Secrets of Making Friends

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Do you want to know the secret behind making a lot of friends?

“You give them cold hard cash!”

EENK! Wrong! Well sometimes that works, but only until you run out of money, so cash isn’t the right answer. The correct answer is: Make people feel important. Do I have to say it again? Make people feel important. That’s it! You might ask, “Why? I mean, what’s the use of making them feel important? Isn’t that their problem if they don’t feel good about themselves?”

Okay, let’s take time to look at why it is a need for one to feel important. Let’s start off with a question. What is that something that you need the most? Something you really must have.

Yes, we need oxygen. That’s for sure. And yes, food and water is essential too. Who can live without it? Even animals and plants need food and water. What do we usually do after eating too much? Yes, whatever you’re thinking of, that is needed to. If you’re thinking of shelter, you’re right again! That’s another need.

According to Abraham Maslow, a famous psychologist who postulated a Hierarchy of Needs, our basic needs, like food, oxygen, shelter and water, are referred to as physiological needs. But here’s another question for you. When all these physiological needs of yours are satisfied, what do you want most? What do you need most?

You want to feel important and loved, don’t you? Maslow refers to that need of feeling recognized as “esteem needs”. He says that these needs are as significant as our basic needs. You see? So it is indeed a need for one to feel important, to be respected and recognized.

With that, here is a great truth you ought to remember:

If you want people to respond to you positively, make them feel important. The more you make them feel important, the easier you make friends!

Everyone who considers themselves human wants to feel important. We all want someone to make us feel special, may it be a friend, a boss, a classmate, a spouse or even just an acquaintance.

Here’s another question, how do you make someone feel important? Read on to find ten effective tips!

1 – It all starts with a smile.

The truest friendships can start with the simplest smiles. That is why in making people feel important, smiling is a must! Flash your friend a genuine smile occasionally. It gives off a friendly approach and shows that you mean them no harm.

George Eliot once said, “Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.”

What would you choose, friends or wrinkles? I think the answer to that is obvious, so smile!

2 – Ask questions.

Yes, you read that right. Ask questions! It flatters people when you ask those questions because it shows that you are interested in what they have to say. Plus! It means you’re willing to listen! (Even if sometimes, you’re not.) To invite a conversation, ask open ended questions. These are questions that need further explanation. They can’t be answered with one word.

For example, “How did you manage to climb up that tree without spilling the cup of coffee you were holding?” or “If you were born in San Francisco, how’d you end up in Virginia?”

The great Albert Einstein said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” An American author, Henry David Thoreau, wrote, “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”

3- Listen!

I think I can hear you saying, “Oh that’s easy! I do it all the time!”

Do you really? When someone talks to you, are you sure you’re really listening, or are you just hearing the words? Or maybe, while the person is talking, you’re thinking of ways to respond! Come to think of it, we could just probably count the times when we actually listened. That is no good. We have to learn to really listen and see the meaning of what people say to us.

4 – Look them in the eye.

No, it’s not to scare them! You maintain eye contact with the person you’re talking to, to show him/her that you are listening. But don’t stare! Look away from time to time. If, for some reason, you can’t look them in the eye, look and focus on the bridge of their nose. It sounds quite funny, but trust me, it works! It’d be as if you were looking at their eyes.

M. Scott Peck said, “You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.”

5 – Lean slightly toward the speaker.

This is another indication that you are listening. But take note! Lean slightly, so as not to intimidate the speaker. Body language is a non-verbal communicator that shows that you are listening.

6 – Don’t interrupt!

This may be the most difficult thing to do of all, especially if you do have something good to say about the topic. But remember what Martin Farquhar Tupper said, “Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.”

7 – Pause before you respond.

A pause indicates that you were listening to the person and that the conversation is of importance to you.

8 – Mention his/her name a few times.

“I definitely have to agree with you, Mr. Awesome.”

“You’re absolutely right, Beautiful!”

Benjamin Disraeli said, “Talk to people about themselves and they will listen for hours.”

9 – Use ‘you’ and ‘your’ often.

Successful salespeople use this tactic because it makes people feel important. It would seem that it’s all about them, and they like that. Seldom use “I, me, or mine.”

10 – Give positive reinforcement.

Appreciate the things they do. Tell them what you like about them and tell them why you like it. But don’t make it too personal.

Those were the ten tips to make people feel important. Now you’re all set to make new friends! Go on and use these ten tips and I guarantee it, you’ll have a lot of friends in no time!

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