‘Don’t grow up, it’s a trap!’ Says everyone.
Because friendships have always been a big deal and millennials are talking about how difficult it is. When I was younger, friendships were little cherries in a vineyard. You could easily pick up any at any given time, how easy was that. In my teens I did do well making friends, I was modelling and I knew the way Lagosians think. Then I moved to Johannesburg for studies and was completely out of my comfort zone and all alone.
I had to make the effort to understand their culture, their history and even their fashion. It is a process, but things have greatly improved since I moved here. I don’t have a million friends who I take the coolest instagram snaps with, or create the coolest stories with on snap chat but I do have a few friends in my life who know I am an adrenaline junkie, stay up all night talking about the most random things and who I cry to about not finding my shoe size (UK 9, the struggle!).
Here are 10 ways I have been able to make friends in the 21st century
Guys, smiling can never be underestimated or not be on the top of this list. Smiling makes you more approachable and helps you feel more confident and it is sometimes contagious. Ps; don’t go shining your 32s without any cause. Make eye contacts and then smile.
2. Social media
The almighty social media shouldn’t just be used only for updates. Stalk people, we know you do, lol. Get your fingers busy, scroll through profiles, go on explore, like, follow, leave a comment or two.
3. Step out of your shell
Go to that wedding, birthday party or event you have been invited to even if your favourite show is on TV at the same time. You may or may not make friends at that event but chances are you might see some faces there at another event and there can be that ‘hey you, you look familiar’ moment.
Don’t go to a place or an event and run off to the powder room or worse have your head bowed down because you are on your phone all through. Hello, go by the bar or spot someone on their own, introduce yourself and start a conversation. Handy tip if you are tongue tied, pay the person a compliment or ask a simple question like ‘what do you find interesting about this place/event?’
5. Make an effort
People like attractive people, simple truth. Put effort in your general appearance, dress well and smell nice. Be genuinely interested in the person and make an effort to remember the person’s name. Ps; I am totally pinching myself now, I genuinely suck at this and I’m making the extra effort.
Find out if there is an organisation in your community, church, school or work that need extra help. Join them and you will definitely get to interact with the other members, and maybe make a friend or two.
7. Team effort
Join a sports club or gym or fitness class, become a regular. It is way easier to make friends at sports clubs as more often than not you will be grouped in teams and it is a collaborative effort.
8. School/Work zone
The enclosed environment class rooms and work spaces provide is a potential friendship breeding ground. You spend plus or minus 9 hours with other humans for about 240 days in the same room, maximise the potentials outside these zones. Some companies or workers do host after hours get-together, never skip that.
9. Use your friends
Ask your friends to help out. They could invite you out to parties, weddings, get-togethers and also introduce you to people in social gatherings. Take it a step further by asking someone you recently met out for lunch or drinks. Ps; try not to be a vibe killer or the one who says no to every suggestion, it is such a bore.
You probably have interests and hobbies, don’t just do them alone by yourself. Join a club, a book club, choir, art club, golf club, there are thousands of them. You could strike it off with someone over mutual likes and interests.
I must say that it hasn’t been an easy ride for me, I constantly have to make an effort and it takes time. And guys some friendships aren’t meant to flourish and some environments are just too hostile, we understand.
2, 4 and 9 are my favourite and handy tips, which are yours? Do you have any tips outside these that works for you? Please share.