Deepen your friendship!

noThere's no formula to become better friends with everybody you meet


Not everyone we meet is going to want to hang out with us. And definitely not everyone we hang out with is going to become a closer friend. We're just not compatible with most people in terms of interests, values, what they're looking for in a friendship, availability, and a dozen other things. So while you can try to apply the ideas below to your new friends, realize they're not all going to go the distance and become your soul mates. That's okay though, since you may still be able enjoy their company on a more casual level.

On the same note, just because you may be able to successfully apply one or more of the ideas below on someone, that won't guarantee the friendship is going to go anywhere. Like you may have a single really intimate conversation with someone, but overall they'll continue to think of you as someone they run into every now and then. You could say many of the principles below are necessary, but not sufficient, conditions for a relationship becoming deeper.

Overall, if you're making an effort to become better friends with someone, and you get the sense you're putting more energy into it than they are, consider backing off and adjusting your expectations.

Sometimes we'll become good friends with someone pretty quickly, at other times it takes a while

Many people have had the experience of meeting someone new and immediately starting to hang out with them all the time. Just as many can point to a very good friend of theirs where the bond grew a lot more gradually. Neither way is better than the other. I think friendships can get off the ground quickly when:

For whatever reason you just click with that person unusually well.
When you're both at a place in your lives where you're looking for new friends to spend time with {e.g., how social circles come together really quickly during the first weeks of college}.
When you're both available and easily accessible to each other {e.g., you live in the same building and have lots of free time to hang out together}.
When you fulfill an unmet need in each other's lives {e.g., you absolutely love movies, but none of your other friends care much about them. Then you meet someone who's also a huge movie buff; You're the only person in your group of friends who's still single and wants to go out on the weekends. Then you meet someone who's looking for the same thing}.
You're in a situation where the usual standards for friendship progression don't apply, like when you meet people while traveling and feel like friends for life after only knowing them for six days.
Friendships can grow more slowly when:

One or both of you are pretty busy with your day-to-day lives and/or already have many friends who fill up your calendar. You just don't have time to hang out constantly.
You get along well, but there isn't that instant spark of intense compatibility. You'll become closer sooner or later, but it's not going to happen in a week.
You're not actively trying to grow a friendship with someone. For example, they're just in your social circle, and you get to know them better in little snatches here and there as you hang out with all your other friends. Eventually, even if it wasn't your intention from the start, your relationship with them may start to stand out as a deeper one.
Whatever speed the friendship is going to develop at, don't try to rush or force it towards a deeper level of intimacy. Let it unfold at its own pace.



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Sujana Sathish

Sujana Sathish

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