This is a guest post by Paul Sanders.
“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” -Mark Twain
I want to tell you a fact about friendship that most people will live their entire lives without ever knowing.
It’s the idea of making the RIGHT friends for you.
Making friends with the right people is the most powerful thing you can do to make the most of the time you spend with people.
Because each one of us is unique, we think we’re weird and try to hide what’s different about us.
And because everybody is showing a socially acceptable, polished version of themselves, we think that we’re the ONLY one who is a little different.
That causes us to talk even less about what makes us unique. We start to think that people like us don’t exist.
So we settle for friends that don’t really understand us. And we say things like “I don’t feel understood at all”, which makes us feel lonely.
But, the great thing about knowing how to find the right friends is that it gives you a MASSIVE advantage in your social life.
It makes you AVOID putting up with people who don’t understand you.
In fact, you even start to attract people who are as open-minded as you are. It’s as if they can tell that you’re different from all those “politically-correct” people.
Who Are The Right Friends For You
It took me a long time to figure out exactly how to find and have great friendships with the right people for me.
I started out by looking to see how I can make friends with people with the highest status I could find. I thought they were the “best” that there is, so I better make friends with them.
Didn’t really make me any happier. In fact, it took a lot of time and was a tedious way to make friends.
Then I started asking people who had more social experience than I had, and started watching what they do to find and keep great friends in their life.
I tried some of that stuff and added some things from my experience. I found out that there are 3 things you can do to find the right friends for you. Here they are…
#1 Your Goals Guide You
Where are you going in life?
The answer to that question is your best guide to find great friends. Seek to find people who have similar goals or interests.
If you want to get ahead in your career, focus on people who are doing exactly THAT. Make them your priority.
If you want to get ahead in a particular sport, go to the gym or to the class and start talking to the people there.
If you want to improve your life in general, find self-improvement forums or go to seminars, get there and start exchanging ideas.
If you want to learn to do more meditation and yoga, look for a club in meetup.com and go meet them.
People who have the same goals or interests as you are the ones who can understand you the most. Focus on making friends with them.
#2 Keep Out The Closed Minds
In my experience, I found out that people who aren’t open minded, are the worst friends you can have.
Wait… they can be VERY NICE to you, I’m not saying that they are evil.
But the worst thing they do is that they KEEP you from evolving and changing your life. They do it by always expecting you to act the same as you always been, and therefore expect you to always have the same life.
Because their lives are frozen, they think that everyone else should be that way.
When you meet someone new, I’d suggest that you quickly mention something about yourself that is “out there”.
For example, I often mention that I’m a self-improvement/audiobook junky. I can also mention something about sex or make a sex-joke.
And then you see how the person react. If they look shaken or ‘weirded’ out, that’s your RED SIGN.
If these people won’t accept those little weird things about you, then they’re not open enough to understand who you really are, and what you’ve been through.
Just forget it, move on.
#3 Make More Friends Faster – To Meet The Right Ones Faster
It can take a long time before you meet someone you can really connect with and have a lot of fun along the way.
But, if you filter by goals, AND keep out the closed-minded, then you’re way ahead of everybody.
What REALLY makes it easy and fast for you to make the friends that will understand you and support you is HIGH FREQUENCY.
Make more friends faster, and you’ll meet the right ones, that you’ll want to keep for a long time.
Here is how to make friends faster:
Find out about them: What they do for a living + what they do for fun + what are their hobbies/sports and what they read.
Find common ground between you: as soon as they mention something –anything– remember what you know about it and mention that.
If they say they work in a non-profit, for example, tell them that you know someone who works at another non-profit.
Or tell them about a non-profit that interests you… just think of SOMETHING, SOMEONE, or SOME STORY related to the stuff they’re talking about.
That’s what I call “Conversational Common Ground”.
The more stuff you have in common (or just seem to BOTH know about) the faster you’ll feel connected.
Let me repeat that. It’s important.
The faster you find Common Ground with a person, the faster you can connect.
And the more common ground of different types you can find with a person, the easier and the more natural it is to exchange contact information and stay in touch.
If you do those three things, you’ll be surprised at how many great friends you’ll gather in your life. And that means that you’ll have a lot more fun than in the past.