Family Life · Musings

Canoeing with friends

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We went canoeing with some friends.

I don’t think I’ve always been very good at making friends. And I’m not always a very good friend and I’m still sort of awkward in social situations in general (many of us are).

But here are some things that have helped me feel a little bit more confident in my ability to make new friends:

  1. Talk to everyone. You may never talk to them again, but you might find you have a lot in common.
  2. Try to remember the person’s name. Write down the names of people you meet.
  3. Then you can add them on Facebook. And check out their profile, briefly. But don’t go sifting through their timeline for the last five years trying to find out everything about them. That’s a little creepy.
  4. You can still be friends with people even if you have no idea what their names are.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for someone’s name if you have forgotten it or you never knew what it was in the first place and you’ve talked to this person dozens of times and you get along quite well and you still don’t know their name . . . just ask. It’s okay.
  6. Church is a really good place to make friends.
  7. Use your children as an excuse. If another person has kids the same age as yours, you’re halfway there already.
  8. Show up. Show up to any activities you hear about, particularly if you are new or want to make friends.
  9. Volunteer when you can.
  10. Text people or message people online. You can call, but only if they are old and don’t know how to text.
  11. Don’t wait to get invited; invite others instead.
  12. People don’t care what your house looks like, and if they do, that is their problem. Invite them over. Over meet at a public place.
  13. Don’t be afraid to be awkward. Sometimes awkwardness is the start of a really good relationship.
  14. Sometimes awkwardness remains awkwardness and you realize that you aren’t going to be close friends with certain people. That’s okay. Keep being nice anyway.
  15. If someone doesn’t reciprocate your efforts, don’t take it personally. You can keep trying, but also seek new opportunities.
  16. Go to public places (like parks) and play and talk to people there.
  17. Good conversation starters: How old is your child? Where are you from? It’s cold today. How are you doing? 
  18. Make friends with people who are different than you. Older, younger, different time of life, different family situation, different religion, different race, different viewpoints–it can be good to be different.
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