How To Make Friends

How To Make Friends, Not Just What To Do. I Will Walk You Through Every Step.

How To Make Friends
Naruto Uzumaki - Rasengan - @EosVisions - Metaleks Metal Print [no affiliation to this artist]

When I was a kid, I wanted to make friends but didn’t know how.

Once I learned, I discovered there were two sides to me. On the surface, when I had a lot of energy, I was a total extrovert. I didn’t care about anything, wasn’t afraid of anyone, liked what I liked, and in my own way, I was cool—and only became "cooler" over time.

But there was another side of me that said,

“You’re alone. You’re different. You can’t fit in. You don’t belong. People don’t understand you. Because of all these things, you are a freak, a weirdo, and even a creep. Haven’t you seen the movies?”

So, the solution seemed simple: stop being an introvert and start being an extrovert!

No, not really. That sounds like something a self-help book would suggest.

Nothing annoys me more than a book that tells you what to do without explaining how to do it.

I’m Tyler, and I understand how to do things, and I explain how to do things—not just what to do. When I explain how to do something, I’ll walk you through every step.

Now, if you don’t believe you can make friends, you can. If a total reclusive weirdo could figure it out, you can too. You’re more normal than you think.

So then, if you are a freak, weirdo, and creep, or sad, depressed, suicidal, the solution seems simple: just go make friends with other freaks and depressed people!

Once again, unfortunately, I’m joking. That doesn’t work. As it turns out, freaks don’t often get along with other freaks, at least not for extended periods.

What’s The Real Issue With Making Friends?

There isn’t really one.

All the reasons you think you can’t make friends are lies.

Consider this: total weirdos end up making friends.
What do I mean by lies?
I mean all of your reasons for not being able to make friends are not valid in reality. They are all ideas you’ve created about yourself that don’t exist in the real world.

So the solution is simple! Just destroy all of your internal lies, and when you have finished off the very last thought, nothing will stand in the way of you making friends. Just kidding. That is the last joke I’ll make. Apologies.

To Be Serious,

How To Make Friends:

First: You can make friends; you just don’t know how.

Second: I’ll list some ways you could make friends that will work but will not serve you well in the long run:

  • You could learn to manipulate others to make friends. The problem is people will eventually catch on to this.
  • You could just behave exactly like others to make friends. This is what most people do. The first problem with this is you’ll feel much more alone than you did before. You’ll lose your own integrity, self-respect, and won’t be able to figure out what you genuinely like. The consequences of this choice go on and on.

There are four obvious types of people you could make friends with:

  1. People surrounded by other people (like bartenders).
    Pros: These people usually like other people and can probably tolerate you.
    Cons: They aren’t going to be very available to you.
  2. People in the middle.
  3. Isolated people.
  4. Goal-oriented people (like a radical)
    Pros: Generally easy to associate with.
    Cons: These relationships only last for chapters in your life.
As you get older, assuming you don’t have a lot of friends to begin with, your direct opportunities to make friends decrease over time. It’s easier to find associates than friends. But, associates can become friends.

You may have noticed one issue with having friends is that:

most people are not particularly likable.

That is a valid issue. That said, you might like a person more if you knew them better. Some people are flat out terrible to be friends with.

Where Do You Find Friends?

That, a Google search can answer. And, you already know the general answer to that.

Now, if you’re an adult, that’s the wrong question. The right question is,

How Do I Start To Talk To People? And Who Do I Talk To?

The best people to talk to: strangers.

If you can talk to strangers, you will make friends.

This isn’t a self-help dating strategy.
I’m not telling you to go hit on 400 women to get over your fear of rejection. I’m not talking about saying hello to every person. I’m talking about taking the opportunity to talk to a stranger when it arises.

Strangers are a miracle for one reason: they don’t know the bullshit story you’ve made up about who you are. They are likely to be honest with you.

If you can be friendly with the occasional stranger, you can make friends, and your life will leave behind a trail of encounters with interesting people.

The nice thing about strangers is:

You don’t have to say hello to them.

Every once in a while, a stranger will ask you how you’re doing to pass the time. You don’t have to get over the worry of starting a conversation with someone. They started the conversation. They approached you. It’s on them. And they opened the door.

This has happened before; you’ve likely missed it because you were in your head and not actively aware of opportunities for connection, no matter how small.

Now, if you’re a kid reading this, wondering how to make friends, what you do is: Find a kid who looks lonely and make their day a bit better by talking to them. This doesn’t mean you’re having pity on them; it means you’re learning to be caring. And that’s what matters—it’s about focusing on not wanting other people to suffer.

Guess what? The lonely kid is likely to reject you. Expect that. It’s not about you; it’s not something you’re doing for yourself. If it fails, at least you tried to do something good. If you understand this alone, you understand how to connect with others in a way that can be meaningful and not superficial.

This skill will serve you your entire life.

So, How Do You Actually Make A Friend?

You Take A Genuine Interest In Other People.

Again, self-help advice. Dale Carnegie can tell you this. Brené Brown can tell you this.

But How Do You Actually Do That?

You Start By Paying Serious Attention To What Another Person Is Saying.

If you listen to a person, they will eventually mention something they like. Then, you ask them a curious, interested question about what they like.

The "trick": Interject their monologue with your interested question mid-sentence, interrupt them.

Either ask directly more about it or ask what makes them interested in it (in an interested way). It sounds simple, but when you do this, something happens. The person switches the mode they were engaged in.

At first, they were just talking on autopilot. When you ask them a specific question that probes deeper into themselves and their interests, they think, “Oh shit. This person is actually listening to what I’m saying.” Then they open up to you.

Now, if you completely tune them out after they start actually sharing with you, they will hate you. So don’t do that.

But How?

How Do You Actually Open Your Mouth To Ask Someone A Question?

You might not have the courage to speak up and talk to someone. That doesn’t mean you can’t make friends because something is wrong with you.

It means you don’t care about people. So, if that’s the problem, start focusing on other people more. That’s it.

How Do You Focus On Other People More?

You deliberately, as a practice, attempt to listen only to what another person is saying.

I mean you take up a practice of engaging in learning about other people for a duration of time.

How Do You Do That?

I promise I’m not patronizing you; I’m just being thorough. You could schedule a block of time, start a timer during that block of time, and read a book about world history, culture, a fantasy novel, or fiction. Learn about where the first people came from. Look at the current conditions of how we live in comparison to that.

What If None Of This Works?

Then you are in the way.

There are two possible solutions to get out of the way:

1 - Get Bored.

Become extremely, extremely bored. Have a boring conversation about the weather, over and over, and over. If you get bored enough, you will inevitably mix it up just to kill the boredom.

2 - Abandon Agenda.

Give Up. Stop trying to be heard. Stop trying to be liked. Stop trying to listen. Your agenda is interfering with your ability to connect.
Look at the person, recognize that this is the last moment they will ever exist as they are in this time. Recognize that this is the last time you will ever be with the person as they are now.
Drop your intention and agenda and be with them.
Even if you aren't talking, they will sense this from you. This is called Communion.

Why Is The Answer As Simple As Taking An Interest In Other People?

You’ve thought friends are made from surface-level reasons.
You think that friends are people who have the same interests as you or that friendships come down to social skills.
There are elements of those in general.

In reality, many people who have many friends have never had a real friend in their life.

You can be someone’s first real friend. That’s a treasure.


The difference between an associate, a friend, and a real friend is how much a person feels like you care about them.

You could make friends by adopting social norms and standards and such. Dale Carnegie can explain to you what to do for that.

Or, you could make a real friend. How do you make a person feel cared about? You care. You intend to care. You practice. If you actually care, they’ll pick up on it. And they’ll let you in.

If They Let You In:

You’ll find out that they are more interesting than you thought.

You’ll find out you aren’t as different as you thought.

Consider this, and I mean seriously consider this:

Most people don’t get that far. They don’t. If one person lets you in, you have gotten farther than the majority of people, including the person surrounded by friends.

The Best Strategy To Make Friends Is: Recognize This Is The Last Time You Will Ever See This Person As They Are At This Moment, And Witness Their Existence.

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Thank You for Reading!

Next up is a shorter work: How To Be Interesting.