Moving to a new place, entering a new school, or returning to school with a different mindset than you had from the year before can mean you’re in a position to make new friends. This can be an exciting prospect, or intimidating task depending on your desire and aptitude for it. Here are a fe things to keep in mind when trying to make new friends this school year.
1. Start with “hello” – Even if you’re shy, greet classmates you haven’t talked to before—even if the person seems intimidating, or part of a different social group, you won’t make friends if you don’t start with “hello”.
2. Remember to make eye contact – When you look people in the eye, they feel like you’re interested in them and what they are saying. It also helps you learn about them, because you can watch their expression as you learn about the things you have in common.
3. Forget stereotypes – Stereotypes are unfair ways of categorizing and generalizing people or their experiences. Its unkind to base your opinion of someone on a stereotype you may associate with them, and it will keep you from learning who they really are.
4. Be a good friend – The tried-and-true way to make friends is to treat them the way you would want to be treated. Don’t allow negative experiences to cause you to behave poorly towards others, you didn’t deserve that, and they don’t either.
5. Be someone who can be trusted – Keep your friends secrets to yourself, speak your truth, and be someone others can trust with their truth. Being there for people, and retaining your own integrity is a big part of making and keeping friends.
If you would like to learn more about bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.