Tips on Making New Friends
Especially for the introverts who are reading this, we want to help give you confidence before taking off on your new trip. We know going up to people and talking to them can be scary. So many thoughts and lies run through our minds: “What if they don’t like me?”, “What if they don’t want to be my friend?”, “What if they think I’m weird for coming up to them and starting a conversation?”
You’re not alone in these thoughts. Almost every person has experienced it, and, as cliche as it sounds, “You’ll never know unless you try.”
Tip #1: Take the Time
We all know lifelong friends are not born overnight. It can take a while for friendships to develop in day to day life because you’re only seeing people for a couple of hours here and there throughout the week. However, an adventure trip is different.
When you embark on an adventure trip, like you would with Created for Adventure, you’re spending more time with the people you are with in one day than you are with most people for a week. This allows for plenty of opportunities to build friendships. On adventure trips you’ll build community by sharing all of your meals and living together and experiencing fun and adventurous activities with one another.
Tip #2: Ask Questions, & Pay Attention to Common Interests and Passions
Whoever you strike up a conversation with, of course, introduce yourself, make a statement such as, “what do you like to do for fun?,” and it will usually lead to further conversations and you can find out what sorts of things you may have in common. Next thing you know, the conversation is flowing, and you’ll probably land on something that you both like. If you find out they like to watch movies then you may learn you both like to watch the Star Wars or Harry Potter series, etc.
Questions are typically a key in getting to know someone, and you’ll understand what they’re interested in, and you’ll then know where you naturally connect.
Tip #3: Look for Shared Foundations
Similar to the point made above on sharing common interests, the same foundation is sure to build bonds. This is referring to something deeper than Star Wars, Minecraft, Fortnite, or BTS. It’s one thing to share similar hobbies and interests, but it’s another thing when you share the same foundation, such as your faith.
When what is the most important thing to them is the most important thing to you, that is for sure to lead to a deeper relationship, and more than likely a long-lasting relationship.
Tip #4: Show Vulnerability
C.S. Lewis talks about Agape, brotherly love, in his book The Four Loves when he says,
“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
What C.S. Lewis is talking about here in true brotherly love is recognizing and anticipating the risk of caring for someone. You’re putting yourself out there, right out on the line, and you’re choosing to care for someone regardless of if it’s reciprocated.
Many times being vulnerable is sharing a personal story or testimony from your life that may be considered a sensitive subject, but you are aware of the healing it can bring someone and the ability that stories like that have to bring someone closer to you. You are opening up about yourself, the most fragile part of your being.
More times than not, people are going to sympathize or even empathize with you, and a deep connection and bond are built by sharing wounds.
Created for Adventure
Created for Adventure offers Adventure Trips that foster lifetime friendships. Our leaders facilitate small group conversations that nurture relationships that go beyond the surface and help teens build a deeper relationship with Jesus.
If you or another teenager you know is interested in making meaningful friendships, connecting to God, and exploring nature, Created for Adventure might just be the place for you. Visit our website to learn more about us.