Welcome to a new series on The Muslim Girl! It’s all about friends; how to make them, how to keep them, and how to stay drama free with them.
Whether you’ve just moved to a new school or city, or are in a new grade, or even if you just want to change your circle, making new friends isn’t as easy as it was in preschool! So many of us stick to those we’ve known or have been friends with for ages, and it’s only when we’re removed from them do we have to actively work on making friends.
This can happen to you when you start high school, university, or even a new job. Being in a new environment and with a new group of people can definitely force you to think about who you want to spend time with. So how exactly do you do it?
The first step starts with you! Moving someplace new, whether it’s a new city, country, or job, is tough, and there’s probably a lot you’re going through. But the first thing you need to do is be open to the opportunity to making new friends. People in your new environment might be friendly (or they might not), but if you’re too nervous or shy or withdrawn, you won’t have a chance to meet them. So keep yourself open to people asking you questions and trying to get to know you. It’s okay if you don’t feel like hanging out or meeting a bunch of people right away. Just make sure you’re polite and friendly and let them know you’re still getting settled in. Hopefully when you feel more comfortable, you can reach out to those girls and try to hang out.
If the people in your new class, school, or job weren’t very friendly, don’t fret! It doesn’t mean that all is lost and that you’re bound to spend all your free time alone. Not everyone opens up to strangers quickly, so don’t take their initial distance as a sign as a closed door. The best way to make friends is to just talk to people. Obviously the things you start talking about with strangers aren’t deep or life changing conversations, but small talk. Ask them about the homework, or assignment you have do. Ask them about what they’re reading or what their plans for the weekend are. Ask them what they like to do in their spare time. Chances are you’ll find something in common, and things will flow from there. If you have absolutely nothing in common, that’s okay too! Keep talking and you never know what you can discover.
If you’re having a hard time meeting people who have any common interests with you, try joining a club, after-school activity, or volunteering for something. It’s more likely that you’ll have the club or organization you’re volunteering for as a commonality and from there you can talk to people and try to learn more about them.
What makes friends different from acquaintances? Many of us have acquaintances, people we know and are friendly with. But they’re not our friends. Friends are the ones we share things with, and it can take some time to get to that level of understanding with a new acquaintance. It definitely doesn’t happen overnight! But it’s a two way street, so if your new friend shares something with you, assure her that you won’t tell anyone. And actually keep it to yourself, and don’t tell all your other friends, even if they don’t know your new friend. And when you feel comfortable, share something back. It’s only by sharing parts of ourselves with others do acquaintances become friends and those lifelong connections are made.
It’s also important to be yourself! There’s no point in trying to be someone you’re not when you’re making new friends because it’ll become so difficult to maintain a lie later down the line. So if you always show up 5 minutes early everywhere, don’t change. If you like to spend your weekends reading, don’t hide it. If you’re into sports, go play! Be true to yourself and don’t pretend to be someone else.
Learning how to make new friends, whether you’re a teenager or an adult, doesn’t have to be difficult. It just means being open, honest, and friendly. Because we all want to have friends who we can share the good and the bad with.
Hope you beautiful girls found this useful!