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Sunday, June 23, 2024
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NETIZEN GOES THROUGH DELIBERATE METHODS TO MAKE FRIENDS IN SCH & AT WORK

prior to going to uni, I was always “adopted” by extroverts as friends. I struggled to find real friends in the initial part of uni as well. It didn’t help that my good friends from JC and secondary school had *all* decided to study overseas, so I didn’t have any friends left in Sg.

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What I have to say is that, after going through university + 10 years of working, I find that friends and relationships of any kind do not happen so organically any more. If they do, great, but if they don’t, you have to work for it, just like anything else in life. If you want good grades in school, you work hard right? If you want a promotion, you also work hard right? Having good friends and having a romantic relationship is the same. You have to work hard at it in a deliberate manner if it doesn’t happen organically for you.

But what does it mean to work hard at having relationships?

People may have a different answer from me, but for me, I found that a big part of this it means to work hard on yourself. Make yourself be an interesting person that people want to be friends or in a romantic relationship with. Have hobbies that you’re passionate about, read more books, watch more films, brush up your personal grooming (not saying yours is necessarily bad but there’s always room for improvement), and try new things that you’ve never considered before. If you want to work out and achieve a better body (I did, back then), that also helps in the initial interest period, though I’ve found that physical attractiveness alone doesn’t sustain any kind of relationship, and a lack of physical attractiveness actually is not a bar to building good friendships and working relationships.

Basically, build an identity for yourself. Who are you? What do you stand for? What are you proud of? Water finds its own level, so if you want to be in a certain group, how do you improve yourself so that they would be interested in being friends with you? I find that like-minded people will gravitate to you once you know what your own brand is. Of course, sometimes you also have to seek these people out, by joining interest groups. Once there’s a common interest, it’s very easy to connect. Uni is a great time to join interests groups because you have CCAs. Make full use of it. Once you go out to work, finding interest groups is a lot harder, and you may have to resort to finding these online through sites like meetup.com.

The other thing about working hard at relationships is keeping the relationship going once you have built the initial connection. For me, this is remembering to wish people / do something nice for people on their birthdays and other significant dates, remembering to check in on people once in a while, and remembering their interests. I send people stuff I see that I think they would be interested in, like maybe a pic of a cute cat-shaped mug I saw in a shop if the person likes cats, or an article that’s related to their hobbies or work. Or if I know that someone is on MC, I’ll check in on them to ask if they’re doing ok, and follow up a week or so later. For the first two, I actually find that as I get older, I need reminders, so I set calendar reminders to do it if I think I will forget.

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Maybe this all sounds too deliberate and calculated. But I have had success doing this, and I’ve built good friendships and working relationships this way.

I am also happily married. Maybe you can try this method and see if it helps you?

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