Home | About Dr. Helen | How can a psychologist help? | Contact Information | Resources | Articles

 

How to Make Friends and Have a Valentine by Next February
(or maybe even by this one if you're a quick study)!

  • Get out of your house - chances are you already know your mail carrier, UPS guy/gal etc.  and if nothing's happened so far, chances are it's not going to.  I know that you are tired, busy, hurt from your last relationship etc. but the fact is you have to get out unless you want things to stay the same in which case you can stop reading now.
  • Where do I go? - There are people all around.  You don't have to go to the local singles bar, but you could.  Go do something that you like to do.  Take a class, go to church or synagogue, get a volunteer job, get a dog and go to the local dog park, take dancing lessons, go to a gym,  get on the list of local art galleries so you'll be invited to openings, go to your city council meeting, join a book group - get info at your local library or bookstore, look for local cultural events, does your local museum have a docent program?  Also, reconnect with old friends (check out http://www.alumni.net or http://www.classmates.com) as well as with your relatives.  Let these folks know that you want to start getting out.  After all, they know you and may know people who would like you or whom you would like.  Do any of your friends have brothers or sisters?  I'm sure they do.  Ok, time for you to do some work.  I've listed plenty of ideas here.
  • Ok.  I'm at a party, event...  Now what?  Pay attention to your body language.  Is your body facing others or away?    Use an open posture, uncross your arms and legs.  Don't lean away. Don't hang out against walls or in corners.  Stand close to people.  Make eye contact with others.  Smile at them, but don't stare at one person.  Show a general interest in most of the people around. Relax.
  • I feel like a reject.  No one is approaching me.  No body likes me.  Do you feel attracted to everyone you meet?  I hope not!  So, most people aren't going to be attracted to you.   It's just normal to be rejected.  So, why does it hurt?  How do other people deal with rejection?   Well, they don't take it personally.  It's just a fact of life.  We are each only attracted to and attractive to certain people and not to others. You have to sift through a lot of sand to get to the gold.
  • How do I learn to deal with the pain of rejection?  Well, it takes practice.  Sorry.  It gets easier with time.  You can visualize being in a situation where you feel rejected and learn to relax your mind and body so that you will be prepared when it happens.


Things to think about:

Are you creating your own social paralysis?  You might be scaring yourself out of meeting people.  Think of the worst that could happen.  You say "hi" to someone and they run away in fear and horror!  You can live through these things and you have to if you want to make more friends and eventually have a romantic relationship.  You can live through embarrassment and rejection.  It hurts, but it's worth it.

Remember that making friends is important too.   Don't worry about finding romance.  Focus on  making friends.  The friends have friends too and maybe that person will know someone for you.  Believe me this works!!!  You will seem much more relaxed, less hard up, and less desperate if you believe or at least pretend to believe the following:

 
  • The social encounter doesn't really matter that much.
  • you don't really hope for anything
  • you want nothing from the other person,
  • you are just curious about other people
  • you have nothing to lose
  • it's just a conversation that you are looking fo

So, no one's approaching you!  Are you approaching anyone?

Make the first move. don't wait for someone else to do it.

When you go home and evaluate how you did, pay attention to the negative way that you evaluate yourself and knock it off!

Identify your personal strengths, and remind yourself of your strengths as you make your approach.

When you are rejected, remember all the reasons that you might reject someone (you really are busy, you already have a date, you are washing your hair, you just met someone else...)

Next month:

Breaking the Ice - How to Start a Conversation
more specific tips on communication style, ice-breaking conversation starters, etc.

email me with questions, comments or to make an appointment

back to Helen's home page
 

Here is a book by Don Gabor that can help you with conversation skills:

How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends
 
 
How to Start a Conversation/Cassette
 

More Articles:

Starting a Conversation

Setting Goals

Assertiveness Training

How to Heal a Broken Heart

Simple Stress Relief