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How to Become a Magnet for Friends: 7 Mindful Tips

“Always be mindful of the kindness and not the faults of others.” ~Buddha

Would you like to have more friends? I mean true friends–people who laugh and cry with you.

My close friends mean the world to me. They are there for me when I need them. When they’re on a high, I celebrate with them; when they fall, I help them up again. My life is so much richer because of my friends.

But it hasn’t all been an easy ride. For example, one of my best friends is my ex-husband. It took years of work to move through heart-ache, anger, grief, and resentment in order to find the strong friendship we have now. To create a true friendship takes a lot of effort and dedication.

A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away. ~Arabian Proverb

How I Lost a Heap of Fake Friends (and Gained a Few True Ones)

In the past, I learned a hard lesson about friends. I was a professional musician at the time and Director of one of the oldest and most renowned music schools in Australasia. My life seemed to be going fine: I was in a good marriage, had great job with a high public profile,  and was a popular friend of many.

Or so I thought. Then things disintegrated: I lost my job, and my husband and I separated.

Suddenly, I had no social standing, and all the people who I thought were my friends disappeared overnight. It was a dark time. Then a couple of people rang me and said they wanted to spend time with me. I asked them, “Why now?”

One of them said, “Oh, I’ve wanted to be your friend for a long time now. But I had to wait until you got knocked off your pedestal and came down to earth again!” These people are still staunch friends today.

What I learned from that difficult time is that you can miss out on real friendships if you just focus on success. When we are vulnerable, down-to-earth, and modest, it’s easier to attract real friends.

But what is the secret of attracting friends?

It’s not what we do that attracts friends, it’s how we think. If we change how we think about others, we can become a magnet for new friends.

It’s seductive to focus on the faults of others. That’s because we often put other people down in the hope of elevating ourselves. But when we focus on what is lovely about others, something magical happens: We begin to feel different about them, and they in turn respond to us in a new, positive way.

Here are seven simple tips that will help you to attract new friends:

1. Focus on the good in people.

None of us is perfect. We all have traits that make us difficult to live with. It’s easy to focus on what is difficult. Instead, look for what is good and strong. If you do catch yourself focusing on negative aspects, remind yourself that you too have faults.

2. Smile.

If you look at ancient Buddha figures, they usually show a serene smile. It’s a kind of visual teaching, because when we smile, we become mindful and step out of our preoccupation. No matter how you connect with others, remember to smile. Whether you’re connecting face-to-face, or via Twitter, email, chat, Skype, or phone,  your inner and outer smile will be felt by the person you are connecting with.

3. Let go of grudges.

Do you stew over how others have treated you? It can be difficult to release yourself from negative thoughts about how someone harmed you or made you unhappy. Such negative thoughts are corrosive and will harden your heart. So let them go and focus on the beauty of the present moment instead.

4. Be a positive mirror for others.

I you want to be a friend to someone, make sure you let them know all the wonderful things you can see in them. There is a lovely poem by Galway Kinnell that talks about this:

… sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing.

This poem shows us what it is to be a good friend. We need to reteach our friends their loveliness–in words and in touch.

5. Be helpful.

The key to creating lasting friendships is to think about what you can do for friends. They key question is: what do they need? For example, a friend of mine recently lost her father. At a time like that, help is important. So I’ve been cooking meals for her, just to make things easier and to let her know that I care.

6. Be kind.

My aspiration in life is this: kindness is never out of place. Mind you, I don’t always manage to live up to it. But that’s the nature of aspirations–they are the stars by which we navigate our lives. Though they light up our path, we can never reach them.

7. Be grateful.

It’s easy to take friends for granted. But if you want to strengthen your friendships, do the opposite. Think of your friends with gratitude. And then express your gratitude to them in words and deeds. Everyone loves being valued.

The Six Magic Words That Make Friendships Happen

There are six magic words that make friendships happen. And it doesn’t matter whether the friendships are online or face-to-face. These six words are:

“What can I do for you?”

Yes, they are magic words. Because they not only touch the heart of others, they also transform our own heart. We begin to let go of an ego-centric view of the world where the main words are I, me, and mine. Instead, we start to appreciate the needs, wants, and hopes of others.

Can you think of someone right away who would benefit from the six magic words?

Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

Avatar of Mary Jaksch

About Mary Jaksch

Mary Jaksch is a Zen Master who blogs at Goodlife ZEN where she offers practical inspiration for a happier life. Grab her free ebook Overcome Anything.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • http://jakyastikblogs.blogspot.com Jaky Astik

    I’ve one simple way to make friends, even if it’s a stranger. It’s simple. You make friends when your souls meet. Even if it’s a stranger, I talk about things I love. I ask for their opinion. I ask for their help and I appreciate that help. We make friends when we open ourselves to people and let the hearts connect.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Barba/31509144 Chris Barba

    So very applicable! Friends are so commonly taking advantage of because they are always there. They are a cornerstone of life, so as you wrote, when they are not there, those are truly dark times.

    Focusing on people’s bright spots is such a good practice. You control your awareness – you control your focus. So it comes down to the simple question of what you choose to see in other people?

    Great post!

    Cheers!

  • http://haveanawesomelife.com Heather

    Thank you for this post. It brought a few tears to my eyes recalling friends lost, and a big smile to my heart feeling gratitude for the wonderful friends I have (and had, and will have!)

  • Zev Averbach

    What if you’re having trouble finding an inner smile?

  • Amanda

    It doesn’t help if you simply don’t know any people who could possibly become your friends.

  • http://www.rebuildyourlifecoach.com Harriet Cabelly

    What a wonderful and important post. Especially in today’s world, where “friends” have taken on a new and almost insignificant meaning through social media. We can so easily forget to embrace and develop our Real friendships; those that encompass mutuality, intimacy, trust, genuine concern for another.
    Thank you for this beautiful reminder.

  • Dyamondaine

    !!!!

  • gaspablue

    Thank you Mary, that was wonderfully put. Great insight and gentle reminder. – Best L

  • James

    Great post. We all have the same universal energy flowing through us. If we look for ‘God’ in one another, we are able to find meaning in any relationship, even with strangers.

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  • http://twitter.com/nocivus Pedro Assunção

    After reading this post i felt inspired to create this wallpaper. I hope it helps someone to be constantly reminded of the great advice in this post: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nocivus/5492161063/

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  • Chalina

    Great post but what if you’re doing everything you can as a good friend and you repeatedly get friends that bail on you when you needed them most.  I have met a lot of people from many paths (free spirits, altruists in every other sense, etc) who have become those type of friends that took advantage of me the most. As I analyze these relationships, I cannot put a finger on even one thing I’ve done wrong except always be there for them and say nice things about them.  It seems like most of my now ex-friends were just jealous of my success and popularity and once I hit hard times, they scrambled to take my spot. I used to be open to all kinds of friends and now my experience has just taught me to be wary of friends and to trust enemies more … because at least they are upfront.

  • pokyes kavwam

    you got it just perfectly right. i’ve learnt a lot from this. It will sure tell so positively on my friendships

  • Lance

    Haha, good point. You really have to connect with the people around you in an organic way or else it won’t work. I think as we get older, we develop a sense for who we can be friends with. The best frienships I’ve had have developed naturally without much effort. Like all relationships, if you have to force it, it probably wasn’t meant to be.

  • antipodes3

    People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

    If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

    If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

    If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

    What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

    If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

    The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

    Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

    In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

    –MT

  • Hypebabe1

    Really enjoyed this post but the very one thing that I think will transform my life after reading it is this: “Focus on the good in people” it seems simple but I find difficult due to many hurt and disappointments from past friends and experiences. However, this is going to be my new thing, as already thinking of all the good things in those I thought I disliked is already changing my feelings towards them.

  • keir

    This is lovely. I have learned a lot from this article. Can’t wait to put these lessons into practise. Thank you. :)

  • kristen kate

    these DID help me to make 11 more friends….

  • lina

    wow really thank you i will use it and espessially the magic words

  • STELLA

    HELLO I just wanted to say thank you so much for doing this for me and many others. At the beginning of the break up I felt like I would never love again and that my life has ended. Thanks to all your advice, I now have the courage to face every new day. My heart has healed tremendously and I feel like I can now really move on. If it wasn’t for your words then I would probably still be in that dark place of my life. Thank you, thank you!”drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail. com

  • lizzy alisasandy

    My husband and I has been through so many trials with family deaths and his illness,

    that changed both of us. I became an unhappy and unappreciative wife. My husband

    left. My relationship with him was suffering. His leaving was the worse thing that

    ever happened to me, that wake’s me up crying all nite. I started working with Dr

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  • benny

    Last three weeks ago i lost my job and i started seeking for another good job and i have been to many interview but i was not giving a job so one day i saw a testimony on the internet on how Ekaka help someone to get a good job so i have to contact him on his email: ekakaspelltemple@yahoo.com and he told me what i need to do and after 2days all the place i have attended interview they all started calling me and i was confuse because i do not know the right one so i have to call Dr. Ekaka again to know the right place i need to work so he told me how i am going to know the right one which i did and now i am the happiest person on earth

  • AHSAN

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  • Taylor Ashley

    My Names is Taylor Ashley
    I want to say a very big thanks and appreciation to Dr Obom for bringing back my husband who left me and kids for almost 2 years, within the space of five days after following all instruction given to me by Dr Obom. i am very much grateful for restoring peace in my marital home i pray to his Oracles to give you the strength and wisdom to help more people having similar problem like mine. for help you can reach him on this email homeofsolutions1@gmail.com or call +2347053319835 and you will be so happy you did

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  • i am very grateful lord <3

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  • Kamile Ko

    My suggestion would also to be playful, nothing more attracts people than open minded, happy people. :) I say it from experience of mine, because most of my friends I made here- šokiai and they are the best ones in my life. Try to do the same, maybe it will be strongest friendship of all times :)

  • vivan

    My Husband has returned home after many months. No one thought that there was hope. My friends and family urged me to move on and get a divorce. Every time I was close to giving up, I did not feel releasing me from my marriage until when my cousin traduced me to great one baba who helped her when she had problem with her lover. great one baba made the impossible possible within 48hours after I did all that he told me to do. Anytime I feel myself getting frustrated and offended I always contacted great one baba for help. Here is his contact e-mail if you need help too;oselovespelltemple@gmail.com

  • Carl ):

    I don’t have friends because my life sucks.

  • http://www.NoFriends.com Dakota Shearer

    I also have a small penis and love M.I.L.F. and I still have no friends.

  • http://www.NoFriends.com Dakota Shearer

    I am also a registered sex offender.

  • http://www.NoFriends.com Dakota Shearer

    its the size of a toothpick and my girlfriend left me because of it. hers was bigger, by the way.

  • chase

    It’s best just to find another who appreciates it, where it doesn’t seem like your chasing them anymore. If the friend was really close I could be fine to tell them you misunderstood where your friendship was with them (implying the imbalance, but not making it a big deal). And making new friends to be close with, and having awesome time with them (no need to try showing it online through social media). And if their not completely not selfish and self centered, they will eventually come back. Just don’t completely let them back in, do it slowly if their worth it.

    But I agree with main article in finding the positives in close friends. But everyone’s circumstances can be quite different. This really can become hard when your striving for more financial success, and already make way more than your friends combined. I’ve learned not to talk about any goods things in my path. And get them talking about themselves while providing good feedback, while enjoying their company.

  • Simon Joe

    very nice article:) im trying to find some answers http://www.answerl.com/q/how-to-find-a-new-friends thought internet, and this is the most useful tips I have found .. very thanks

  • vikaskgp

    Innfriend is online platform to search your old school/college/company friends. Innfriend makes your search easy. Once you find your, innfriend helps you to get connected with your friend, you would keep getting update for any changes i.e. contact number, company,
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  • Wanderer

    What do you do if all your friends left you and you’re not that successful anyway? You don’t earn much and you’re socially isolated? Your co workers are not interested in you because you are 20 years younger than all of them. What would you recommend?

  • Selina Jackson

    Hello to all my Name is Selina from United States of America , I do hope my post gets read and hopefully helps somebody along the line. i will never forget the help the priest of JAYEMA temple render to me in my marital life. i have been married for 4 years now and my husband and i love each other very dearly . after 3 years of our marriage my husband suddenly change he was having an affair with a lady outside,i notice it then i was praying for divine intervention the thing became more serious i told my pastor about it we prayed but nothing happen. my husband just came home one day he pick up his things and left me and the kids to his mistress outside at this time i was confuse not knowing what to do again because i have lost my husband and my marriage too. i was just checking my mails in the office when i saw someone sharing her testimony on how the priest of JAYEMA temple help her out with her marital problems so i contacted the email of priest JAYEMA i told him my problem and i was told to be calm that i have come to the right place that i should fill some information concerning my self i did after 30 minus he called me again congratulating me that my problems will be solve within 48 hours. he told me what went wrong with my husband and how it happen.that they will restored my marriage but i will make a free donation to their JAYEMA home anything my heart told me. to my greatest surprise my husband came to my office begging me on his knees that i should find a place in my heart to forgive him i quickly ask him up that i have forgiven him.friends your case is not too hard why don’t you give priest JAYEMA a try they work surprises because i know they will also bring back your husband. contact him via jayemamagictemple@gmail.com you can still visit his web site http://jayemamagictemple.webs.com/ or Tel; +(234)-706819-3499. sure he will help you get the problem solved okay..

  • http://socialmazebook.com/ Aspergers Talks by Christopher

    The main point about this article is to do with offering value to people.This is great, however, there is a big difference between offering value and giving out ‘core’ value. To illustrate, for the average single heterosexual 25 year old guy, one of the things they will want most of all is to find a girlfriend. If I were to introduce him or connect him with someone that would become his girlfriend, you will have given him his ‘core’ value – and consequently he would most likely want to include me in his social life and introduce me to other friends etc. There are loads of other ways I might offer to help him that we would all regard as offering value, but they may not be perceived as valuable to him. Everyone’s core value is different, and it is by each of us understanding what it is we have to offer to people, and finding the people who will highly value our time and resources and offering them to those people, that is what will help us find an abundance of great friends.

  • hannah

    Hello I am Hannah ,I am out here to spread this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex husband back.I was going crazy when my husband left me and my two kids for another woman last month, But when i met a friend that introduced me to dr ukpoyan the great messenger to the oracle of dr ukpoyan healing home,I narrated my problem to dr ukpoyan about how my ex Husband left me and my two kids and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,24 hours later,My Ex Husband called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me and the kids before now and one week after my Husband called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in a very big company here in UK were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact dr ukpoyan on his personal email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: dr.ukpoyanspellhome@gmail.com and your problem will be solve.
    THANKS DR UKPOYAN

  • Duc

    I reckon it is indeed a natural process. i’ve read somewhere that physical contact between good friends creates hormones similar to those created during contact between mother and child. A sense of trust, secracy and safety. Myself i’ve been blessed with quite a few lifetime friends whom i grew up with and know for over 25 years now. The relationship i have with one, truly my best friend can still be a mystery to me. He has a very high EQ, is a visual thinker and is socialy very strong would explain alot. Both having a girlfriend we have less time but we truly miss eachother when we haven’t seen eachother in a while and spending time togheter, giving eachother a hug, holding on for a longer time just because we want sets in motion a certain proces which is benefitial to both as we really feel better, like a battery that gets charged up again. Truly nothing sexual, both going towards 30 and just having shared so many experiences togheter, both joy and painful and always being there for one another has created a almost indestructable bond. Even now we are older, the phsycial contact between friends; those hugs really do give a sense of trust, safety and love which we have been providing each other with for all these years.

  • stella kyes

    I was searching for help on the internet to get my ex lover whom will got divorced 5 months ago, i came across this wonderful man called Doctor Kasee of onimalovespell@gmail.com who did a nice job by helping me to get my divorced husband back within 48hours.. I never believe that such things like this can be possible but now i am a living testimony to it because Doctor Kasee actually brought my lover back, If you are having any relationship problems why not contact Doctor Kasee for help via email: onimalovespell@gmail.com or call him at +2347051705853. Then i promise you that after 48hours you will have reasons to celebrate like me.

  • Guest

    Your comment resonated with me. It’s true you know who your true friends are when you are down. My now ex-friends were anything but friends when I had my share of life struggles. They were worse than enemies. After I got back on my feet, I had no desire to remain friends with them. I only give my time and energy to friends who are sincere and real. If I can say something about being a magnet for friends, it is to be a true friend yourself.

  • jessica

    Hello my name is Helen Ivan, I’m 25 years old. I was in a sexual
    relationship with my ex-boyfriend for 5 years, we had rocky start for
    good 4 years then our relationship grew stronger and we were so happy
    and even planned to get married until he & my Mum had a blew, Mum
    called him awful names because he did not have a well-paying job. I did
    what any partner would and stood by my ex-boyfriend, then he decides to
    dump me by text and phone telling me that he was hurt by my Mum’s
    behavior when they had a blew. I was mad when I noticed that he has
    reconciled with his old time fiancée week after the blew with Mum, I
    don’t want the years that I have spent with him to waste because I knows
    that he truly love me but my Mum won’t allow us to get married..
    I
    contacted Spiritual Doctor named Dr. BALAYA from posts I saw on blogs.
    This powerful Spiritual Doctor helped me to change the mind of my Mum to
    like him and also broke the relationship he had with his new fiancée.
    Our feelings are stronger now, he loves and appreciates me. We have now
    got back to where we were happy, affectionate, passionate, romantic and
    loving. We will soon get married. I am so happy right now to share
    Doctor BALAYA email to someone out there that is suffering from heart
    break, contact him with; doctorbalaya@gmail.com

  • jessica

    Hello my name is Helen Ivan, I’m 25 years old. I was in a sexual
    relationship with my ex-boyfriend for 5 years, we had rocky start for
    good 4 years then our relationship grew stronger and we were so happy
    and even planned to get married until he & my Mum had a blew, Mum
    called him awful names because he did not have a well-paying job. I did
    what any partner would and stood by my ex-boyfriend, then he decides to
    dump me by text and phone telling me that he was hurt by my Mum’s
    behavior when they had a blew. I was mad when I noticed that he has
    reconciled with his old time fiancée week after the blew with Mum, I
    don’t want the years that I have spent with him to waste because I knows
    that he truly love me but my Mum won’t allow us to get married.
    I
    contacted Spiritual Doctor named Dr. BALAYA from posts I saw on blogs.
    This powerful Spiritual Doctor helped me to change the mind of my Mum to
    like him and also broke the relationship he had with his new fiancée.
    Our feelings are stronger now, he loves and appreciates me. We have now
    got back to where we were happy, affectionate, passionate, romantic and
    loving. We will soon get married. I am so happy right now to share
    Doctor BALAYA email to someone out there that is suffering from heart
    break, contact him with; doctorbalaya@gmail.com

  • Jonathan

    I have learned that balancing kindness and tolerance with fairness is hard, but also the key. If you always find yourself being told what you all are doing, feeling like you get stiffed on the bill/booze/ or only see them if you have something they want then you are likely not with true friends. If they take the time to ensure you are ok with the plans, and would rather adjust them than have you not included, then they are true friends. Things don’t have to be equal in order to be fair, and seeing the positive in people will enable you to have fair, if not equal, friendships.