02 June, 2011

jasmine's guide to making friends

after writing this post, i received several emails and a couple of comments asking for some advice on how to make more friends and how to end friendships that are dragging you down. instead of individually responding to each person, i decided to write down all my thoughts on the subject and to go into more detail about what i actually did to make more friends. these are just my opinions and my experiences, but i feel like i was really successful on my quest for friendship.


i honestly didn't really make tons of tangible changes to make more friends. i didn't join a bunch of clubs or stand on street corners trying to get friendly looking girls to hang out with me. i think the biggest change i made was in my attitude. i recognized that i really needed friends and that friendship was something that was very important to me. i accepted that i would have to be really open and willing to live through potentially awkward situations in order to find more friends. if someone expressed an interest in hanging out with me, i went for it. if i was interested in hanging out with someone, i dove in and asked them if they'd like to get coffee or go for a walk some time. the biggest change i made was my openness. i truly believe that the act of recognizing a need for change in your life is a very powerful thing. it's the first step to making progress. it sounds totally trite and cliché to say, but it's really really true. that's why therapy works!

i also prayed about it. i know that God brought some people into my life at just the right moments.


as far as more tangible things go - i did make some changes. here are some things you can try:

1. make yourself more aware of the people around you. i made sure that i used opportunities to socialize as much as i could. if there were girls i liked in classes i was in, i spent a lot of time chatting with them, i worked on group projects with them. i made one friend in a tennis class by always partnering with her when it was time to pair off. (hi, colette!!!) i made myself available.

2. blogging is another really great opportunity to make friends. build your online friendships with people who you feel a connection to. if an opportunity arises to meet up, and you feel safe about it, GO FOR IT. finding blogger friends is amaaaaazing. they understand a part of your life that other "non-bloggers" might not get. but remember that you need in-person friendships too... not just online friendships.

3. invest in the people you already know. get back in touch with people you may have fallen out of contact with. hang out with friends of friends or with your significant other's old co-workers or current co-workers or college roommate's ex-girlfriends. look for the people in your life that you're interested in pursuing a deeper relationship with... or for the people who look like they'd be fun to grab a cup of coffee with!

4. don't be too picky. not all friendships have to go super deep, and not all friends need to match up to every item on your perfect friend list. sometimes you really just need someone you can exercise with or shop with or have a glass of wine with. not every friend needs to be your very best friend.

5. be willing to spend time apart from your boyfriend, husband, fiancé, etc. you NEED a life outside of him. he needs his own life too. in fact, he needs you to have friends! friendships with other women offer us something that men can't offer us. women understand each other. we like to listen to each other and offer our own experiences as advice. we LOVE to talk about anything and everything - past relationships, current relationships, issues from our childhoods, dreams, goals, magazines, dieting, celebrities, the bachelor, CLOTHES, everrrrything. your significant other probably doesn't want to be the only person you share this stuff with. he probably doesn't care about some of the more frivolous topics that interest you. find someone who does care about yoga or sewing or mountain climbing or cooking. it's much more rewarding than talking your husband's ear off about the pair of shoes you want at anthropologie. ;)

6. go out with other couples. ask your husband or boyfriend to set up a double date with one of his friends or co-workers and their significant other. this doesn't always work out... but you'll probably eventually find a couple (or half of a couple) that you like.


and finally, as far as disconnecting from current friends or ending friendships... this one is really hard. sometimes it's just a matter of disengaging. you might have to start distancing yourself from friendships that may not be the best for you. it sucks to just stop calling someone, but sometimes it's the only way. try to do this without being passive or dishonest. try to handle it how the wisest person you know would handle it... even if it feels really uncomfortable.

whenever possible or necessary, handle things directly. if you have a particularly toxic friendship or relationship in your life, end it. break up with them. it feels REALLY awkward to do, but sometimes it must be done. the friendships that i lost this year were ended directly. it was horrible, but i felt so much peace once it was done. i really weighed my options and considered them carefully before doing anything. once i realized that we didn't value each other the same way and that our friendship was making me feel terrible, i was willing to put up with the consequences of losing them. it will still hurt, but it may be the best thing for everyone.

when you allow someone to treat you in a way that makes you feel bad about yourself, you're the only person to blame. you're not a victim. you are responsible for the relationships you choose to have. if anything in your life is bad for you, it's your responsibility to get rid of it. take ownership! it will empower you!


and now i'm going to end this post with the cheesiest thing i will probably ever say on here:

to have a friend, you must be a friend.


  1. great tips and advice! I agree with all of them 100%. I had the same issue about 2 years ago. I felt like i didn't have any girlfriends. I actually started hanging out with one of my closest girlfriends after we reconnected (we knew each other in highschool) at a bar. She asked if I wanted to hangout sometime and the rest is 'history'. It's amazing how if you are open to new relationships they kind of just happen.. =)

  2. Thanks so much for sharing, and I have to say that I agree with every single thing you've written.

    Being open to all types of interactions can open so many wonderful doors - all you have to do is try!


  3. brilliant! and that last little bit isn't cheesy - it's super accurate.

    something i've struggled with over the years.

    love ya.


  4. This is such a sweet and sincere post. Thanks for sharing! I am finding that the older I get the difficult it is to make friends. It was so much simpler in grade school and college! And I totally agree, your attitude definitely affects this sort of thing.

  5. This is great. It's incredibly difficult to end friendships and I recently just did so. But I'm convinced it's for the best, and your post helped make me realize this. Thank you.

  6. this is a really amazing post. it's sincere and honest--one of the reasons i love your blog. last year i reconnected with my high school girlfriends and we're now closer than ever. it's worth the effort and work to make friendships last and thrive.

  7. i'm getting to it a few days late, but this is a WONDERFUL post and i need to take some of your advice! whenever my bf is in town, i end up ditching my girls so that i can fit in 3 months of dating into a week long visit with him . . . but i miss my girls and they miss me! balance is definitely important.

  8. This is so wonderful. Thank you so much for posting this. I found it hard to have opportunities to meet new people, but I think a lot of it was my get in and get out attitude and realized that I do have options to meet new people. I will definitely take this to heart!

  9. This is so simple it just might work! Lol. Thank you so much for the words of wisdom! It totally makes sense that to find friends you need to be a friend first. I love your examples of just being friendly in class or calling up people you've lost touch with. Great suggestions - I'm going to try some of them. :)

    I think sometimes I can feel disheartened by not having people reach out to me first. I feel like if they wanted to hang out, they'd let me know. This post is a great reminder that it's not all about me. Sometimes other people want to be reached out to as well.

  10. I REALLY REALLY needed to read this post!! I recently cut off many friendships this past year & now I'm down to 1 friend that lives in the same state as me...1 friend! (And she's on vacation this weekend). It was hard to let go of certain people bc I knew I would end up alone, but I'm glad I did, they were causing me nothing but pain. But now, I've been moping around all weekend wishing I had more friends & wondering how to get them. I do need to be more open, I've been acting like I don't want new friends when I really do. I'm so grateful for this post, thank you for sharing!!!

  11. Oh, how I needed to read this! I would argue that it is much harder to make friends than to meet guys. There is a vulnerability in the process that makes it that much more difficult. Thank you for sharing. Now if only I could figure out how to actually DO these things, I'd be so much happier. Workin' on it...


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