Overcoming the Barriers to Friendship

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We all want to make friends, but sometimes it can be difficult. Often there can be a gap between the friendships we’d like to be making and the difficult realities of the social compromises we have to make on a day to day basis. There are, unfortunately, many barriers to friendship so what I’d like to do is identify for you what those barriers are and give you some ways of tackling them. My hope is that after reading this, you’ll find it easier to make new friendships and possibly deepen your existing ones. 

We are all impatient creatures. We often crave what we do not have and we demand of ourselves that we should be powerful or charming enough to attain that which we desire. If we are not careful this is a pattern we can all fall into and it can hinder our ability to make new friendships. It’s worth remembering that friendships take time. Sometimes a lot of time and we should be patient with ourselves and others when forming new ones. 

It takes time to get to know someone and open up to them. We know that being vulnerable with every stranger you meet is a bad idea. Not everyone wants the best for you and it’s dangerous not to guard ourselves against foreign social threats. This is why we need to give ourselves time with new people. Time to get to know them, to slowly unravel ourselves in all of our madness and idiosyncrasy. Doing this slowly means that by the time we come to open up we trust them with our feelings and have a better deeper connection with them because of it. 

Another thing to consider is that how we present ourselves to the world also plays a huge part in giving us a good chance at making new friends. It’s easy to get caught up in negative chatter or stress and then carry that around with us all day. This can unintentionally give off negative energy in our behaviour and mannerisms which can make people think twice before talking to us. 

Positivity is the key to overcoming this. Finding a way to put the stresses of the day to one side and rekindle your sense of humour will go a long way to making you more attractive and approachable. People love to laugh and have a good time and everyone wants their friends to be able to give them this. Practising switching on your funny bone will help remove this particular barrier to friendship. 

Now, how many times have you met someone new, got on really well and never seen them again? Or even met someone new, seen them once or twice but been caught up in the busyness of life and not reconnected for a long time? A lack of consistency can damage your chances of building strong and nourishing friendships. 

To combat this I’d recommend setting aside time in your week for socialising. Put it in your calendar or diary. This time will make it easier for you to contact those people you’d like to be spending more time with and get together. As long as you’re making the effort for yourself, those new friendships will come. 

The final thing to remember is that ultimately, what is going to solidify your friendships is your ability to be vulnerable with another person. This is why, when you feel ready, when you feel like you can trust your friend, you must open your soul to them. Show them some of your madness. The chances are they are not perfect and they too will want to show you more of their idiosyncrasies.

Friendships take effort. There is a lot that goes into maintaining a strong one. But if you take the time to consider what might be getting in the way of your forming new relationships and think about strategies for overcoming it, you might find it’s that much easier to form new friendships and deepen your existing relationships. 

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