When you meet someone for the first time, this is a wonderful opportunity to create something magical, something fresh and vibrant, true and honest, all because of the way you approach it.  A new friend is without history or ‘her story’, without bias and without prejudice.  A new friend offers hope and healing.

I have decided to use the letters to make words that best depict the advice I’d give each and every one of you when it comes to making friends.  So from the first letter of every word in ‘The Art Of Making Friends’ - here we go…. because each letter gives me a word that sums up beautifully a key or a guide to remember when you are with people, any people.

T = Thankful.  When you meet someone new, or even hanging out with an old friend, be sure to let them know with your body language, your eyes, your smile, and your vibe, that you are thankful to be with them at that precise moment.  They must feel this from you, it’s a vital clue in bridging the gap with a new person, a possible new friend!

H = Humble.  By staying humble in your interaction, not blurting out everything about you, instead really getting into what’s going on for ‘them’, you will become attractive.

E = Engage.  Engagement with your new friend means being involved and aware of them, and we could add another ‘E’ word there – Excited.  Let them know you are excited about being with them.

A = Attention.  Pay attention to your new friend or existing acquaintance, they are summing you up in nanoseconds, so to buy yourself some time, be attentive to them.  By being in an attentive state you create an opportunity for that person to express, for them to feel like they are relevant and matter.  This takes discipline I know but believe me its value.  The results will come through in different ways that may surprise you but they will come through!

R = Respect.  Your new friend needs to know that you respect them.  They need to know that you respect yourself too.  Working aspects of your own character into the banter will pay big dividends.  You must be open to some self - evaluation as you try to see yourself as others would see you.

T = Time.  It’s very difficult to mask that you may be in a hurry, but I caution you.  Always be mindful of the time that you are spending with your new friend.  If they feel you are rushing or don’t have enough time for a conversation or time to listen to them, you will lose brownie points.  It’s true you may have little time and you may well be in a hurry, but the ‘art of making friends’ means maintaining an illusion of calm.  Your new friend doesn’t need to know you are ‘busy, in a hurry, impatient, running late’, they are your focus for the ‘present’.  Make time for friends.

O = Observe.  When you take the time to observe your new friend, you will gather intel that will help you to bond with this person or persons.  This is not to be confused with judging.  Observing is making a mental note of what they are wearing, how they hold themselves, how they look at you when they talk, their mannerisms.  Observing is taking in detail, and using that detail in your framework of building the friendship house!

F = Fun.  If you don’t have fun with this, what is the point of life?  Make the whole exercise of making friends a ‘fun’ experience. Bring fun into your liaisons and you will see others will want to be around you because you light up a room, or they feel that you value them.  If you are having fun without hurting anyone else’s feelings, then you will raise the vibration of others.

M = Memorize.  As you get to know a new friend, memorize names and details that help you to build repour.  Memorize and bring the intel into your conversation with that person.  Example.  ‘It’s great that your son William built that Green billy cart all on his own, such a creative little fellow!’  Now your new friend knows that you have cared enough to remember their son’s name and a detail that was/is important to them.

A = Ask Questions, listen to the answers and use the answers.  Assume physiology of the new acquaintance.  Lean into them when they lean into you.  Nod when they nod, cross your legs as they do, and the physiology is shared!  Ask questions!

K = Kindness.  In The End Only Kindness Matters.  If you have a choice between being kind or right, always chose kind.  This will save the day.  No one likes a know it all, even if you do know it all, keep something up your sleeve, and it will be in your favour in the long run.

I = Interested.  Being interested in another person is good value, it takes the pressure off you.  Let your mind be taken in by another person’s stories and experiences, and strive to be ‘interested, rather than interesting!’.

N = Natural.  Through all of your conversations, never try to be something you are not.  Your natural self is enough, don’t’ try to be something you are not, especially on your first meeting.  People will see through you, quick enough, so be honest and natural, and be REAL. You will make friends with the people who match you, so be honest!

G = Grateful.  Make sure you remind your new friend how grateful you are to meet them, how grateful you are for the opportunity to spend time with them, and for any insights or information or learning that has come about because of meeting them!  THE ATTITUDE of GRATITUDE is everything.

F = Faith.  Have faith that whoever you are meeting, whoever you get stuck with at the Wedding table, whoever you pair up within a class, whoever you sit next to at a bus stop is exactly who you need to be with at that time.  Everything is in order.  Have faith that it has happened for a reason, and little miracles will happen more often.  Don’t be afraid to ask God, the Universe, whatever you believe, don’t be afraid to ask directly for the right people to show up in your life.

R = Religion.  While we are at it.  Faith is one thing, however, be mindful about speaking about religion when you first meet someone.

I = Integrity.  Avoid talking about others in a derogative manner.  Avoid talking about OTHER people when you meet a stranger.  You never know who someone knows, so caution around making an opinion about someone else.  It will backfire.  ALWAYS talk about someone else as if they are standing right beside you.  One day they will be.  SO get this right!

EEscape.  Should you find yourself talking to someone who doesn’t match your beliefs your philosophy and you have endured all you could take, If the conversation isn’t congruent and you are on the verge of ‘new person overload’, have a suitable escape plan in place.  Eg., ‘Oh I see Bob over there, I promised him I’d catch up before we left.  Nice talking with you. I must see him now.’

Or, ‘Thanks for the conversation, I’m going to jump off the balcony now and turn into my superhero character and save the world… Enjoy the rest of the night.’

Or, ‘I can’t leave my husband alone with that woman any longer, so I should rescue him now.  I’m so glad we had this time together.  Bye.!’.

N = Never.  There are several getting to know you ‘RULES’ i.e. Questions you should never ask.  The first one may seem obvious, but people still make this mistake.  Question.  When are you due?  Don’t ask that, as they more than likely are not due.

Question, How much do you earn?  Never ask that question. It’s none of your business!  It’s just wrong!  They may answer you, they may not, but It’s none of your business, and it will cut the potential for friendship very quickly.

D = Divulge.  If you have applied all the above tactics and hints and found yourself in a unique position where suddenly your new friend is ready to learn about you, only divulge a little about yourself, keep something up your sleeve, and you will be more alluring that way.  Divulge just a little!

S = Share and Shine.  Finally, share something of value to your new friend.  Share a contact number or referral if they have told you they need a plumber and you happen to know one, or a sparky for a weekend job.  Again you know someone, so share.

If you asked me to chose between a million friends or a million dollars which would I select?

I’d say, I’ll take a million friends any day, and I can always ask a million friends for $1.00 each and I’ll be a millionaire too!

Let me know what you thought of this blog, I’d love to know how you make friends, and if that is of value to you x Annie Clark.