How to Make Friends

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

Perma-link for article: http://www.banjaraacademy.org/friendship-by-counsellor-author-life-coach-dr-ali-khwaja

Come, says Dr. Ali Khwaja, let’s sharpen our skills on How to Make Friends

How to Make Friends

The third largest nation in the world in terms of numbers is Facebook, with already 500 million inhabitants, and increasing rapidly. While many of us cannot even count 5 true friends in our vicinity, we are reaching out virtually to an endless ocean of humanity, trying to find friends in the anonymity of the computer and the privacy of our own rooms. What do you feel about this phenomenon?

Here are some points to ponder over:

  • Relationships affect our happiness and quality of life more than any other factor
  • We look for our own needs and fulfillment in Interpersonal relationships
  • All relationships are dynamic, they change continuously
  • Every relationship has to be nurtured and protected if we want it to flourish
  • Our expectations from close persons are always higher than from others
  • We get hurt by slightest act of person who is important to us

There are Defined (labeled) relationships, and there are Undefined (friendships)

  • Society is moving more towards the latter
  • Among the latter we have Friends of Convenience vs. True Friends
  • Friendships don’t rest on labels, are fragile – yet that is what makes them precious

There is no such thing as “permanent” relationships – if nothing, death takes the person away. Look for “long-term” relationships.

Yourself: Understand yourself first before you begin to understand others. What we are vs. what image we present need not be the same – be aware

See what first impression you create, observe the “honeymoon” phase of your friendship Once a routine sets in, try to bring variety, thrill, suspense and joy in the interactions. Keep communicating, and try out unique ways of communication – don’t become predictable At the same time, learn the importance of “Giving Space” in relationships.

Whenever you feel the need for a friend, ask why the existing people in your life cannot fill the need and why are you looking for a stranger – are you expecting the ideal?

Qualities: Since many a time we form friendships only out of convenience, we rarely think and evaluate qualities of our friends. Friendships are built on inter-personal qualities of your friend, and they thrive on your intrinsic qualities. List out the interpersonal qualities of some of your good friends, and list out your own intrinsic qualities. Ask these friends if they agree to your list.

  • “Never try to maintain relationships in your life, just try to maintain life in your relations”
  • You can win more friends with your ears than with your mouth.
  • How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. -- George Washington Carver
  • “If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.” -- Albert Einstein in his address to the French Philosophical Society

Good friendships are greater assets than wealth or material things.

Investing in people is the one safeguard against all recession and calamities. It is true friends who stand by you an ensure that you get what you need or want. But as mentioned above, true friendships need to be understood well, evaluated from time to time, and nurtured on a continuous basis. Let’s see how well you do it ….

  1. What qualities do you think a true friend should have?
  2. Do you feel more comfortable in a gang than floating among all friends?
  3. Do you prefer 1:1 interactions, or in small groups?
  4. How do you respond when your friends tease or gossip about another friend? How do you feel when they gossip about unknown persons?
  5. How do you handle a friend who is continuously imposing him/herself on you?
  6. What is your reaction when you come to know that a friend is jealous of you?
  7. If someone is spreading gossip about you, what would you do?
  8. If you want to make friends with someone you seem to like, what steps would you take? How much effort would you put in?

Once you have done a fair amount of evaluation of what makes good friends, sit down and list out who you consider are YOUR TRUE FRIENDS


How many did you write in the list, and what does the number mean to you? Also, how long have each been your friend, how many challenges or hurdles has this relationship overcome?

For each of them, do an introspection about their …..

  • Good qualities:
  • Bad Qualities:
  • What good they have done to me:
  • What bad they have done to me:
  • What are my expectations from them in future:
  • What will I give them in future:

If you feel lonely and feel you do not have friends, do a thorough introspection. Surrounded by such a wide variety of people in urban setups, why have you not been able to find any like minded person who you can share your happiness and sorrows with? There are so many others like you who also have a need for friendships and to have someone to share with. It is possible that you have become too cautious in opening out to anyone, because of past experiences. It could be that your self- esteem is low and you feel that you are not worthy of someone’s love. It is also possible that you are mis-judging others thinking that they are all happy and occupied. Whatever it may be, the fact is that there is a friend out there waiting for you – perhaps as introvert and shy as you, perhaps also questioning himself or herself how to make friends. The only way you can get a friend is …… to be one.

Carefully tear out the portion below, fill it in, and hand it over to someone who you do not know very well:

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

I would like to make friends with you because you are …..

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

About the author

This website was initially conceived and designed by the late Sitaram N
Copyright © 2017 www.banjaraacademy.org. Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, the Content of the Website of Banjara Academy - the text, the audios, the videos, the images - contributed by Dr Ali Khwaja and his team of volunteers at Banjara Academy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.