Making friends is not easy for a lot of people, and for some the thought of speaking to others is terrifying. This can be debilitating in your life and if you’re the self conscious type it makes it even worse. You might worry about what people think of you, you might be thinking about saying the right thing too much, rather than being yourself and engaging in authentic conversation.
Many people suffer from self consciousness and the need to impress, and it shows. It’s easy for people to say: ‘relax, just be yourself’ that’s no good when you don’t really know who you are as you’re trying to impress too many different kinds of people.
I was self conscious around very intelligent people, but I got over it once I realised I was intelligent enough to speak to intelligent people, how intelligent is that!!
You can’t make friends with people until you know what type of people you want to like. To know what type of person you want to like you have to know yourself first.
How on earth do you begin to know yourself?
Write yourself down on a piece of paper, seriously.
On a sheet of paper get to know yourself by asking yourself questions, for example:
What type of films do you like?
What type of books do you like to read?
What sports do you like?
What are your hobbies?
Who do you like to spend time with?
What are your best personality traits?
What are your worst personality traits?
What are your goals?
What are your values?
What are your principles
By asking yourself lots of questions, you will begin to understand what makes you tick. When you know this you begin to see how you will live your life and then it will become clear what type of friends you want in your life. You have to know your own values and principles before you befriend other people.
Values and principles
If you don’t really know yourself you will befriend some people and maybe later on you will wonder why you ever befriended that person, it’s because they are not aligned to your true values and principles.
So, sit down with a good cup of tea, or whatever is your want, and make a date with yourself. Getting to know you, may sound ridiculous but you may be surprised how much you will find out about yourself.
Looking at your friends
Once you have found out what your true values and principles are, it’s time to look at your friends and find out if you really want to stay friends.
I remember having some friends in my teens. When I realised I wasn’t aligned to their values and principles and they were not aligned to mine, I decided to split from them. It was one of the most difficult decisions I ever had to make but it changed the course of my life.
Aligning yourself to the right people, and by that I mean the right people for you, you will become comfortable with yourself and you will start to feel confident and secure in your environment.
Once you are secure you can then start to move a little outside your comfort zone and stretch yourself. For example, if one of your values is to be a positive person, it will be natural to want to be around positive people. If you have been around negative people a lot, it might be out of your comfort zone to try and befriend positive people. However you will eventually do this, as you will be more secure and confident within yourself and know what you really want in life.
I hope you have found part 1 useful. If you have any questions or comments please let me know.