10 June 2009

Can things get worse?

This past weekend, I went camping with a group of friends. It was a great time: staying up late, playing ultimate frisbee, going hiking, practicing odd speeches, beating up my left foot in a game of soccer... Everything was fun and games. Or so I thought. But reflecting on the weekend, now, a few days removed, I've come to an awkward realization: I've forgotten how to make friends. Can things possibly get worse than this?

I think it started in late 2007 and early 2008. I found that, during tournaments, I was making a much larger spectacle of myself than I wanted to. So I determined to change my personality, so that I would no longer be embarrassing myself every time I went out in public. Step one? Become more serious in public. Steps two and three followed quickly, in Summer 2008, when I stopped talking about my feelings and really receded into my music. Step four, a huge success, was to become shy. And so it proceeded, until I turned out a rather quiet, sarcastic person to people I don't know.

The change was a roaring success. To much of a success, in fact. I've gone from an if not extroverted, at least friendly individual to one whom strangers mistake for being depressed. Or emo. Or both.

This was a problem on the aforementioned camping trip. I was effectively isolated, and that didn't feel quite right.

So, if it wouldn't bother my readers too much, I have a question for you to answer: How does one go about making friends?

Comments would be greatly appreciated.


  1. You're never fully dressed without an
    I found that smiles work, followed by a "Hi-my-name-is" and a handshake. Then comment about something obscure, like, oh, um, that's the difficulty isn't it?

    Say something clever about the weather or about people talking about the weather, something abnout your surroundings. Then relentlessly ask what they like to do with some kind of connection to what you just said. Example

    Lovely weather, isn't it? But I paint, and I find that whenever I draw, I prefer stormy landscapes. Do you paint?"
    And if they say no, than that is just a lead in to ask, "well, what do you like to do?"

    And finally, if people simply look at you weird, then they likely aren't much fun anyway!

    Or try the random approach: Ask their opinion on the dialogues of Plato, and then reveal that you've never read them. Also, ask if having a favorite color is intuitive or subjective.

    Just smile! You get more friends and less wrinkles that way!

  2. Talking and greeting people often is all you really need to get the appearance of being friendly, with more in depth conversation to become friends with individuals.

    Anytime you start going somewhere repeatedly, like class or work, you only need to work at being friendly for the first two weeks or so. Once the first impression sinks in, everybody thinks more or less the same thing for the rest of the year, as long as you don't start acting really different.

  3. Who needs friends when you have me?! [JK]