The 4 elements of friendship
Yes, it’s common sense, but do you notice and are you mindfully aware of them as you attempt to form social connections?
These 4 surefire elements can be applied to get closer to anyone, not only to making friends, but also dating, professional relationships, or family.
Hang out often with the person you’re trying to get closer with — attend their invitations or even take the initiative to organize something if they aren’t inviting you out.
Show up. People will naturally get closer to people that they see more often. Vice versa, the less you hang out, the more you’ll drift apart. This also applies to showing up “virtually”, if you can’t meet in person, be present through calls, text, DMs, etc. Take time to make that personal connection, follow-up, and check in to see how they’re doing.
Smile often, people are attracted to positivity.
Praise (don’t flatter) — People love positive affirmation of themselves and their activities. If you notice something that impresses you, don’t be shy to voice it. Don’t confuse praise with flattery though, the difference is in being sincere.
You might think that people are attracted to the glamorous, to those who seem to know the most interesting and juiciest gossips. That’s a superficial form of attraction, it might add to short term attraction but decrease long term desirability. You would be constantly worried about being betrayed and that person stabbing you in your back for their own benefit.
Instead, people want to be with those that they can pour their heart out to, trust that they won’t be taken advantage of, or exposed. Trust is sacred, if you earn it, honour it.
To form trust, you need to demonstrate consistency — do what you say, show others that you keep to your words and can keep promises (or secrets).
Goes hand-in-hand with trust. The quickest way to earn trust, is to first trust others and expose your weaknesses or vulnerabilities.
Do you notice that your closest friends are those who’ve been through the most “shit” together with you? These shared “bad” experiences expose our characters, make us vulnerable, and show others who we really are when the going gets tough.
Your closest friends are your closest friends, exactly because they know who you really are and like you for you. They don’t want the superficial identity you present to the outside world to seem strong/confident/perfect/popular/intelligent/etc. It’s OK (and in fact, good) to expose your flaws :)