As you're getting to know a potential friend, you need to know if they're looking for new friends as well. This will ensure that you don't invest yourself too much in a friendship that won't happen, and thus avoid feeling rejected or disappointed.
When you're meeting new people, it's easy to get confused on whether someone wants to be friends as well. In order to build friendships with interesting people, you need to be able to tell if others are also interested in friendship.
This allows you to avoid getting rejected and/or disappointed.
Do They Have Time For New Friends?
Some people have too many friends already, and have no room for new ones. Others have only a few, but that's all they can handle.
Some people love to build friendships so much that they've filled their whole life with them. They no longer have any room left for new friends. Others have just a few pals, but that's all they can have time for.
As you start to befriend someone and invite them to do social things with you, you'll get a sense of whether they have time or not. The important thing is not to take it personally if someone just has no time.
Just because they agreed that "you should hang out some time" doesn't mean they really have time.
Are They Actively Social?
Having a social life is very important, but some people are too lazy to maintain one. Others are so disorganized that they put off their social life on hold every time there is a problem in their life.
The worst thing about this is that it can happen with some interesting, smart people. You could actually have things in common, but the person is just inefficient at being social; but your time is too precious, you need to move on.
If you want to know if they're actively social on the spot, even before taking their contact info, I suggest you ask them about where they usually like to go out and have fun. If they have no clear answer, or it looks like it's been a long time, that may be a bad sign.
Are They going Through Something Big?
When you meet new people, ask about what they're doing with their lives. If they're going through something big or time-consuming, then be careful not to expect them to be there when you wanna hang out.
These things can be like marriage, new jobs, new projects, getting promoted, having kids (yes), moving to a new apartment, new boyfriend/girlfriend, etc.
If these seem silly to you, then you'll have to try it for yourself.
In my experience, I've seen that when people come across these big moments of life, they have less time for everything. That puts more pressure on their social life, they tend to stop meeting casual friends, and focus on close friends.
Are They Looking For Friends, or Something Else?
When you go meet people, realize that some of them just don't want new friends. Some people are just looking for the perfect date, the perfect job, or the perfect client. Others only want to meet people they can take advantage of.
Sometimes, people are trying to date you and not be friends; although that can be flattering, it might not be what you want. If you want to know, or if you think they think you're hitting on them, mention your partner in the conversation, or mention some of your friends of the opposite sex.
Now, when it comes to business people, some of them are just out to swap business cards, find new clients, etc. There is nothing wrong with that, but just know that it's a possibility.
This is a reminder for you not to expect everyone to be the same; not everyone is looking for interesting friends.
Avoid Feeling Rejected
If you want to have great friends you need to protect yourself from feeling rejected, because that would discourage you and make you want to give up.
I recommend that you don't get your hopes up too high for a new friendship to work. Wait until you are sure that the person enjoys your company and likes you for who you are.
If you want to learn more techniques for overcoming hesitation, meeting new people, and making friends, you can get on my Free Social Skills Newsletter.
See you there,