How to Make and Keep Friends


Having friends is one of the most pleasant of human experiences. Friends provide good company, fun, someone to talk to, and someone who can support you when trouble comes. There may be some of you that have difficulty making and keeping friends. For that reason, I have some handy tips to help you.

The first thing you want to develop is the ability to MEET people. In order to meet people, you need to stay in the public. Go where people gather: Churches, schools, coffee shops, parks, malls, etc. It is a good practice to speak to everyone who comes within three feet of you. When you say, “Hello”, make sure you smile. People love to see a friendly face.

It is important to believe certain things about yourself if you are to meet more people: Say to yourself, “I am interesting, I am funny, people want to meet me, and I have something to say.” And when you meet someone for the first time, you can talk about the circumstance that has brought you together. For example: If you meet at a ballgame, you can certainly talk about your team, significance of the game, where you are seated, how well your team is doing or not doing, the other team, or why you are at this particular game. This type of conversation can go on for quite a while. Then you can talk about the other person. Ask them who they are, what they do, and what they like. Be prepared to share the same things about yourself.

The second thing you want to do is TREAT people. Once you both determine that you have enough likability, and have enough in common worthy of a friendship, then make it your plan to stay in touch on a regular basis. I have a system called “Five for Five”. Most of us can keep up with at least five good friends. Do these five things with your top five friends:

1.       Call them once a week just to see how they are doing.

2.       Invite them to participate when you have a special event.

3.       Attend special events that they invite you to.

4.       Do something for them every six months (Show up at a gathering, send a card, take them to lunch, go on an outing, etc.)

5.       Remember their birthdays by sending a card or helping them celebrate.

Real friends are not bothersome, but delightful. So, you want to stay available when needed. Stay cheerful and encouraging. When there is a problem, spend more time on solutions rather than the problem.

Finally, there is a scripture that says, “A man that has friends must show himself friendly.” So go out of your way to contribute joy, hope, and love into the lives of those you call “a friend.”