This is kind of a strange unnatural thing to do as an adult, I have my set of friends and I often struggle to find the time to maintain these friendships well. Yet I know that new friendships increase happiness for yourself and the other person by providing a link to new interests, opportunities and activities as well as being a source of information and support.
Gretchen Rubin in her book the Happiness project suggests that setting a numerical goal for yourself can help you get into the right mind-set. She has made the following checklist to help encourage positive first encounters with the best chance of success.
- Open A Conversation: Talk about the immediate circumstances.
- Create A Positive Mood: Don’t complain or focus attention on negatives.
- Actively Invite Others To Join A Conversation: This is appreciated by all as the person outside the conversation is relieved to be in & the person in feels good that this polite gesture has been made.
- Smile More Frequently: how much you smile in a conversation has a direct effect on how friendly you are perceived to be.
- Try To Look Accessible & Warm: Nod & say “Uh-huh”, lean forward, catch every word, have good eye contact, use an enthusiastic tone & match the other persons speed of speech. Do not look around the room, extent your legs or turn your body away from them.
- Laugh At Yourself: Not only does this show that you have a sense of humour but it also shows a more vulnerable side which makes you seem likeable & approachable.
- Show A Rediness To Be Pleased: Its important to allow yourself to be amused & interested as most people are delighted by the pleasure of pleasing another person.
- Follow Others Conversational Leads: You should cooperate when you can tell that a person wants to talk about a certain issue.
- Ask Questions: Its a way to show interest & engagement & most people love to talk about themselves.
- Find A Friend In Common: It is easier to friend someone who is already a friend of a friend. People find it energising & comforting to feel that they are building social networks through their new friendships.