Take the time to build and invest in genuine friendships


  1. Build up your friendships slowly to generate trust
    If you meet someone interesting, form a friendship slowly instead of rushing to get them to trust you. Focus on doing little things together, for example, asking them to go for a walk, inviting them to a fun event, or emailing them an article they may like. Be consistent in your interactions and over time, the friendship will grow stronger.
  2. Deepen rather than widen your social circle
    Instead of attending hundreds of social events to meet new people, spend more time going deeper with the friends you already have. To increase intimacy with your current friends, practice consistency, positivity, and vulnerability with each other. This means being intentional with meeting up, engaging in joyful activities, and openly sharing what’s going on with your lives.
  3. Honor your one-on-one get-togethers
    When you’ve set up an exciting date with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, make sure that it’s just the two of you attending. Avoid inviting some other friend of yours just because they didn’t have plans of their own. Use that one-on-one time to get more intimate and have a deeper conversation.
  4. Identify and invest in the people who matter the most to you
    Draw a “Friend Circle” by writing your name in the middle of a large sheet of paper and then drawing concentric circles around it. The first circle will contain the names of family members. The second circle (Tier 1) will contain your best friends e.g. those you can always rely on when you’re sick. The third circle (Tier 2) will have close friends e.g. people you know but don’t talk to as much as your best friends. The last circle (Tier 3) will be good people who you’ve met but rarely see or talk to. Spend more time connecting with people in Tier 1 than those in Tier 2 and 3. If you don’t have anyone in Tier 1, then consider going deeper with a few people from Tier 2.
  5. Help out your friend before they even ask for it
    When you say, “Let me know what I can do to help,” most people rarely get back to you with a request for assistance. Therefore, instead of telling a friend to ask for your help, just be direct and help out. For example, if you notice a colleague is stressed, leave their favorite lunch on their desk. If your neighbor is a new mom, find out the type of diapers she needs and have them delivered to her home. 


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