I just thought of another very useful hint for making friends, while I was at the supermarket last night. If you had the same problems that I did growing up (or even in your adulthood,) where people would pick on you constantly, then you’ve probably developed some trust issues. When you’re in a public place where you will meet people, do you try and keep from acknowledging people or looking them in the eye? If someone catches your gaze, do you look away? This seems to be a natural response for people like us. A defense mechanism of sorts. We tend to put up a wall to try and keep people away, and therefore keep ourselves from getting hurt.
Another contributing factor to this, is something we are taught as children. All throughout our childhood, we are told that strangers are bad and that they are to be avoided. I think some of this actually carries on into our adulthood, and can have an affect on how we interact with others.
The next time you’re out in public: instead of thinking of every person you come across as being a potential enemy, try to get into the mindset that every person you come across is actually a potential friend. This will help you to open up to people and be more friendly. If you’re thinking that everyone you come across is a possible enemy, then you will treat them in a similar fashion. And guess what? Nobody wants to be friends with someone who acts like they don’t like them. Likewise, if you think of people as a possible friend, then you will be more likely to treat them like a friend.
Try this: the next time you are getting ready to go into a public place, spend a few minutes telling yourself that everyone you come across are potential friends. Keep thinking that thought while you’re out amongst new people. When someone catches you looking at them, instead of looking away, try smiling and nodding your head, or saying hello.
This may sound crazy, but a smile can go a long way with people. Your smile is your best weapon when it comes to winning people over. Smiles are contagious, and just one smile can brighten up someone’s otherwise bad or dreary day. I don’t know about you, but I like to surround myself with people who are happy. It helps to make me happy as well. And one of the first things I notice about people is their smile. Tell me, when was the last time you were attracted to someone who was frowning, or just looked disinterested? Another benefit of smiling: the more you do it, the more you will actually start feeling happy. The happier you look, the more other people will warm up to you.
Remember, we are in control of our bodies and our minds. That means they are subject to us, and we can choose whatever mindset or emotion we want at any given moment. So choose to think of everyone as a possible friend, and don’t be afraid to smile.