I can say I have a lot of friends: Best friend, close friends, high school friends, college friends, new friends, random friends, and even facebook friends! Oh, I thank God for giving me such wonderful friends! (Now, I’m just waiting for Him to give me a boyfriend. Hihi. Just kidding.)
Today, let me share to you the art of befriending a new person that I have mastered from my experiences. But first let me define a new person by giving you some examples:
- the one sitting beside you in a bus
- a dormmate who came in the laundry area while you were washing your undies
- a classmate who came in late at the first day of class
- a schoolmate who for the first time ate lunch where you regularly eat with your friends
- the newest neighbor at your street
- the barker who told you which jeepney to ride
- the guard at the bank who always smiled at you as you enter
- a mother who joined your table in a fastfood chain
- a guy selling earrings at the overpass
- a girl grilling barbecues at the street corner
Whoever that new person is, if you desire to befriend him or her, you should decide to make steps to know him or her better and then do them. If now you still don’t know what to do, I have some tips for you. 🙂
- Smile. A friendship starts with a smile. Through this, you are communicating that you are happy to see him or her and would be happy to talk with him or her, too. If he or she smiles back, be glad and keep smiling.
- Speak up. Say hi or hello (while still smiling). On my experience, I always start our conversation by asking a question. If I’m on a bus, I say, “Where are you headed?” If inside the classroom, “What did our prof just say?” If on the street I say, “Excuse me, I am just new in this place. Do you know how could I go to that place?” Learn to ask the right question depending on the situation. Be sure that you would listen to the answer.
- Say your name. Introduce yourself right away so that he or she won’t be hesitant to talk with you. Say a little something about yourself or why you would want to talk with him or her (make it brief, not more than 10 seconds). Ask his or her name. This is important to make your conversations more personal. Calling people by name is a way of recognizing the worth of a person. If you call a new person by his or her name, that person will feel important and accepted.
Sometimes, I introduce myself after being comfortable with the person, saying “Oh, I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Jas, and you are?” Other times, I start the conversation by saying, “Hello, I am Jas, and I just wanted to talk with you so that we won’t be bored while washing our undies. Is it okay with you? What’s your name by the way?”
There. I have gained new friends because of the 3S – Smile, Speak up, Say your name. Those need not be done step-by-step. Just make sure you do it all. 🙂
And one last thing: In order to befriend someone, be a friend. 🙂
*This is in response to the Daily Prompt: Why Can’t We Be Friends?