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Friendship

Avoid Doing This To Make Friends

3 minutes read

- Written by Yubo Team

Making friends can be tricky. Even just interacting with others can be stressful for some. Have you ever finished a conversation with someone  only to replay every second of that conversation over and over in your head afterwards? Or maybe even during the conversation itself, you start overthinking every word you’re saying, taking your mind away from the conversation and leaving you unable to enjoy your time with the person you’re talking to? 

Well, here are some helpful tips for what to avoid doing and what you can do instead to have a successful conversation that you won’t need to rethink later on.

  • Asking Too Many Questions

It’s important to show people you care about their life, or at least what they’re talking about, but when it starts turning into you asking question after question after question without you offering anything in return, it might start to feel more like an interview than a conversation.

What to do instead: It is still important to ask questions, but in between their answers add in your own anecdotes, ways in which you can relate or a time when you experienced something similar. After all, the person you’re talking too probably wants to learn about you too.  Instead of asking where they were born, what their parents do, what their dreams are, what’s the answer for that security question on some website without giving them all but two seconds to take a breath between answers, make sure you give them the chance to ask you questions and answer them as well. 

  • Talk About Yourself Too Much

So, don’t ask too many questions, but also don’t talk too much? We’re not quite saying that. Avoid feeling pressured to fill every second of the conversation with interesting facts about yourself or your family’s history, what you ate today, how the weather is, or anything else that comes to your mind. People want to gain an understanding or your personality and your vibes, but you want to give the other person a chance to speak too so you can learn about their personality and their vibes. If the vibe is only talking about yourself and never allowing the other person to equally share, well, then it’s not vibing.

What to do instead: 

Instead, make sure you’re giving them the opportunity to add in their own interesting tidbits as well. And if they’re the type that doesn’t freely offer their own information, try to encourage them to share as well. Make it clear you want to know more about them, and you’re not just asking over pleasantries. 

  • One Upping Them

While it’s important to share common experiences and relate to those you're talking to, be careful not to one up the other person. For example:

Potential Friend #1: “I had a horrible day yesterday.”

You: “Me too, my day was probably even worse. My fish died.”

Potential Friend #2: “I got tickets to this singer!”

You: “Cool! Oh, you’re sitting back there, I went yesterday and was just inches away from them!”

Potential Friend #3: “I’m so tired.”

You: “Me too, I stayed up really late feeding the homeless. You?”

We’ve all unintentionally done this – tried relating to them and instead ended up one-upping them intentionally. It’s okay to make that mistake, but if you keep doing it over and over, well, that person may not want to share any more information with you, and it could cost you the friendship, if there ever was one, right there. 

What to do instead:

Let’s replay the previous conversations, but with some better answers. 

Potential Friend #1: “I had a horrible day yesterday.”

You: “I’m so sorry, do you want to talk about it?”

Potential Friend #2: “I got tickets to this singer!”

You: “You’ll have a great time! I saw them recently, and they were awesome.”

Potential Friend #3: “I’m so tired.”

You: “Me too. What’d you do last night?”

This is not saying to avoid sharing your stories, but instead, be mindful of how you share them and how what you’re saying might make the other person feel. Don’t immediately discredit whatever your friend or potential friend shares with you. Let them speak, listen to them, make them feel heard, and then open it up to sharing your own stories. 

  • Being On Your Phone / Doing Other Things

If you’re talking to someone, focus on them. Don’t do other things on your phone (unless your mom calls, that’s the only pass), take out your fidget spinner, or even a book. When you’re doing this, you’re telling them that the conversation with them is not as important as whatever else you are doing, that you need a distraction whenever you’re talking with them, or that they’re not good enough for your time.

What to do instead:

Keep distractions on your photo to a minimum and try to avoid opening other apps or having other side conversations at the same time (again, unless it’s your mom, of course). Try your best to stay in the moment and show the other person that you’re interested in the conversation you’re having with them. 

While there’s many more “rules” that could be said, these are some common behaviors to be aware of. But, most importantly, don’t fret too much over it. Just be aware of what you say and of how you treat others. There’s no perfect strategy to creating or maintaining friendships, but caring is always the best place to start. 

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