How to Make Friends
Making the right kind of friends isn’t easy for everyone. The general public tends to see the human alpha male (if they understand such a thing exists) as a lonely, angry, tough wolf that you want to stay away from. This powerful image of such a man creates association to danger, which is one of the reasons why being an alpha male is sometimes perceived as a negative, aggressive and violent thing. The truth is nothing like that, of course. An alpha man is, by nature, a magnet of people. Humans have always been attracted to strong figures, both politically, financially and socially. So I decided to review the issue of how to get friends that’ll fit the lifestyle of the man you want to be.
The Difficulty of Making Friends as an Adult
When we were in kindergarten and school, things were simpler. You would meet another child during recess and find that he also watches Pokémon – and that was sufficient to make the two of you friends. Up to the level that this kid would have come to your house that day so that you’d continue playing together.
You must be smiling a bit and shaking your head. This simplicity. At this age we can’t imagine walking in the mall to a person wearing a shirt of a band we like, making conversation and going home together to listen to some music. It sounds hallucinatory. However, it’s hard to blame us adults completely. Our lives are radically different from the lives of children:
- We lost most of the free time we had in childhood. We all remember days when we played with friends after school hours, and time wasn’t a factor at all. The night and the shouts of parents were our only restrictions from playing on. Today most of us do not have a quarter of this time.
- We meet fewer new people on a regular basis. The kindergarten and the school were places we might have hated to go to, but they got us covered on at-least one issue: Being with people of our age who have the same daily routine as ours. This combination promises great commonality among the children. The way from here to making friends similar to you is very short.
- Our head is dirtier. As a child, so I hope, you weren’t familiar with the world of “grown-ups”. Sleeping with a friend, hugging him for a long time, wrestling – all of these are activities we enjoyed very much, and we’re not “over it”. But unfortunately, a lot of objects and actions have become less innocent in our eyes. A bed is not for sleep, a hug must lead somewhere, wrestling is just an excuse to touch each other and so on. Thanks to our sexually-obsessive perception, we’ve added another emotional barrier to showing love and social openness with the people around us.
- Our ego is bigger. It’s unpleasant to admit, especially because this is our fault, but this is perhaps the most preventative factor from opening up to new people and looking for common points and commonality in our lives. Another reason from the same root may be that we’ve had enough time to get hurt by people in life, and now we are much more cautious.
These and other reasons stop us from bringing new and good people into our lives. Happily, most of the problems I mentioned can be corrected.
Allowing People In
Our world today sanctifies individualism more than ever. The person is the more important one, not the community. I’m not talking about whether it’s appropriate or not. It’s a fact. Expressions with a very positive connotation such as “self-realization”, “do what is good for you first” are the flag which the current generation raises. But the credit for the greatest impact for creating and encouraging this society belongs to technology.
We Got Used to Being Alone
As time progresses in recent decades, we become increasingly disconnected from human relations in favor of faster and smarter alternatives. A simple example that shows the differences between then and now:
A man is supposed to go to a wedding in a place that doesn’t know. What would he do 25 years ago? First, he’d call family and a few friends to ask how to get there. None of them gives a perfect answer, of course – that’s why he’s calling more than one person. In one of the conversations a friend tells him, “Dude, I have a map, come take it.” He is happy and drives to take the map, and on this occasion they hug and talk a little face to face. On the way to the wedding, there will be quite a few arguments and disagreements with his wife concerning the right way, and be sure he stopped at least three passersby and asked how to get to the wedding hall.
Fast forward to the present, same situation: One click on a smartphone and it’s all set. No human interaction. The feeling that we do not need anyone and can do everything on our own. Even if we don’t announce it aloud. Is it any wonder, then, that our daily-life doesn’t include more dedicated time for friends (and human closeness, in general)?
Letting Friendship Happen
I’m going to ask you to do something that’s not easy, but since you’ve read this far, I assume you’re serious and you care about your social situation.
You must take time each day to meet with people. Two hours would be excellent. An hour and a half is also good. But don’t settle for less than an hour a day. The reason is that you create a necessity. Life today is too busy to believe you’ll just “find some time for it”. You will not find time for it.
You have to bend your daily routine. If you know that you have an hour and a half that must be filled with a social meeting – you will begin preparing for it earlier in the day and even during the week. It will open your mind to the need for friends, and you will find yourself renewing and improving friendships that have weakened over time. Even if those people weren’t able to make some time and see you, the fact that you’ve initiated and tried getting together for no specific reason means a lot to them. Nobody does this anymore.
Meeting New People as an Adult
Ostensibly, it’s common sense that you can get to know new people and friends just like kids do. But the awkwardness, ego, childhood and environment make life difficult and complicated.
But let me help you here: Always when I get into socially difficult situations, I ask myself, “What does the other feel?” If you remember this question, your life will be much simpler. Through this question, you put yourself in the shoes of the other person, and you have a course of action.
If I am now talking to someone and suddenly going “Let’s be friends!” I have no doubt that he will look at me in a very strange way. But thanks to the technique of putting myself in his shoes, I immediately realize that this is a bit embarrassing for an adult. So I just exaggerate even more, something like: “But I’ll have to ask my mom if she allows it.” This is when they usually laugh.
When I do that, the other side realizes that you also feel this embarrassing vibe, and this creates a sense of commonality. In these moments, it is much easier to say (in a more sane tone): “Hey, you seem like a cool dude, let’s go do X together.” It would be good if you knew in advance what is X. This will make it easier for the person in front of you, who is apparently a bit confused.
Perfect Openness Brings People Closer
Our biggest prevention as adults is not the norms we’ve adopted, but the fact that we do not talk about them. Any man you tell him “Do you want to be my friend?” will consider the possibility that you are drawn to him “in a different way”. For most straight men, this doubt is strong enough to make them politely refuse this nice offer.
Another technique I want to teach you, even simpler than the previous one, is to merely say the obvious. In the situation I’ve now presented, this will be added after the friendship offer: “I’m not hitting on you, I have a girlfriend”, in a cheeky tone.
Listen to me – it’s extremely powerful. You will not believe how many conversations will become not only easier and flowing, but also really funny. And all you’re doing is bringing to the surface what you both think about but considered inappropriate to say.
After you break the ice quickly with strangers – becoming friends is children’s play. In those critical moments, you actually break the biggest wall between you – the wall of foreignness.
Take Advantage of Your Existing Connections
The best and quickest way to make new friends is to take advantage of the social networks of the people you already know. In other words: friends of friends. You probably think: “Oria, if I had a lot of friends in the first place, I would not read this article”. But that’s the beauty: you do not need a lot of friends with this approach. It’s usually enough to have one friend.
Think about it mathematically: An average person can be in touch with about 150 people at a given period (insisting on a definition of “being in touch”? People you’d call to join in a bar if you suddenly saw them passing by). This means that your social network alone is very limited, and it’s not certain that you’ll find fitting friends in such a limited variety. But if we take into account the acquaintance of those 150 people with another 150 people (okay, say 140 because of the possible overlap), this is a potential acquaintance with 21,000 people! And not just random people, but people you have a real human link to.
Therefore I urge you not to rule-out your existing connections, even if you do not see them as friends per se. Do you have a cousin who goes out with friends on Friday nights? Ask her if you can join. Do you have a colleague who plays Pool with friends on Saturdays? Ask to play with them.
In every meeting that you’ll get to know 3-4 new people, you’re actually opening a door to meet 600 people with some sort of common background (like playing Pool). Now try to tell me it’s hard to find friends.
Quickly Assert Your Place as Alpha
Your new group of friends probably needs a leader. If you want to be seen as the alpha male of this group, you should start behaving like one, and you better be quick about it. The meaning of being an alpha man is, in fact, everything I discuss on this blog. Therefore, I’ll skip the “how” (because it’s too long for this one article and it deviates from the subject), and dive into the “why”.
Avoid the Mistake Everyone Makes
One of the most common behaviors of a guy when he enters a group of people is to maintain a low profile and to act with extra caution and compliance. This, as you already know, is not an alpha behavior. What’s more serious is that exactly because it’s a first impression, plus the feeling that people “do you a favor” by letting you in – you hold yourself from raising your status in the next meetings.
Sometimes it’s not even you who prevents improvement-in-status later on, but other men, who want to keep you comfortably quiet, just like when you guys first met.
For these reasons, it’s very important not to fall into the illusion that you were given charity by entering the group. Never fall for the thought of “I’m so grateful for what they did for me”. That does not mean you do not appreciate the opportunity, but let’s be real: If you are such a burden for them, they simply won’t invite you again. This is a deal, in which they also benefit. They win by having you on the team.
So don’t feel obligated. Be free, be yourself. Believe wholeheartedly that they made a great decision by letting you in. And believe that they would ask themselves later on, “What did we even do without him?”. That’s the mindset you want to have.
Establish Your Status as Alpha
After we’ve removed the most significant obstacle from the road – you, you can give the people around you the experience called “[your name]”. Here are some very general tips that will give you a huge advantage right from the first meeting onward:
- Create closeness. During a meeting of more than 2 people, the vast majority of the discussion will be very group-oriented. In other words, all the things that are said are intended for the group members as a whole, and not for a specific person. You will notice that many times there will be personal sentences only between 2 people, but they have a meaning that’s intended, indirectly, for the whole group. A good example asking someone “Do they have this shirt for men as well?”. The words are personal, but the recipients are the group, so they’d laugh. This is most of the interaction, but I suggest you look for the quiet moments. For example when you head back to the car and there’s no room on the sidewalk for everyone in a line, so the group splits, and many times you will find yourself one on one with someone. Or, for example, when two people go to the bathroom and the rest are busy with their phone, this is an opportunity to talk privately with someone from the group. When you speak with someone personally, have interest in his life, joke with him – he sees remembers you in a different light; and it is highly likely that he’ll be the one who invites you to the next meeting. By creating such closeness, you build a coalition, an alliance of people who appreciate you and feel a special connection with you. That way you turn the attitude towards you from neutral to positive. You also prevent negative attitudes that may occur later on.
- Give them treats. Part of the meaning of being alpha is to be the power that helps those who are in need. Historically and geographically, there aren’t relatively many people in the developed world who die of starvation and violence. Therefore, this power is expressed today in a more subtle manner. If you demonstrate high self-confidence with the group (and always, I hope), even in small things, like how you talked to the waitress, how you got them a discount at the bowling alley, bought beer for everyone – you got yourself a place of appreciation in their mind. Human beings always want strong people around them. Whether it’s financially, socially, etc. Therefore, if you demonstrate power that’s channeled to the benefit of the group, you already exhibit a big percentage of the definition of alpha. Although it’s important to me that you do it out of your will and initiative. Not because of requests and exploitation by other people. There is a fine line between spoiling because you’re a great guy, and spoiling because you want to please people. Pay attention to it.
- Create challenge. Agreeableness is the death of all types of relationships. This may well be true for businesses, too. Don’t be a “nice guy”. It feels unnatural, neither for you nor for them. Did anyone say something inaccurate? Debate with him a little. Shoot tasteful slurs to group members, just like someone who has been with them for years. It’s really amazing how far a little passion can take relationships in such a short time. Just be careful not to cross the line between challenge and humiliation, and if you did, be quick to apologize.
Making friends as an adult doesn’t sound simple. But after reviewing the main reasons that make it difficult, it becomes clear how it can be approached very simply, just like when we were children.
However, it is important to give a fixed amount of time for the each day / week in which we interact with people face-to-face – otherwise we will not bother to make the time. That’s also because technology contributes to the illusion of individuality.
Then you saw the power of a simple social network to increase our social circle by 150 times (networking). Armed with this knowledge, I’ve presented ways to avoid falling into the underdog trap that people set for themselves when in a group they’re not used to be in.
Finally, we have gone through several ways to establish your place as a necessary asset for your new friends, and on how to implement many principles of an alpha male already at the first meeting.
I wish you great success in finding and making new friends.