Making friends seems easy for some people, while others seem unable to form lasting social and friendly bonds. Yet friendship contributes to personal fulfillment, joie de vivre and mental stability in more difficult times.
In her mid-thirties, Jordane recently made the realization that she had no real friend on whom she could count. “I had two friends in high school,” she explains. I meet them from time to time, but it's not the same anymore. I left Sorel to study in Sherbrooke, another went to Quebec. And I now live in Montreal.”
Since leaving college, Jordane has never forged new social ties. In charge of recruitment in a large company, she nevertheless rubs shoulders with a lot of people. “I have a semblance of a social life with my colleagues, and I meet a lot of people through my work. But these contacts look like “Facebook friends”, it's just superficial, without attachment or complicity.”
However, she cannot explain how she ended up in this situation. “I've changed cities several times, I'm quite shy, and I don't really like going out to bars and clubs. I know that these are places that promote social contacts.”
Jordan does not take her lack of friends badly, even if she admits in a sentence that loneliness can sometimes be heavy, especially during the pandemic.
Lack of social ties
At 15, Simon still doesn't know what it's like to have a friend. “In elementary school, I had a friend who could have become my friend, but I changed schools. Since then, I haven't had any friends, and I'm not necessarily looking for any. In fact, I'm afraid to approach others.”
Lack of self-confidence seems to be Simon's main problem in forming friendships with other young people his age. “I'm afraid of not being interesting,” he admits half-heartedly. I don't know what to say to connect with others, I'm afraid they'll laugh at me, or just aren't interested in talking to me.”
However, Simon does not stay in his corner, he is a member of the theater troupe at his school and has been doing karate in a club for two years. But his shyness and fear of rejection prevent him from having closer social contact with others.
“My challenge for secondary 4 is to make at least one friend by next summer. I would like to have a friend to go to La Ronde or to the cinema. But it's still difficult.”
How to make friends?
Friendship is a very important factor in well-being and personal development, especially for young people who will thus be able to develop through imitation. But there is no miracle recipe for making friends. The first thing is to be open and friendly.
“When you want to establish contacts, you have to be attentive to your non-verbal expression, your appearance, your body, your gestures, explains Valérie Oziat, personal development coach. Then, you have to open your eyes and go to people who seem likeable.”
Humor and laughter are vectors that allow you to create links quickly. You also have to listen to others, know how to focus on their interests and value them. Friendship works on the principle of reciprocity. If you know how to listen, there is a good chance that the other will also listen to you in turn, this will be the time to know how to show their sensitivity. In all circumstances, authenticity will be a winning factor.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128