Making Friends

Choosing Friends - Before you make friends, you have to decide who you want to be your friends. Most people like to have friends who like to do the same kinds of things they do. That doesn't mean you have to be exactly like each other, just that you enjoy some of the same things. If you're really into sports, you probably will want friends who enjoy playing many of the same games you do. Likewise, if you love to read books, you will probably enjoy the company of readers. Forming a book club is a great way to get a group of kids together who share your interests.  Think about your favorite things to do and try talking to your classmates at lunch or recess about your hobbies. You're bound to find at least one person who's excited about the same things that excite and interest you.       

  

Making Friends - 1. The quickest way to make a friend is to smile. When you smile, people think you are friendly and easy to talk to. It may not be easy at first to smile. But, you can practice in the mirror. When you look at yourself, think if you'd rather talk to your smiling face or your usual face that may look scared or angry. Remember that other people have feelings too and most people will stay away from a scared or angry looking face. 2. One easy way to start a conversation with someone is to say something nice about them. For example, you could comment on a great answer to a teacher's question, good catch at the ball field, pretty shirt, etc...Think about how great you feel when someone says something nice to you. Doesn't it make you want to keep talking to that person? 3. Ask your new friends questions about themselves. Who's their favorite singer, where do they live, who's their teacher, what do they do after school are all good questions to start a conversation. 

It's not really nosey to ask questions about people. It's the only way to get to know what they're like. AND, it's the only way they'll know that you are interested in them.  4. Make sure you have something to add to the conversation too. When someone asks you a question, do have an answer for them. If you don't know who your favorite singer is, or what your hobbies are, think about it. There's nothing that will stop a conversation quicker than a shrug for an answer. You can get to know yourself by keeping a journal. 5. Shy kids often have some trouble with complements. When someone says something nice, shykids will often freeze in their tracks and say nothing. This leaves the other person wondering if they said something wrong. The best and easiest reply to a complement is a simple "Thank You". 6. Be a friend. Kids who show an interest in other kids and who are kind and friendly make good friends. Remember, everyone wants to be around people who like to do similar things and people who are nice to them.  

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Activities - After you've made some friends that share the same interests, it's always fun to plan activities together that you'll both enjoy. Inviting a friend over to your house after school is a great way to make your friendship closer.  If you know a game your friend likes to play, you can plan to do that together. If you and your friend like to play outside, think of some things you have around the house that you can organize to do outside. Make sure the activities can be done together. You may both love playing computer games, but this is activity best done alone or with a friend you've known for a really long time. When you play a computer game, one person is always left sitting with nothing to do but watch. Not fun.

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