might want to practice putting yourself out there enough to create bonds with people you might like or learn to love if given the chance.

If you find a friend, or two, at a particular event or venue, it may be time to reach out to another group of people or to hang out with their other friends at other get-togethers to give you new opportunities to find potential friends that can grow into authentic relationships.

It is important to maintain a sense of community. You may find your regular circle of friends and family are not as supportive of your goals, dreams and desires – and may not even recognize a win for you as such, so – expecting them to celebrate with you would be confusing to them. But a group of like-minded individuals will “get you” and celebrate enthusiastically, helping to cement your new plateau, and encourage you to reach even farther on your quest to your highest and best.

These people could end up being your most trusted long term friends for life.

Connecting with Friends

Ever notice how friends seem to come and go throughout your life, yet others… Appear and reappear at various intervals… and when you get together it’s as if no time has passed as you slip right into the loving and caring relationship where you last left off?

That’s the sign of a true friend

People don’t seem to create the same kind of lasting bonds as they used to.

What’s social media got to do with it?

Social media is dual sided

Sure, it can instantly connect us to family, friends, acquaintances, business associates and people from our past. In regards to connecting in this fashion, the medium is priceless. I even use it to be engaged in the lives of my family and kids, somewhat closing the gap of separation by geography.

The electronic medium is instant – and delayed – all at the same time. Someone can post something in real time, and the viewer can view and/or comment at a time that is convenient.

In these respects social media is a huge upgrade to our lives on planet earth.

On the other hand it leads to deterioration in the level of intimacy in social relationships.

Friendships are more superficial, as there is less one-on-one face-to-face intimate communication.

Plus, there is a technological separation – a barrier – which cannot be bridged by social media. It is easier for me to misrepresent, cover-up, be dishonest or lie via social media to my “friends.”

There is less opportunity to open-up, trust and remain unfiltered in true heart-to-heart communication. Which turns out to create a greater need for counseling, coaching and consulting; and even these areas are beginning to move from offices to streaming via electronic mediums.

Making Real Friends

Childhood friends can form meaningful deep friendship for life

My earliest friendships date back to my childhood; from frolicking and playing (Dog-pile!) with my young friends, out in the open, walking the streets, hiking trails, splashing in streams, playing in the woods… Having fun and exploring; bonding, without supervision, without fear (except the fear of getting in trouble for not honoring the rule of heading for home when the street lights turned on).

Other friendships were forged in between classes from grade school through college. While in-person training is still the accepted model in public schools, there is a growing trend amongst greater education (starting to infiltrate high school) to telecommute or attend via Internet. Not having downtime in between classes, does not allow potential for developing a deep level friendship.

Take a Look Around

The next time you go out to a night club, restaurant – or even a college cafeteria – and take a look around… Even in these public social environments, more and more people are on their phones and tablets, connecting with others, even each other. Yes, I witnessed (and you may, too):

Two men sitting at the bar communicating with each other via text and over social media.

I realize I’m sounding like an “old person” right about now, because the times they are a changing.

The changes have me concerned about the future.

From this perspective, I see the world moving to a place where meaningful relationships are much less meaningful and are superseded by a new model of social connection that – while very connected – is completely disconnected.

How will this affect the future?

Will our children’s children be less likely to have meaningful connections (true friends) with other individuals?
Will there be a growing trend for us to further imprison ourselves, crawling deeper into our homes and only connect electronically with the outside world?

I may only have a handful of true friends – the ones who I have forged impenetrable relationships with, standing the test of time – but they are by far among the most treasured the most meaningful components of a life that would otherwise be solitary, even though I am surrounded by thousands of people. I salute each and every one of you with an enthusiastic

I love you, man!

Now, I’m going to go check to see how liked I am by counting my Facebook friends… 🙂