Making Friends: The Small Leap

Most childhood friends are made accidentally. Adults can act maturely and find out certain acquaintances that they would want to be friends with. Once they identify a ‘friend’ candidate, they would need to do something called a ‘small leap’.

A small leap is a step where we ask an acquaintance to join us for a small activity, which may be a common interest. It could be a morning jog or just going to the market for some impulsive shopping. This small step is a tiny risk and carries an awkwardness(on both sides), so not many people are comfortable with it.

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The Great Friendship Myth

We all have been told that we make all or most of our lifetime friends during the school or college years, which is bizarre as we barely know how to intentionally make friends in that age when things just happen haphazardly and suddenly two people start being friends.

Real friends can be made in our adulthood if we choose to. We should realize that having a good friend is probably the best thing in the world. A lifetime friend can make us happier, smarter and kinder. Friendships make good times better, and bad times not that bad.

If we take small leaps on a regular basis, we can kick start a compounding effect where each new friend can push other acquaintances who are highly-qualified friend candidates, as they already have good references.

The small risk of asking to do something carries with it an aversion (due to the uncertainty) resulting in avoidance. If it is practised on a regular basis, no one will remain a stranger to us, and one can enrich their world with beautiful friendships.

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  • Find an event. Sign up for something ongoing (such as a book club or a hiking group) and commit to showing up.
  • Prepare yourself to interact. Do something to put you in a good mood. Think about the strengths you bring - if you're funny, deep, insightful, or quick-witted.
  • Open up a conversation with a stranger using the 'insight-and-question method. Share a commentary on something around you, then ask your companion's opinion of it.
  • Exchange contact information. If you meet someone you like, ask for their contact details.
  • Follow up to see if they'd be open to meeting up sometime.

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IDEAS

Be opportunistic

Learn to notice opportunities for potential friends. 
We let many friendship opportunities pass us by because we feel awkward or too shy. Instead of small talk, invite them for coffee and get to know them.

Focus on Being Open

Don't worry about being rejected, or that you might not be fun enough.  

Be open and inviting.

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