Making and Keeping Friends Tips for Friendships

It is important for teenagers to have opportunities for happy friendships with both boys and girls.

1. If you have both boys and girls as friends, you will learn more about getting along with people. You, yourself will have a more interesting personality. You will learn to talk about the hobbies and interests that other boys and girls enjoy. You will probably need to know more about such things as outdoor sports and games, making model airplanes, working with computers, collecting stamps or Cd's or even repairing cars.

2. You will be helped to appreciate the friendships that adulthood will bring. You will have a basis of comparison and understanding which prepares you for selection of a mate when you are ready later.

Girls like a Boy who...
... has good manners
... is clean and well groomed
... dresses neatly and appropriately
... is intelligent
... is a good conversationalist
... is considerate
... is good-natured
... is clean-minded
... is honest
... is punctual
... has a sense of humor
... gets along with other people

Boys Like a Girl who ...
... is attractive and well groomed
... is neat and clean
... is helpful and considerate
... dresses appropriately
... is dependable
... is a good conversationalist
... is a good listener
... is friendly
... is interested in a boy's hobbies
... is modest but not shy
... has good manners
... does not talk about other dates

Ways of Expressing Friendship

There are many ways of showing that you value a friendship and would like it to continue.

First of all, you must continue to show the qualities that made you acceptable as a friend. You should try to be loyal, understanding, and sympathetic. You should be sure that you are helpful and kind, never unduly critical or ill tempered.

In addition to these qualities, there are specific ways by which you can show a person you are thinking of them or consider them your friend.

Suggested ways to show friendship

1. Send notes, pay visits, or call on the phone, to show that you are glad when a person achieves some special honor or award.

2. Be sure to say "thank you" for gifts and favors.

3. Send cards or letters when you are away.

4. Send cards, notes, or small gifts for special occasions or when a friend is ill.

5. Be an interested, sympathetic listener when a friend wants to tell you something.

6. Offer your services and express your sympathy in time of trouble.

Some Places to Make Friends

... at school
... at church
... in sports and community activities
... on vacations

Other ways are through your family and friends, through hobbies, and through a part time job.

Avoiding Cliques

A warm-hearted, sociable person usually has a wide circle of acquaintances and friends. Some of them may be much older, others much younger. Jadelle enjoys knowing and visiting her next door neighbor, a pleasant, middle aged woman with an interesting background of travel who made her feel welcome at any time. Jadelle's homeroom teacher also became her friend. Another friend of Jadelle's is an eight year old boy who lives across the street and likes to play guessing games with Jadelle.

Some of the most interesting persons are those with a wide variety of friends. In many communities there are people from other countries or junior high school pupils who have lived overseas. Friendships can be a means of world fellowship and understanding.

It is important to have both boys and girls as friends. It is equally important to avoid being a member of a "clique," or a closed circle, in school. Such a group may be greatly disliked by the rest of the school, who think of them as snobbish. As a result, the young people in the closed circle may lose opportunities for valuable new friendships among pupils on the outside.

It is true also that you should select as close companions some young people with interests and hobbies similar to yours. If they find fun in the activities you enjoy and if their personal qualities and standards of conduct are like yours, they can become your very good friends.

Overcoming Shyness

Some teenagers are shy and even afraid to try to make boy-girl friends. But shyness can be overcome. You can do it, because others have.

You may be surprised at the response of just, "Hello" as you walk down the hall at school, and a smile does wonders. This lets people know that you are friendly and not just ignoring them.

Of course if you are lucky enough to have brothers and sisters and if you get along with them, it will be easier for you to make friends with other boys and girls. An only child should use every opportunity to be with young people, to have parties, and to participate in church and school groups.

Here are some ways to help you overcome shyness.

1. Discuss a topic with which you are familiar and which you can talk about easily.

2. Find out the other person's interests and study those interests.

3. Remember that others may be shy also.

4. Be well groomed, so that you don't have to worry about your appearance.

5. Put yourself in the other person's place.

6. Try to forget yourself and just think about them while you are talking to them.

7. Look at them while you are talking to them, not somewhere else.

Friendships are one of the greatest joys of life.

Friendliness is a quality everyone can acquire. In varied activities carried on in school there are many opportunities for a person to be friendly.

Friends must be trustworthy. You should be able to depend upon them not to tell the world the secrets you confide to them. Honesty and loyalty are traits to look for and expect in a close friend.

Friends should have respect for each other's belongings. If you borrow such things as clothing, Cd's, school supplies, or books, be very sure that you take care of them. Do not misuse them or lose them. Return them at the time you agreed upon, and show your appreciation for the courtesy extended. It is well not to borrow from your friends too frequently, you may lose their friendship.

In a Real Friendship...

... you are interested in the other person's welfare.
... you are loyal and trustworthy.
... you avoid hurting feelings, and look for ways to praise them.
... you keep confidences and secrets.
... you respect the other person's belongings
... you share some interests with the other person.

1. Do you listen attentively to what people say to you?

2. Are you modest about your own accomplishments?

3. Do you refrain from talking about yourself most of the time?

4. Do you give credit to others for their successes and achievements?

5. Can you be depended upon to do what you promise?

6. Are you unselfish in your relationships with other people?

7. Can you control your temper?

8. Can you share in a conversation on such topics as sports, hobbies, or current events?

9. Do you refrain from being sarcastic?

10. Do you refrain from contradicting or arguing with others?

What would life be without friends?

Friendships mean so much to us that we would not want to live in a world without them. No wonder, then, that most young people are deeply concerned with making and keeping friends.

As a person grows up, he needs to make friends outside of his home. Of course he should continue to love his family and want to be with them, but he should also have friends of his own with whom to share some of his confidences, fun, and experiences. With his friends he may enlarge upon common interests, have new experiences, and enjoy old and new hobbies.

Sometimes a young person's friends may be much older than he is. They may be friends of his parents, and they may be some of the first people he knows in the world outside his home. In fact, it is the responsibility of a child's parents to see that he meets and learns to know people beyond the circle of his family as he grows up.

As we grow up, we all have many, many acquaintances, people we meet occasionally. Sometimes they interest us, but sometimes we are indifferent to them. If we are fortunate, we also have some real friends. Of course an acquaintance whom we like and who likes us can become a friend, and we all need to work a little harder toward making such good friends.

It may not have occurred to you that others too are looking for true and lasting friendships. Just as you are sometimes critical of other people, so are you yourself being accepted or rejected. It follows then, that you must try to become or continue to be the kind of person that others want as a friend.

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