When you become a teenager, you make friends differently than you used to. Whether you’re more of an introvert, have recently started a new school, or are just learning to communicate with others, there are a few important skills worth learning. First of all, you have to choose suitable friends. Once you’ve found people you’d like to befriend, you need to approach them and nurture your friendship.
Table of Contents
- 1 Identify potential friends
- 2 Address other people
- 3 Maintain friendships
Identify potential friends
Watch out for your classmates.
You may not enjoy math, but you might have an opportunity to make friends during class. One of the perks of being a teenager is attending school with many potential friends. Your classmates are about your age; if nothing else, you at least have the subject in common. Look around the classroom to see if someone seems interesting or friendly. You could start a study group for a specific subject. As you study and share your notes, you might find that you have even more in common with the other study group members.
Be on the lookout for other teenagers in your neighborhood.
Outside of school, keep an eye out for teenagers your age in your area. Go to places where teenagers hang out (like the pool) or volunteer in your community. You could also get a part-time job in a place where teenagers hang out. For example, if you work in a cinema, you will surely meet some people who want to watch movies. Working as a pool lifeguard might be an even better option.
Participate in extracurricular activities.
Many schools offer extra-curricular activities. The best way to make friends is by participating in the activity that interests you the most. Other participants in the same activity will likely have even more in common with you. If you are interested in music, you could join the school band or choir. If you like running, join the track and field team. These activities are a great way to make new friends.
Join clubs and attend public events in your area.
Outside of school, many communities have groups and events for teens. Use these meetups to find friends who live near you. This is an especially good way to make friends in the summer or during the holidays. For example, if there is a garden club in your area, consider joining to make new friends.
Address other people
Be aware of your body language.
Your body language can communicate that you are open and ready to talk to others. She can also send the message that you want to be left alone. If you’re nervous or uncomfortable, you may accidentally message that you’d rather be left alone than talk to others. This keeps other people from approaching you. For example, sitting down with your arms or legs crossed can make you appear close to others. Smiling at other people signals that you’ve noticed them and are open to talking to them.
Observe the body language of others.
Just as your body language is important, the other person’s body language can tell you how they’re feeling. If she seems withdrawn, she may be having a bad day or doesn’t want to talk. You’ll probably have a better chance of approaching her if she’s laughing and having fun. By paying attention to body language, you can avoid getting snubbed when someone is having a bad day. For example, if someone sits to one side with their arms crossed over their chest, that person may not want to be spoken to. If someone smiles at you, the person may be interested in talking to you.
Make eye contact.
Eye contact is important when addressing someone. If you look at someone and they look away, they may be busy or uninterested in a conversation. However, if she makes eye contact with you, it’s a good time to say something to her. For example, if you briefly make eye contact with someone, you could extend your hand to the person and introduce yourself. Say something like “Hi, I’m Mike.”
Most people like to receive a compliment. If you’re having difficulty starting a conversation with someone else, compliment strangers in passing. You don’t have to stop and start a conversation. You could say something like: I love these shoes! Great hair! That’s a cute dog!
Ask a question.
If you’re trying to engage someone in conversation, make sure the person has to react. When you ask someone a question, you usually get an answer. This is especially true when the question follows a compliment or is contextual. For example, you could say, “Great hair! Who cut that?”
Comment on the situation.
You will often find yourself in social situations with people you don’t know. You can comment on the situation if you want to speak to one of them. After all, you have at least one thing in common – you’re both in the same place. For example, you could say, “I wasn’t expecting the music to be played here.” You could also ask, “Why are you here today?”
You should realize that your insecurities are normal.
If approaching strangers makes you nervous, you’re not alone. You should know that almost everyone feels this way. Realizing that many others share this insecurity with you can help you overcome that insecurity and find the courage to speak up.
Spend time with your friends.
To make and maintain friendships, you must spend time with other people. Once you’ve introduced yourself to someone and become acquainted, it takes time to develop a friendship. Make an effort to spend time and talk with the other person regularly. For example, you and your friends could start a tradition of eating together every Saturday.
Be a good listener.
Friendships are not a one-way street. If you want to keep your friends, you have to be an active listener. This means that you should make eye contact with the person telling the story and confirm that you are listening (e.g., by nodding repeatedly). You should also avoid interrupting them. For example, if a friend tells you what happened after school yesterday, you should make eye contact with them instead of looking at your phone.
Having good friends also means that your needs will be met. For your friends to know what you need from them, you need to be confident (not aggressive). This means you state your opinion clearly but respectfully (such as which film you want to see). For example, it’s unnecessary to call someone else’s movie stupid just because it’s not the movie you chose.
It is important that your friends feel close to you. Sharing memories and personal experiences helps you and your friends bond. Just don’t share too much too quickly. You have to be sure that you can trust your friend and not overwhelm him. For example, you might tell a friend you’ve known about your family troubles, but tell someone you’ve only known briefly about family vacations.
Keep your friends’ secrets to yourself.
Your friends will confide in you too. If they do, keep the information to yourself. If you tell others about it, you betray your friends’ trust and they won’t trust you as much in the future. The exception is when your friend tells you he could hurt himself or others. In this case, you should get help for your friend.
Keep an open mind
You and your friends will inevitably disagree at times. When that happens, you must remember that these are friends and you respect them. Agree to disagree, but don’t put your friends down. For example, if you discover that your friend likes different music, agree that you disagree. If you ridicule your friend’s taste in music, it will only damage your friendship. If your friends like other things, they might be worth trying. You might like them too.
Be there for your friends.
One of the most important things a friend can do is be there when a friend needs help. If your friend needs someone to talk to or help with something, make an effort to be there for them. You should be able to expect the same treatment in return. For example, if your friend is going through a breakup and needs someone to talk to, be there for them.