Making Friends: The First Move

24 March 2010 General Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Relationships 126 Comments

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We may feel either excited or distraught at the thought of meeting new people and making new friends, whether it is on the first day of school, or an orientation organized by the school to promote “ice-breaking” activities. Some people may find making the first move easy, while others find it incredibly difficult. When you think about it though, what’s so hard about saying, “Hi” or “Hello”? It’s just one word, yet it can take a lot of effort to muster the courage to say it. Is there any reason for restraining from such a simple act of greeting?

“I feel depressed because I have no friends.”
“Join a club and you can meet new people.”

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I have probably come across too many of these sorts of threads to count, and therefore I find it necessary to make a point out of it. It’s easy to tell others to get out of their shells and meet new people, when the person giving the advice may not have experienced the same problem. Try putting a really introverted person on the spot, chances are, you will get nothing out of it. As long as there’s something that’s hindering that person from making the first move, it will continue to stay that way until he/she overcomes it. You may ask, what can be so devastating that can possibly stop one from making friends?

It can be anything – it may be due to a reserved nature, or maybe due to some other factors that make you fear making the first move. For example, it could have been incidents in the past that made you who are you today, or a supposedly best friend of yours backstabbed you which probably made you afraid of having the same thing happen to you again. Or it could be some other reasons. Whatever the reasons it could be, one shouldn’t strip himself/herself of the desire to make new friends. There’s no guessing how it would turn out to be if you don’t try.

It’s also important to note that many of these people may not have realized it themselves, but these traits may also be what stops others from wanting to befriend them. It’s not about discrimination or racism, but rather, how much it takes to make it work. For example, you may find it harder to talk to someone who’s very quiet compared to a person who’s out-going. Moreover, if that person doesn’t talk much, you may often get the impression that he/she is not interested, so why bother wasting time trying to befriend someone like this when you can spend more time with the rest?

Perhaps it’s our nature to do so, but we should also take into account the person’s feelings. Maybe she didn’t mean to push anyone away, or maybe she just couldn’t think of what to say and is trying hard to initiate a conversation. Like the saying goes, “we should learn to give and take in life.” Before walking out on anyone, we should probably learn to be patient with them to show that we’re really keen to be friends with them. That way, they may even find it much easier to talk to you once they have composed themselves.

Likewise, you may be a very reserved person, but you should at least try to make an effort to initiate the first move. It may not turn out how you expected it to, but at least you can applaud yourself for trying. In this world there’s no right or wrong, it’s whether you are willing to try that makes the difference. So before you jump to the conclusion that you can’t do it, you should think about the many millions of people who are just like you. They are trying their best too.

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