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.
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.