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How to Become a Magnet for Friends: 7 Mindful Tips

Group of Friends

“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?

Group of friends image via Shutterstock

Profile photo 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.

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  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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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  • 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

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  • Taylor Ashley

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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.

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

  • I am also a registered sex offender.

  • 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

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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

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  • 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.
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  • 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
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    loving. We will soon get married. I am so happy right now to share
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  • 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.

  • sane man

    Being kind, helpful, and having a ‘what can I do for you’ attitude is what got me a whole load of fake friends in the first place. In my experience, which has been humbling, being helpful and kind to others attracts users into your life by the bucket load, and they sure as hell won’t be returning that attitude during your hard times.

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  • Becky Jones

    Hello I am PAUL,I am out here to spread this good news to the
    entire world on how I got my ex Lover.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. OGUDO the great messenger to
    the oracle of Dr. OGUDO healing home,I narrated my problem to DR OGUDO
    about how my ex Lover 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 Lover. 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 USA 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. OGUDO on his personal email address and
    get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to
    solve..Contact him direct on: drogudospelltemple@gmail.com and your
    problem will be solve,email at drogudospelltemple@gmail.com

  • gin

    You took the perfect words right out of my mouth AND heart . I wish us both luck…but am losing hope.

  • Ushma

    I swear to God I’m doing all of this.
    Ever since I started reading articles on tinybuddha, I’ve become a very grateful, kind person.
    I’m always happy(at least I try) and I take happiness in life’s smallest pleasures and I would literally run to a friend’s house if they ever needed me, yet I always find friends who seem to disrespect me.

    I’m friends with none of my friends from school because they always put me down, made me feel worthless and humiliated me. Now I’m almost afraid of making new friends. So even in college, I made a limited number of friends And didn’t put myself out there much.

    Although, I made a few amazing friends in college I feel like I’m not good enough compared to them when it comes to looks(I feel ugly all the time)and confidence. They make friends so easily and most of them stick. But with me, I feel like I’m replacable. Like I’m not important enough to my friends. I feel like I’ll never fit in perfectly with their new friends. How do I stop myself from being so insecure.

    Yes, I have been replaced in the past, but whats in the past is in the past. How do I move past that, be more confident and comfortable around my friends and other people and how do I feel secure about my friendships??

    Thank you in advance 🙂

  • jo

    Keep your chin up. There are many good times to be had in life. People without soul will never experience.

  • Haley

    This relay conflicts me and I wish I had a friend boho

  • Hussein

    ever since I moved to the USA it has been 3 years without friends or family. I feel so lonely, sometimes I meet new people or even classmates and I meet with them to do HW and school stuff but other than that we don’t do anything and they just ignore me especially when the semester is over. I used to be happy but not anymore. when I see other people having good friends I get jealous. I think the reason why I don’t have friends is because I have never really have friends. I have read some books and lots of articles about how to make friends but they don’t work. I am just afraid that one day I will lost hope in life. more than 7 billion people on earth and no one cares about me.

  • gigi

    Unless you are a part of todays narcississtic world of selfies and trying to attain overnight fame on YouTube, its not easy to find decent normal people to have as friends. Watching Dateline and 20/20 shows how many trusting people become victims of todays self-centered “look at me” society. I personally choose to keep my circle small for safety. I fill my life with hobbies I love to do, music, rescued pets, volunteering – doing things that bring me peace and happiness.

  • Budhavatar

    Every time I log on to this site, the tiny Green Buddha wallpaper calms me down and puts a smile on my face. Almost the same feeling I get when I look at my mother.
    I absolutely love this site! And to the writers, Your words mean so much more to all us readers than you can imagine.

    Thank you 🙂

  • elf

    No, I cannot think of anyone that would benefit from the six magic words. But seriouslessly, it’s all somewhat subjective. Any opinion or point of view at any one particular point in time is just that. This being said, good watch words to live by

  • mihri

    Thank you for that post/blog it really helped me when i read the six magic words, first i cried because it remembered me to someone and then i contacted him and i feel so satisfied and not just because of that, i totally forgot that being kind is important, and always smile, and focus on the good sides of people
    I am very thankful 🙂

  • Blossom

    Sorry. No can do. I met a friend who said God brought me into her life and over and over she demanded I get over to her house and treated me like a secretary.

  • frank

    that sounds like what is said to me when I walk in my boss’s office.

  • frank

    I’m not calling my boss friendly.

  • sourabh

    Even i have undergone the same.just keep praying to the almighty with complete faith and continue being good to all at almost all times.leave the rest to fate.hare krishna

  • Vivek

    Great Post

  • Crystal Jackson

    Have done absolutely all of these tactics with multiple people. Hell, I even tried the positive mirror and refused to let my grudges bother me. Number of friends I lost this year: exactly 1, and it seems like her posse followed after. Number of friends I have left: 0. So yeah, thanks for the help. I’m sorry, but these tactics get you “friends,” not friends.

  • Lisa

    I also feel as broken..which I suppose is y I am here. I feel allittle better knowing I am not alone seeing others r suffering as I am on the inside. So many of us hav given so much to those we thought could use the help and then find out they refuse to give back and we were just being used.. how does someone really get over that.. I can’t just let it go..I used to b a such a nice person be for I was so greatly disappointed by people in general..I can not trust anyone anymore..god bless all who feel the same

  • Havah Mo

    Why do good people always have to give and give and deal with lazy people’s behaviour. Like deserves like. It becomes draining when you are the only source of love.

  • Havah Mo

    In short, birds of a feather flock together. I think it’s just a waste of time for someone who doesn’t drink to try and connect with alcoholics, they rarely change. Instead go for someone like yourself, if you’re lucky enough to meet them :/

  • Jojo Cochrane (The Freaky Fair

    Recently I’ve lost my health and therefore my job (medically retired!) and subsequently my friends! They have either moved away to easier parts of UK or they are too busy living their lives. I rarely have energy to go out in the evenings and everyone is at work on the good days. Because of my health I can never make definite plans. I was there for any person when I was well but now no-one has the time for me! I have friends on line through support groups but I don’ want to talk about my health etc all the time! I need someone who will bring me back to ‘normality’ make me laugh but also be supportive when my illnesses take over my life! So far I’m not having much luck!!

  • cheryl

    I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. It’s horrible being lonely, I hope things have improved for you.

  • Robin Crazy

    BULL SHIT

  • Kayla Ali Joseph

    aww I’m so sorry. I care. And I understand the way you feel because I have felt very very alone for a very long time. 🙁

  • Dissenter29

    Life is very, very hard, and very, very lonely. You can believe you have a friend, but when it stops serving their needs and you need something from them, they disappear. I have met a few people who will show up for me when I need them, but they disappear and don’t allow me to be an equal friend to them. Everyone is selfish wanting their own needs met whether it is to be virtuous and admired, or to have sympathy and comfort. But nobody is thinking about anybody but themselves. When it comes down to it human beings are entirely self serving. If it is not convenient or pleasing to them they will be gone. And you don’t get to say anything about it. Love is a fantasy that does not exist in this realm. Mutuality is required for love and humans seem to be incapable of mutuality. Everyhing is competition for power, and control. Being who you are in the presence of another is the surest way to be abandoned and left to handle your own problems, because when you have real problems, you are not focusing all your attention on the other person and their needs, so they have no interest anymore.

  • Dissenter29

    Saying that you care from a distance is utterly meaningless and oh so easy. How can it make any difference in a persons life that some stranger declares “I care,” without that person having any recourse to reach out to you again. Caring is an active thing not just a word. It is sickening in this cold, heartless world to be surrounded by billions of hateful people who misuse words of care and concern to puff themselves up and make themselves feel important, while kicking to the curb a person who is hurting and in need. The world is in the sorry shape it’s in at least in part because self-important people have become commonplace, and think it’s easy to use words to brush people off. Fantasizing about kindness does not create kindness. It creates hate and hurt. Being kind is difficult and requires effort. And saying “I care” in a virtually anonymous Internet post does harm, not good. It is the metaphorical nail in the coffin for human relationships.

  • Miranda

    It hurts how right you are. I used to be so positive, always hopeful and seeing the good in others…but the truth of the situation is that people don’t stick around unless they need something from you. If they see you as “superior” to them they cling to you, but if you’re having an off day bye bye they go. It’s a shame we cannot be authentic and we have to put on a brave face and act like everything super duper amazing. I’ve been feeling very lonely and depressed, but of course I cannot tell anyone about it because I know they will shame me for it or act nice and then disappear.

  • Miranda

    The pain is real with this one. I’m already losing hope, but post like yours make me realize those of us who feel lonely need to reach out more. There may be many lonely people in your environment, but you would never know because everyone’s ashamed and trying to hide it.

  • Kyle Mathers

    That’s nice, once you have made aquaintances already. How about an article on how to get them in the first place?

  • Kyle Mathers

    Did all that, got used and hurt many times. It gets harder each time

  • Kayla Ali Joseph

    I’m sorry. When you posted your first comment I cried because i know what you are going through. In fact I do care. You dismissing me saying that I care hurt me because I genuinely do care. No one is honest and open anymore. I’ll take it back then.

  • Jeannie

    Friends remain close so long as you things are status quo. If you start getting successful and you are still humble and loving, they start feeling jealous for your achievements and successes. This shows they are not genuine as it should be for better or worse. Jealous is a very power element, to be avoided, when a friend is successful or sorrowful embrace them.

  • Jeannie

    May work or may not. You open your heart to someone and you may be hurt very badly, when they expose you. Farmiliarity brings contempt at times. So as you open your heart, do it gradually once you have learned the other person and carefully.

  • Jeannie

    Among the 7 million, I care and I feel your pain. I have gone through it, banking so much on people but after the purpose is fulfilled they go on with life and ignore you. It is very difficult, do not lose hope. My advice is smile a lot when you meet people and engage them in talk and extend your wings to several people, visit several social places, like worship places, gymn, shopping area to widen your social territory, exposure and chances of meeting people. Take contacts, keep in touch, retain some as acquintance, others closer depending on their value. Do not go to them with your problems just be easy with what it going around till you are closer, do not brag if you make success and exercise a free spirit. Find a common interest like a game or sports and chances are that will be the attraction point.

  • Ganoo

    I know that feeling. I believe it’s important to be a good friend of ourselves BEFORE we start making friendships with others.
    The steps above are great but I see it as “phase 2”.
    We can certainly make many people happy many times. But we can NEVER make even a single person happy ALL THE TIME. And we all know what happens when we try to give others more than we give ourselves. In my experience, Practicing to say “no, I won’t do it” , No man, thanks” or “Not me buddy, you are on your own there” are life preserving.
    I still find it hard to practice with my lover cuz I try to be unconditional and ever forgiving, but I now know what’s better in the long run, for both of us and for our love.

  • Ganoo

    My practical tips:

    1) Give priority to long term friends or family who are really close to you “now”.
    I do not build friendship on kindness (I used to) but on Loyalty.
    I asked myself “If I have a “true” friend, what would be the single quality in him that I always appreciate?” And my answer was “Loyalty”. He/she will be loyal to me always, will always stand with me, will always do their very best for me and my happiness, because they love me.

    And I realized I already have few people in my life who matched that description:
    (that include my cousins, my sister, 3 of my best friends).

    So they are my priority now. They are family for me.

    But I wasn’t being the best friend when I had this realization. So I decided to be loyal back to them. I started meeting “their expectations” ( I still try..) and they love me more and more. I give them surprise visits and talk with them every week, ask them how they are and ask about their problems, I use my connections and money to help them in different things, I share fun with them, go for outings with them, encourage them, love them etc etc etc

    The thing is that these people “already” loved me so much. I just started being more “loyal” to them and their life.

    And I learned lesson number 2 in friendship: “Loyalty is the only thing matters in real world relationships”.
    My idea of Loyalty = Make them priority+Be willing to do more than you can to help them+Be proactive in caring+Surprise them by sharing happiness+ No matter what happens, never ever stop caring (apathy is not an option)

    Mental cue: Think Dominic Toretto. I think of Dominic Toretto whenever I think of being loyal to my friends and family. I also think of one my humble friend who is a very loyal and genuine guy. I learn from both.

    Btw, lesson number 1 is :”Stay in touch with your internal world and body. And nurture and protect both”

    I realize that I can’t be loyal to anyone if I’m not being loyal to my own needs. So I take care of my needs. I can write a “WHOLE” another essay on how to take care of ourselves. But I believe it’s better we learn that lesson the hard way ie from feedback from life.

    This is it. Build loyalty.
    so my Q: Are you being loyal to anyone now? How loyal are you?
    Can you become more loyal to anyone who truly loves you?
    How can you practice loyalty to friends? Who do you want to be loyal to in your life?

    So when I meet a new person, instead of being good to them, I focus on being loyal to them and their whole life. I give them my honest answers, my ego less self, my emotional strength and my time, my resources.. Ofcourse I can’t do it with everyone I meet. I don’t “need” to do this with everyone I meet. When it comes to friendship and love what matters is quality not quantity.

    Practical lesson:
    Try going broke, if you haven’t already, and you’ll learn everything you need to know about friendship.

  • Ganoo

    Do the hard thing:
    Tell your coworkers how you feel awkward in that setting. And ask for their advise or suggestions.

    Example:

    “Can I be honest about something…? I don’t how to say this. Or what it will make you guys think. Anyway.. I.. I trust you guys.. ok…
    You know I feel kinda isolated in our office. I don’t know why.. I find it hard to connect with everyone. I want to.. but I find it hard. I think not having many things in common with our guys is a challenge for me. You guys have a lot in common and can talk a lot with each other but I am stuck there..

    (sigh)
    What do I do ?! (look down & wonder.)

    What do I do man?? (look at them and give an embarrassed laugh)

    My understanding of connection: Don’t try to more than who you are and make you life look more than it is, be open and invite others to see what you are going through, embrace your vulnerabilities and share it and ask for advise and be humble enough to listen to good words and above all “be loyal to good people”.

  • Ganoo

    More than 7 billion people on earth and is there anyone for whom you are willing to do more than you want to?

    If you have no friend that means you are not willing to be a true friend of anyone.

    It may come across to you as rude but..
    believe me your situation will change.. I’ve been there..

    But it didn’t change for me when I was “trying to make friends or trying to be friendly”

    That NEVER works in real world. I can tell you from experience, if you try to make friends with your classmates for the sake of having friends it WILL NOT work. Because you will never be be able to “do” it.

    hei! Can you please write me an email.?
    Mine is: emailanoopg@gmail.com

    Say a hi dude. 🙂

  • Benni

    Well I am a good friend to myself, and know when to say no. Im a happy person, its just that people dont want to make friends these days. Im in lots of social groups, no one wants to meet up outside the group meetups. Its just the way it is today.

  • Benni

    True. Would be nice to share it sometimes though

  • Ganoo

    hmmm I understand it better now. Thanks for explaining it Kyle.
    I think I know what you mean. I have also tried to make friends that way. But they were more like “give and take” friendships. (I have nothing against it though). But it’s still wasn’t good enough. So I gave up that strategy.
    you know.. I have only few close friends but we are really close. But when I think about it I see that life gave me those people. I pretty much did nothing to find them. I just “kept” them with me..
    And you are right, friendship has new meanings these days. Just staying in contact has become friendship now. And it’s sad..

    but I still wanna try and make more friends.. I hope that one day I will be able to create that good old fashioned companionship with many people, not just few.. Maybe it’s a longshot.. but we gotta try,right?

  • Ganoo

    ahhh I get it now. This post only talks about how to “attract” friends. And it’s perfect for it.
    It doesn’t teach how to keep one or even develop one. Or even one is worth keeping.

  • Ganoo

    I think this way of approaching friendship is good for an intuitive person. (IN, EN types if you are familiar with personality types). I’m one.. I totally know how to make connection with other intuitive people. But I “suck” with rational individuals. And I also believe rational people find it hard to use this strategy. If they follow this strategy that’s like a child driving a car on a highway. They would easily get into relationships that’s less than what they deserve.
    Not everyone resonates with the word “soul”… So I really believe it’s all about learning a lot about ourselves and seeing what kinda people and relationships works for us..

  • Ganoo

    “Familiarity brings contempt at times”
    There is nothing worse than that emotion..
    Your advise is more practical in life, I assume. Though I’ve never been very good at it. I think I should try.

  • Benni

    Yes Ganoo, we sure have. I never give up, but Im getting old and been alone for way too many years now. Here’s hoping 🙂

  • Benni

    True. I talk to people all the time, any opportunity and I have my heart open. Been many years now on my own, I go out a lot but so far still hoping

  • Ganoo

    🙂
    yeah I can relate to that too. Whenever the “getting old” thought comes into my mind I think about people who are REALLY OLD who would treat me like I’m a child. And I would imagine they telling me “Kid, you have too many years to live on this earth. So stop acting like you are dead. Now get on with your life.. and… visit us sometimes when you have time.:)”

    Personally I’m in search of a right path for me. I do have a day job but I wanna do something which I’m damn inspired about. So that’s my major “project” right now. And I hope that as I do it, I will come across the kinda people I’m looking for. Also the kinda relationships. “Cliche” I know.. 😛 But what if it works?! 🙂

    Until then we have atleast mediocre things to enjoy, right Benni? 😀

  • Kayla Ali Joseph

    Just because I am a “stranger does not mean that I do not know what you are going through. I am human. I know what loneliness is. The fact that I am extending a caring sentiment to you should not make you dismiss it. I mean, generally strangers don’t care. Not expected to. In me saying that I care i am saying that I identify with your struggle. I know what you’re going through the way you described it.

  • Kayla Ali Joseph

    And don’t make assumptions about me. I’m not a heartless person. I’m not “self important” what is that? You’re juat being mean because I said something nice? I’ll take it back then.

  • kath

    What if you do all this anyway, be a good kind happy person, like I am, but then they take advantage of your nature. I thought I had lots of friends, but I don’t not now. I have always reached out to them, they just don’t bother themselves anymore. I’m in my mid 40’s, and its tough meeting new friends. I work part time, have a husband and teenage kids. The friends I thought I had never reach out to me! It makes you feeling like crap. Seems to be out of sight, out of mine for a lot of these friends. They just don’t miss me enough to get in touch, even though I am a kind, thoughtful person. I feel I can’t keep reaching out to them, I don’t know what the answer is, other then we need to find new friends from somewhere, friends who appreciate us for who we are. It shouldn’t be one sided!