Making and Keeping Friends

12 Tips for Making and Keeping Friends

1.Reach Out. Don't always wait for someone else to make the first move. A simple hi and a smile go a long way.

2.Get Involved. Join clubs that interest you. Take special classes inside or outside of school. Be a volunteer.

3.Let people know that you're interested in them. Don't just talk about yourself; ask questions about them.

4.Be a good listener. Look at people while they're talking to you. Pay attention to what they say.

5.Risk telling people about yourself. When it feels right, let them in on your interests, your talents, and what's important to you. BUT...

6.Don's be a show-off. Not everyone you meet will have your abilities and interests. (On the other hand, you shouldn't have to hide them - which you won't, once you find friends who like and appreciate you.)

7.Be honest. Tell the truth about yourself, what you believe in, and what you stand for. When asked for your opinion, be sincere. Friends appreciate truthfulness in each other. BUT…

8.Be kind. There are times when being tactful is more important than being totally honest. The truth doesn’t have to hurt.

9.Don’t just use your friends as sounding boards for your problems. Include them in the good times, too.

10.Do your share of the work. That’s right, work. Any relationship takes effort. Don’t always depend on your friends to make the plans and carry all the weight.

11.Be accepting. Not all of your friends have to think and act like you do. (Wouldn’t it be boring if the did?)

12.Learn to recognize the so-called friends you can do without. Some people get so lonely that they put up with anyone – including friends who aren’t really friends at all.

Adapted from The Bully Free Classroom, by Allan L. Beane, PH.D.,
Free Spirit works for kids Publishing, C. 1999.