Sunday, August 24, 2014









Mark Twain

A friend by definition is a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relationships.
There are no rules and regulations to form or maintain friendship. Only common sense!

But guidelines need to be emphasized, as most of us do not know how to go about making friends. You can see an occasional stranger making his or her way very easily in a society where as most of us do not have a clue as to who the next door neighbor is!

Also in the present days of facebook, twitter and what not, you may have thousands of virtual ’friends’ or ‘followers’. But still you maybe lonely and depressed, without any real friends.

If you are one of any of the above type of persons, then this blog may help you.

The progressive steps discussed below hopefully will benefit the lonesome!

If you are a Superstar, stop reading now and do something more useful!!

Do not sit around- ‘No man is an island’:

If you sit around in the house watching TV or playing video games all the time, you will never get any friends. You need to spend time with people. Take time to mix with a group of people. You don’t even have to say much. But if you are not going to be with them, you are not going to get friends.

Join a club:

A club is an association of people dedicated to a particular, common interest. This interest may be social service, music or even an old school. Whatever, a common interest like book reading, fan club, etc holds people together. You need to have the same binding interest to be associated.


In any housing welfare association or colony of houses, topics like clean the city, tree planting, plastic free zone, paint the locality are some of the popular themes for volunteering. You can always volunteer for any of these activities. The motto in general is ‘the more the merrier’. Anyone, especially you can fit in easily into these groups and you will enjoy being of use to the community.

Sports club:

Sports is a great binder. Like a comment on cricket or golf or football shows you immediate association with enthusiasts and one can hit upon a friendship almost instantaneously. You don’t have to be a superstar. I think it helps if you are not that great at the sports. This gives you a chance to meet more people and develop a laid back attitude which is good for friendship. This group need not be entirely sports, it could be a band or orchestra.


Making eye contact is essential before a smile and goes without saying. A smile is worth a thousand words. A smile shows you are a pleasant person welcome to a conversation. Good morning or a similar greeting can follow up with a smile shows you are ready to communicate. If  you do not smile and do not say anything, you want to be left alone.


We are not the race, who travel in tube trains reading newspapers and take pride in being reserved. You need to speak to the next person in the bus or train. You can always start with a non-committal ‘hi’ or ‘hello’. Unless you say something first, there is no conversation. This is because other people are also shy and reserved like you!

Initial Conversing:

Weather or road traffic can always the topic of discussion between strangers. Follow it up with a question as to how the other person feels about it . This will show you if the other person is ready to communicate and some insight if the other person opens up to you. Do NOT say anything controversial like politics or religion which may be an instant conversation killer with a stranger.

Content of Conversation:

Most important aspect of the conversation is listening. Once the other person opens up, learn to keep your part of the talking to around 25% of the entire conversation. The rest should be only listening – and that is the essence of good conversation. Stick to general, non-controversial topics. Avoid giving free, unsolicited advice.

Introduce yourself:

You can always mention that you are so and so, somewhere along the way. This will help the other person to mention his / her name. Remember the name as this means you have been listening. This will have a bearing on continuing a long friendship. Be pleasant to the other person. Good manners help.

Meeting up:

By now you will have a good working knowledge about the other person and if you want to continue this, you need to arrange for another meeting so that you can initiate a sustaining friendship. This can be as an informal coffee in a common place.

Discover identical interests:

Meeting up the person the next time, you will know the interests of the other person, like in males - sports, books or in a woman - cooking or stitching, painting, etc. There may be binding interests like church groups or music groups or book reading. It is good to discover these interests as they help to foster long associations and friendships

Knowing more about the other person:

Get to know the family of the other person and his / her friends. This is important for you to make a balanced opinion on the person. This will also help you to get more friends. It is also good for the other person to meet your family and friends so that everyone knows everyone else. This friendship should be above board and transparent.

Don’t be jealous:

An occasional phone call or a coffee or meal is okay. But do not badger them to be with you on a regular basis. Always announce your visits and do not overstay your visits. Remember good friendship is never rushed and takes a long time to grow. Do not be jealous of the friendship of your friend with others. This leads to adversity and misunderstanding.


Loyalty is the faithfulness of the persona and is the basis of long lasting friendships. You will always have friends when you are young, rich and successful. But true friend is around when the chips are down, when you need a shoulder to cry on and to wipe a tear. You don’t have to give advice, just lend a shoulder.

Being a good friend:

You need to spend your part in being around and spending valuable time. When you are sick, your friend is around. When you are depressed, your friend is asking you how you feel. When you need a friend, he or she is there for you. So you should reciprocate.

Be a Rock:

Stand and be counted. You must be punctual and always show up when needed. If you cannot come, make it known to your friend. You should not say you’d be there and not show up.

Confidential matters:

There may be confidential matters between friends. Confidences should be respected. Don’t be a blabber mouth. If you are uncomfortable with what is being told to you, you can always say that it is better to withold the secret for now and discuss it later. Never be pushed by your friend in confiding things to him or her that you do not want to share. This can be dangerous.

Choice of friends:

This is most vital. You will meet many people. You will make many acquaintances. When you are successful, you will have many so-called friends. But the true friends are only a few. If you can count your real friends with the fingers of both your hands at the end of your life, you are extremely lucky. Choose wisely.

Keep in touch:

Good lasting friendships over a lifetime, take people away to different states, countries and continents. You must keep in touch. It is not difficult to do so in these days of instant communication and internet.


Now for the negatives, do not change yourself to fit in a group or friendship- it will not last and is not worth it. Conversely, do not try to change the other person to fit into your group or your liking. Very often dissimilar personalities hit upon a great friendship as differing points of view can be entertained. Unlike poles attract!

Don’t abandon:

When you are rich and successful, when you get new friends, do not discard and abandon your old good friends. 

Keep the news ones on –

‘Make new friends, 

but keep the old; 

one is silver & the other is gold’