- Go into Middle School knowing this: there is a very large chance that your best friends in elementary school will not be the same friends you have in middle school. This isn't anything personal. People grow and change and discover new interests and hobbies. This doesn't mean that you can't stay friends with them -- it just means that it's good to know that you can make new friends.
- Be Yourself!! One of the key tips to making friends is to be completely honest about who you are! Granted, there is a lot of pressure to fit in and fit into a specific group. However, in the long run, it's far more beneficial to be honest about who you are from the beginning. True friends will appreciate the type of person you really are and are the kind of friends most likely to turn into lifelong friends.
- SMILE!! :) This is so important! I can't stress this enough. A smile is worth a thousand words. It can brighten someone's day and make you appear more inviting. If you are super nervous, fear not! Paste the biggest smile you can on your face and it guarantees a look of confidence! A great tip I followed when making friends was 'Fake it 'til you make it!' This is so true. Smile even when you don't feel like it and eventually you'll be smiling for real.
- Listen! People love to talk about themselves -- it's natural. Listening to someone's hobbies or interests and genuinely being interested says a lot to the other person about your character. While chatty people are great to be around, listening opens up tons of doors in the friend area.
- Names, names, names!!! Make it a point to learn and use tons of people's names. It's been said that the sweetest sound to a person's ears is their own name. Addressing everyone by their name shows them that you have made it a point to get to know them.
- Step out of your comfort zone. Sit with someone you normally wouldn't sit with! This can lead to tons of unexpected surprises. Someone you wouldn't think of talking to could turn into your best friend someday. Don't feel as though you have to stick with a certain 'group'. Broaden your friendship horizons!
This is the first of a series of three posts to my tips on making friends. Check back in tomorrow for more tips!!