High School, Socialization and Making Friends | #3
Tianyang Jiang, November 13th, 2022
Socialization brings not only friendship, but also a healthy and sustainable mind. By understanding how to manage interpersonal relationships, we gain both empathy and compassion.
Meanwhile, the friends we meet at high school can be foundations of our future network. These friendships may as well carry throughout our lives.
9 Tips for making more friends in high school:
Tip #1: Be a risk-taker
Making friends can be intimidating, as approaching a stranger isn’t always the easiest thing. However, we need to realize that the person you are approaching may as well be as anxious as you are. And by taking the first step, and making that first handshake, we open up a door of opportunities. This also means that we should venture beyond our comfort zone, and join communities that we are not familiar with. For example, playing a new sport, joining a new club or trying out a new hobby. Those are all great ways to meet more people and learn more about our school community.
Tip #2: Be approachable
Oftentimes people refrain from befriending someone because of their demeanor. This is why it is important to have a friendly attitude when approaching others. This includes being a good listener when others are talking, and contributing meaningful points to the conversation.
Tip # 3: Discover common interests
Believe it or not, we are more common than we think we are. And all it takes is one good conversation to find out what this common interest is. If you enjoy fashion, there will be individuals who follow the same trend as you that are willing to connect; if you are interested in reading, there will be people who enjoy the same author as you that you can befriend with. All in all, there’s always someone for everyone, and connecting based on your interests and passions can match you with likeminded people that have similar visions as you.
Tip #4: Be authentic
You don’t have to be a celebrity to have friends, and the likeability of a person comes from the confidence they have in themselves. Therefore, there is no need for you to pretend to be someone else, or to conjure up a grandiose image of “you” that is nonetheless fictional. It is hard to know someone who puts up a facade; and everyone deserves to be lived for who they are. This means that we should befriend people who truly enjoy our company, and not to worry about being the “best choice” in the room.
Tip #5: Volunteer more
Meet people by working outside of school hours. Volunteering is a great way for people to get familiar with strangers and become a bigger part of the community. It can also help us meet new people from all sorts of backgrounds and age groups.
By taking the initiative to volunteer, we gain valuable knowledge about our community, which strengthens our relationship with different people.
Tip #6: Talk with people who are one their own
Instead of ignoring the people who need company, go sit with them during lunch and strike up a conversation. Friendship usually happens without anticipation, and your proactiveness can very well be the foundation for it. You can start off by asking them a few basic questions about their name, age and interests. If the other person responds with the same enthusiasm then you may very well connect more with them. If they are not all that passionate about your presence, and prefer to be alone, make sure to exit the scene and not take it personally.
Tip # 7: Smile more
If you look anxious and preoccupied, it will be harder for people to approach you. Whereas you become more accessible when you appear more relaxed and smiley. This doesn’t mean that you should have a big grin pasted on your face every single day, but it’s generally a good exercise to try to smile as much as possible.
Tip #8: Eye contact is key!
When you are talking to someone, make sure to engage them with your eyes; this doesn’t mean that you should be staring into their eyes directly, but to look at the lower part of their forehead which gives the illusion that eye contact is made (Source).
Tip #9: Ask good questions!
When talking with people you don’t know, the best way to sustain the dialogue is by asking good questions. Make sure that your questions are relevant to the conversation and are provocative in nature. For example, when someone talks about their favourite character in a movie, elaborate the discussion by asking about the specific things that they like about this character.
However, also keep in mind to make those questions as friendly as possible, so the other person won’t feel overwhelmed answering them! In conclusion, making friends isn’t an easy task, and lots and lots of practice is required before a genuine friendship strikes through. Nevertheless, using those 9 tips, this task is made much easier!
Edwards, V. V. (2022, October 7). How to read people’s eye direction and behavior with 34 cues. Science of People. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://www.scienceofpeople.com/read-people-eyes/