Growing up, I had a friend who I did so many things with. How we became friends I really can’t say. All I know is that she happened to be in my class during my first year in secondary school, we became friends and later became best friends. Years into our friendship I started hearing all sorts of comments about her. Mostly that she is a snob, and not just that alone but that she is also proud. That was the height of it. Her pride seemed to be what everyone had to say about her. “she is proud, she doesn’t talk to people”, “she feels too big to communicate with others”. My other friends had to say it to my face that she is actually proud, that’s why she doesn’t have any other friend apart from me. And then it struck me. She actually doesn’t have any other friend apart from me, Oh My God, how come? She is the fun one. The one who knows the latest music, latest cartoon, the latest everything. She is so versatile she always had answers to everything. So I asked myself, is she really proud? Is she really a snob?
Fast forward to our final year in the university the comments still remained the same. “Oh she is proud”, “She is full of herself”. By then I was already seeing it. If she wasn’t in class, she was with me, if she wasn’t with me, she was cuddled in her bed reading a book. So one day I walked up to her and asked if she is proud, she asked why? I said “everyone says you are proud”. She said “oh, ok”. I asked her how it is ok, and she replied that people have called her proud to her face and not just that, but a snob as well. I asked her why she is proud and she told me that the fact that she is not friends with them and that she doesn’t have many friends doesn’t mean she is proud. Plus, why would she need to speak with them since they are not even her friends. So I told her that my friends are her friends and she said ok. She started following me to places, parties, outing with friends…but she still isn’t friends with my friends. She kept quiet most of the time while I do the talking and the contributing. Going out with me didn’t change anything, they still called her proud. I kept thinking, and then it hit me, she doesn’t know to make friends with them. Her following me out was actually a cry for help, she wanted to see how it’s done, she wanted to know how it’s done so she would be able to do it. She finally confirmed my thoughts after she said told me that I am the friendly one because I know how to make friends while she doesn’t, and that is why I have so many friends while she doesn’t really have any.
That it. She is not proud, she just doesn’t know how to make friends. She wished to have friends but she didn’t know how to make them. I have seen so many people labelled ‘proud’ but in fact are not. They just don’t know how to hit it off with people, so they just stay on their own for the fear that they might miss it if they try anything. Better to be on their own than to try anything and get embarrassed. But then honestly, making friends is one of the easiest thing to do. It is fun, it requires less ability and strength. The only thing is that it comes effortlessly to some while others create it consciously. Making friends consciously is what you do when you find out that you are always alone. So its ok if people call you proud because you are on your own most of the time, all you need do is prove them wrong by consciously making friends, thereby ridding yourself of the “sometimes positive but most times negative” adjective called ‘proud’. Below, I am going to share six things you need to do while trying to make friends.
Greet people when necessary
Greeting is a great way to connect with people. It is like opening a gate for conversations. A simple Hi is enough to build a friendship with someone. Imagine yourself in an office you are not familiar with, it would be easy for you to ask questions from someone you have previously said hi to compared to someone you walked by. The same is applicable anywhere, school, church, hostel, parties and so on. You saying Hi is like you are indirectly saying “hey, you can talk to me”, but you just passing by without greeting is like saying “I am off limit, don’t talk to me, I am not open to conversations, I want to remain alone”. So, in your quest to making friends, greeting is a way to win yourself a point.
Work on your personal appearance
I once had someone told me “I love the way she dresses, I wish she could be my friend”, and eventually she ended up being friends with the person. Your appearance says a lot about you. It says if you are smart, sharp, lively, fun etc and it equally says if you are dull or boring. People don’t want to be friends with the later set because everyone wants to be friends with someone they can show off, someone they can learn one thing or the other from. Your appearance attracts people to you. So try to dress up instead of dressing down. Your personal appearance goes a long way to earn you credits, and you know what people say about looking good, that it is a good business. It earns you a lot of things, friends inclusive.
Sia, an American pop star sang a song titled “You are never fully dressed without a smile”. That is my favourite caption anytime I am uploading a picture on any social media. Apart from greeting and the way you look, smile is another thing to earn you points while trying to make friends. It shows how harmless you are, how soft you are, to think it is even contagious. The moment you greet someone with a smile and the person couldn’t help but smile back at you, trust me, you have made a friend in that person.
Be warm to people, show them interest
Imagine talking to someone and the person gives you a cold shoulder or the person replies you without as much as a look, how would you feel? Most importantly, would you want to be friends with that kind of person? I bet no. That is why you should be warm towards people, maintain eye contact while having conversations with them. This way they know that you are interested in them and in what they have to say. Just like that, they start to see you as a friend.
Be nice to people
Being nice to people includes rendering a helping hand when needed, saying motivating words when they are down, and most importantly using kind words when talking to them. Don’t talk down on people or use negative words while talking to them, this robs you the chance of making friends with them as they will try to stay as far away from you as possible.
So, people think you are proud, are you? If the answer is no, well, here is your chance to prove them wrong and show them the you that there is to be seen. All the best!