We often hear through the media about how dangerous the world is - and, yes, it can be - but so much of the world is a good place. The willingness to make a new friend is a statement about the good in the world; it's making new connections and making the world a smaller and better place. Sure, you have to be a little careful about how much you reveal and how early when making a new friend, but the potential rewards of those little risks are so great!
Potential new friends are everywhere: in your neighborhood, at the coffee shop, where you work, where you volunteer. They may be acquaintances whose names you already know, or people completely new to you. You may never know about the author down the street or the running partner on the PTA or the new arrival in town who shares your quirky joy at browsing second-hand stores unless you take a chance and try to create a new friendship.
The next time your board meeting is breaking up, ask that person to coffee in a few days. Use a pretense of board work if you must, but do it. Sure, it's a little like dating, and not all friendships will stick, but you'll never know unless you try. Not all friends have to be best friends, either.
New friends aren't only persons of your same gender! Men and women can be friends - just friends. While it might behoove you and a new male friend to be careful about appearances, friends come in all shapes, sizes, colors - and genders. Don't limit yourself!
Like all relationships, friendships are give and take. Just as you open yourself up when you make a new friend, you open up your current circle of friends to new friendship - and your new friend opens up herself and her circle as well. It's an exponential expansion, really! As the friendship develops (which may take time), make sure it's developing in a healthy manner, that you are both giving and receiving.
Making a new friend can be a scary thing, but it can be so worth it. In addition to expanding our personal world while making the wider world just a little smaller, the ability to make friends throughout life is a terrific example to our kids. Make a new friend...today!
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