I remember a couple of people I had to let go of in real life…removed completely from my circle. The longest part wasn’t the removal part, it was getting rid of the mental drama the relationship caused.
It was then I realized how important it is to do a friend cleanse ever so often – from people in your inner circle to Facebook “friends.”
Just like you can do a liver cleanse, colon cleanse, internal organ flushes, etc., you can clean up your friend’s list.
If you have people in your life who are energy vampires, are troublesome, draining, or problematic for you, it’s your turn to do a friend cleanse!
Not only that though, I want you to be able to make new friends and enhance the relationships with your real friends. And before we get into that, the myth around town is that as you get older, you can’t make new friends.
Welp, let me tell ya…it CAN be done and I do it ALL the time – not just new associates but NEW FRIENDS – and I’m 39!
A 10-Step Checklist To Make and Keep New Friends
Making friends isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to be difficult either. Nearly everyone could use a few more friends! Use this 10-step checklist to increase the odds of making and keeping new friends.
1. Assume familiarity. Formality is a barrier to friendship and emotional intimacy. You know that incredibly charismatic person that makes you feel like you’ve known him for 10 years, even though he’s only spoken to you once? One way to accomplish that same effect is to act “as if.” Act as if you’ve known someone for ages. You’ll dramatically speed up the friendship process by assuming familiarity. Talk to a casual acquaintance or stranger the way you would a good friend and note the results.
2. Take the lead. You can quickly make new friends by reaching out and offering the opportunity to spend time together. It’s not a date, so there’s no reason to be nervous. It can be as simple as, “Want to grab lunch?” A few simple offers like this each week or month can change your life.
3. Smile. Is there anything more friendly and welcoming than a smile? Who wants to be friends with someone that rarely smiles? Smiling is like honey to a fly. Let people know you’re friendly and approachable by smiling regularly. Be known as the person that’s always happy and friendly.
4. Maintain the friendships you already have. It’s easier to maintain a friendship than it is to build a new one from scratch. Try not to let too much time go by without making contact. A quick call or text message can do a lot to preserve a friendship.
5. Have meaningful conversations. Most people don’t enjoy shallow conversations. It might be nice to chat about the weather with a stranger in line at the grocery store, but you won’t create meaningful friendships without meaningful conversation. Open yourself up to deeper conversations.
6. Share meaningful experiences. Going to a movie together is fine, but you can do better. Imagine if you shared a trip to a local cave or took a rock climbing class together. You’ll still remember the cave in 10 years, but probably not the movie. Make a list of activities you’ve always wanted to try and places you’ve always wanted to visit. Find someone to do them with you.
7. Drop those friendships that aren’t working. Being friends with someone doesn’t mean you must be friends forever. It takes time to fully know someone. Sometimes you won’t like what you find. Avoid spending time on friendships that aren’t worth the time. Make room for new friendships.
8. Look to friends of friends. If you like your friends, you’ll probably like their friends, too. At least you have something in common – a mutual friend! New friends might be closer than you think.
9. Make your friends feel special. We all long to be important to someone. Make your friends a priority, and they’ll do the same for you. Show them that you need them and are there for them.
10. Be patient. Good friendships take time to grow. Most people are on guard when you first meet them. It will take time to show that you have good intentions. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are good friendships.
The 20 Best Quotes About True Friendship
As a bonus, I thought I’d share these 20 quotes I found that I think embodies true friendship. This is another way you can test the friendships in your life. Put them up against these quotes and decide if you should still be friends with them. 🙂
A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.
True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island… to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.
The language of friendship is not words but meanings.
~Henry David Thoreau
True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable.
~David Tyson Gentry
Friendship consists in forgetting what one gives and remembering what one receives.
A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.
Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.
I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.
Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.
It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.
There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first; when you learn to live for others, they will live for you.
I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.
The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away.
A friendship that can end never really began.
No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow.
In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends.
~John Churton Collins
You can always tell a real friend: when you’ve made a fool of yourself he doesn’t feel you’ve done a permanent job.
~Laurence J. Peter
The real test of friendship is can you literally do nothing with the other person? Can you enjoy those moments of life that are utterly simple?
Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.
Friends are the siblings God never gave us.
(and lastly my fave one!)
True friendship is when you walk into their house and your WiFi connects automatically.