How To Initiate A Friendship

You know that awkward stage between acquaintance and friend? That in flux place where you chat whenever you happen to run into each other but never make actual plans to see one another? I am there a lot. I meet someone and we hit it off, but then what? We become Facebook friends? How do you really turn a few fun chats at the coffee machine into an actual friendship? Well, luckily for you I have often been in new situations where I didn’t know a single soul, so I have been forced to cast aside my shyness and forge ahead to build new friendships. Here are my tried and true techniques for turning a casual acquaintance into a friend…

  1. Ask Her Out For A Friend Date: This is truly terrifying, asking someone you don’t know super well to make official plans. Scary as popping the question is, this by far the most effective technique for upping to the friend level. I don’t mean you have to ask the potential friend to a fancy dinner, but suggest meeting up for coffee or a drink. Something casual and low key that doesn’t come off as over eager but still gives you two the chance to bond.
  2. Find The Common Denominator: There is a reason you know this acquaintance which means you have something in common. Maybe you have the same hobby, work together or share a mutual friend. Regardless, use your commonality as a starting off point for branching out to further topics. If worse comes to worse and you have nothing else in common, you can always return to the original subject.
  3. Sharing Is Caring: The way people bond and get to know each other is by opening up. Generally with acquaintance-ships, people stick to neutral topics. If the weather is really awful, and I am talking hurricane awful, then the weather doesn’t count so much as small talk as mutual commiseration. But, most often impersonal topics do not lead to personal relationships. Take the plunge and next time that girl down the hall asks you how your night was, actually tell her. Not all the gory details or the mind-numbingly mundane, but maybe something along the lines of a cooking disaster or boy troubles. Anything relatable will probably get her to share something as well. Just keep in mind not to share too much personal info. You don’t know your acquaintance that well yet, so telling her about your itchy rash from that botched bikini wax won’t help your cause.
  4. Have A Near Death Experience Together: I am not advocating reckless behavior, mind you. I am merely pointing out the fact that nothing brings people together like a minor disaster. Remember Kelly Taylor on “90210”? She was in that house fire with that lesbian chick and they were, like, bonded for a whole half season. Don’t go looking for trouble, but if trouble finds you, you might as well make lemonade out of lemons and make a friend as well.
Tags: friendships, tips