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Growing Up, Lifestyle

How To Make Friends

Hola amigos! This has been a LONG TIME COMING! If you’ve been following me, you might have noticed there is a constant stream of people coming in and out of my life! I reckon I make a new friend every week or so, but it doesn’t change the fact that I have a core few people who have been in my life for years. I’ve always found it easy to make friends and whilst I don’t have a strategy for doing so, I’ve analysed the major ways I tend to make friends for the purposes of this post!

FRIENDS ARE EVERYWHERE

Firstly, to illustrate the very random nature of making friends I’ve tried to think of the last few people I have made friends with. There’s often a misconception that you can only make friends at/in certain places. Not true. These are all people I’ve met in the last month or two.

The last few friends I made:
Heather; Heather found me when I was asking somebody else for directions at DLP last week. She was there for FanDaze alone as well and we ended up getting on so well we spent the whole night hanging out despite having other actual friends also in attendance 😅
– Yuka; Yuka was in the queue for a book signing in front of me, I clocked that she was Japanese and then invited her to the brunch I was going to after
Sophie; I met Sophie at a blog event (along with a few other people) which I was attending with other blog pals. I already vaguely knew of Sophie via her blog but after the event we followed each other and have established more of a virtual friendship!
– Bilal; our hostel guy from Sri Lanka, he loves Sailor Moon as much as me so naturally we have kept in touch and become firm friends
– TJ; we originally met whilst pissed on a night out about four years ago and I apparently told him his trainers were shit and made his mates laugh? I actually don’t remember any of this. Anyway, we somehow ended up fb friends, when TJ passed through London last month he hit me up, we went for burgers and established an actual friendship 😅

Chatting to People

– chat about what you share in common: the job you both work at, your interest on Disney, the weather, where you’re at!

– if you can’t think of a way to get a conversation started I would go for a compliment to be safe. Beware of locational shit such as “are you from here?” because depending on tone that could be misinterpreted as a microaggression.

– Or if you feel the need to comment on something make sure you follow it up so it’s clear you’re not a predator! When I met Yuka, I had just heard somebody speaking Japanese and so I just turned around and went “are you Japanese?” which could have been really awkward if I hadn’t then switched to Japanese and explained that I had just come back from the country myself.

– in groups, I will just start chatting to whoever is around, about whatever. If you follow me on IG you’ve probably noticed I just walk around chatting shit about whatever’s happening 😅 this is not just on IG! In Tokyo Disneysea I was so taken aback by Flasher Goofy that after the show had ended I turned around to a Kiwi family behind me and was like SORRY WHAT.

YOU CAN’T FORCE A FRIEND

A cautionary note here: if you extend an offer to hang out with somebody and they decline, don’t be the creep who keeps asking and asking. This is NOT how friendship happens! Nobody is obligated to be friends with you; you might happen upon somebody who you think would make an absolutely fantastic friend, but real friendship is a two way thing and not just you forcing your opinion on somebody else.

This goes two ways; if you no longer want to be somebody’s friend, then THAT IS OKAY. We shouldn’t feel like we need to maintain a close relationship with absolutely everyone we’ve ever been close to; there’s simply no room in life to accumulate relationships indefinitely. I’ve blogged before about ending friendships, but I just wanted to make sure the above two points were clear.

Okay! So hopefully that illustrates that life is random, and opportunities for friendships are everywhere. To try and help you guys, I’ve taken the liberty of analysing HOW each of these friendships evolved from two strangers into the bestest of pals. These aren’t meant to be seen as “techniques” but maybe can offer a bit of guidance if the starting scenario seems familiar to you at all!

The “Straight-Up”

This is obviously just straight up befriending somebody and asking them to hang out. I have done this MANY times with people I have thought looked cool or interesting. I’m going to use my Bel as an example because I basically just contacted her when she moved to London and was like “hi, let’s be friends”.

Obviously be aware of your audience here! We had already been commenting on each other’s blogs when we first hung out; asking somebody out of the blue could be a little odd depending on context.

The Follow-Up

The Follow-Up tends to work best either amongst mutual friends, or within online communities. Essentially, you vaguely meet somebody and think they seem interesting and then… you follow it up and hang out properly! The trick is follow up maybe once or twice, but don’t badger the person incessantly; nobody is obligated to hang out with you. If you haven’t met up after a couple of attempts then I’d say just move on.

A bad example of The Follow-Up is you meet your fave blogger for 2 seconds at an event and then hit them up every day on twitter asking them to go for a coffee with you. NO THANKS. I have a few good examples of this: the one we’ll touch on is my pal Leigh. My path first crossed with Leigh at a blog event maybe a year ago? Leigh was wearing a vintage dress, and so was I, and I remember thinking, “I bet we’d get on”. A couple months later, when Leigh moved to North London and went veggie, I hit her up to see if she’d like to hang out as I am also North London, and as you know, vegan. This was all still pretty situational and “acquaintance” like – I don’t think until you properly hang out with somebody you can consider them a real pal. When we hung out, it turned out we had a lot more in common and we became pals!

The Proxy

I’d say this applies to quite a few online friends! Essentially this is where somebody keeps on popping up in your life for one reason or another. You have no reason to be especially close to this person but also no reason not to chat with them. Eventually, things go from friendly to friends!

I feel like all my examples of this happening are within the performance industry; people you’re not directly working with but that you see at gigs and shows on a fairly regular basis. This might also be people at your gym or something; there’s no real reason to chat to them, but eventually, you get to know them by proxy.

The Situational

This essentially refers to people you’re stuck in a situation with. It’s different from The Proxy because you’re with these people all the time anyway. It might be schoolmates, colleagues, people you’re on tour with, whatever. Due to spending a lot of time with these people you’ll be able to tell if you get on with them or not.

I’d say the point where this type of person becomes friends is when you hang out with them outside of the situation. For example, a work pal you only ever see at work is one thing, but if you speak to them even after you leave the job then that’s a true pal. (Note: there is nothing wrong with situational friends who just stay in the situation- I would say loads of my relationships are like that and it doesn’t make them any less valid). I’d describe Vix as this; we initially met via a WhatsApp group (the situation) and then eventually were able to meet up and becomes besties!

I hope some of these prove helpful to you! There are obviously special cases where you just seem drawn to a pal (oh hey Holly) and other times where you just randomly have a chance meeting (see all my above examples). But I think most of my friends came into my life via one of the above four scenarios. Do you find it easy to make friends? Let me know your tips on making friends!

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4 Comments

  • Reply Jane

    Dude you are so good at this! as time goes by I’m finding it harder and harder to make new friends. Going to have to be brave and try a couple of these.

    June 14, 2018 at 10:56 am
    • Reply Laila

      Hahahhaa. I’m terrible at remembering names though! I can make pals even if I can’t then identify them…

      June 14, 2018 at 10:12 pm
  • Reply Liyana

    This was so fun to read. I consider myself quite an outgoing and friendly person so I like starting conversations with people around me when I go to events, though the relationship building usually only stops there. Maybe it’s time I try to actually befriend someone the next time I chat with them!

    June 18, 2018 at 7:14 am
  • Reply Liyana

    This was such a fun post to read. I consider myself an outgoing and friendly person, and I like starting conversations with new people at events though the relationship building only stops there. Maybe I should take it another step further and actually befriend the next person I chat to!

    June 18, 2018 at 7:16 am
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