A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
My profession is in the entertainment industry, and one of the best and worst things about being a performer is that you’re constantly thrown into unfamiliar scenarios and you have to quickly decide if you’ll sink or swim. I’ve seen interviews of amazing celebrities who are still crippled by stage fright or are nervous to meet their fans. I never want to let my introverted personality dictate living in fear of other people; instead, I want to enjoy socializing and forging long-lasting friendships with other women.
I’d describe myself as an “extroverted introvert” because I can start up a quick conversation with a random person at the mall, but I cringe when it comes to a time-consuming event, new job or activity that will involve a lot of strangers. All of the variables that could happen during these scenarios will start to take over my mind, like What if they don’t like my outfit? What if I don’t have anything in common with anyone? What if I don’t seem intelligent to them? How long do I have to stay before I can quietly sneak out?
I’m even surprised looking back at my teen years that I had as many friends as I did because I was very shy, and it sometimes took me half of the school year to warm up to new people. I’d say most of my friendships back then started because an outgoing girl chose to approach me and welcome me into her circle. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I really learned how to make genuine friendships myself without someone else starting them for me. Here are some things I still remind myself of when I approach women I’d love to have in my circle.
- Everyone eats. Consider this if the thought of striking up a conversation with your co-worker leaves you with dry mouth. I know it’s a weird jumping-off point, but inviting her to lunch on your break or dinner after your shift will give you a chance to pick her brain and see if she also watches Netflix documentary marathons (or is that just me?). If one-on-one is too intimidating, invite a few people and see if that helps you to bond with any of the girls at school or women at your workplace.
- Everyone gets dressed. You may be into the jokes you overhear your classmate telling, or the peaceful way she carries herself to and from class in her classic striped cardigans. Ask her where she got those stunning cardigans, and this may even lead to her telling you what part of town she goes to for clothes shopping and how you should check out some new stores with her. If you’re able to spend some time together, you might realize you share a lot of the same interests.
- Everyone has hobbies. When I was first getting into the modeling industry, I met several female makeup artists, fashion designers, photographers, etc. Collaborating with them led to friendships I’ll treasure forever. That’s even how I met my current BFF. When I put myself out there and decided to create with other women who loved all things beauty, I felt a lot less pressure to come up with things to talk about. We were all into the same things, so there was already a starting point to build upon.
- Everyone needs community. Whether you’re in school, are currently working or have chosen to be a stay-at-home mom, you may still feel lonely day in and day out. This is because we’re supposed to have a supportive community to have our backs. There are clubs on campus, groups at church or online forums you can join to kick-start your journey in finding key friendships. Some online communities even host meetups every once in a while for in-person activities. Joining a group with similar interests will allow you to notice who has the same quirky laugh, talent for sports or a similar life stage they may be going through.
Also remember that the most important thing to keep in mind as believers is to invest in relationships with other women who have the same morals and values as you do.
Finding friends can seem like a daunting task, but hopefully these tips gave you some guidance on where to begin.
What’s the hardest part about making new friends? Comment below. We’d love to hear from you!