Think about what makes a good friend
The first step in making lasting friendships is knowing what to look out for in a friend. A good friend is someone who is there for you no matter what, doesn’t judge you, is kind and respectful, and is a good listener. These qualities are hard to judge when you first meet someone. But, there are some signs to look out for. For example, how do they treat other people? Do they talk about others behind their backs? Do they put people down? If a potential new friend is making you or someone else cringe, they’re probably not going to be a great mate.
Getting involved with areas you’re interested in at school (like a sports team, band, drama club, etc.) is a great way to connect with like-minded people. Whether it’s your team’s huge win on the field or the play you’re rehearsing in drama club, you’re guaranteed to have something to talk about. If you’re not sure what club’s right for you, have a chat with the organisers of the groups to seek out what they’re all about.
Approach someone who’s on their own
It can be intimidating to walk up to a big group of people and strike up a conversation. It’s much easier to approach someone who’s on their own at lunch, or in class, and ask if you can sit with them.
You’ve probably heard it before, but people generally love to talk about themselves. Ask them about what they like to do in their spare time, their favourite subject, or what TV shows they’re watching. Then ask follow-up questions. For example, if they mention their favourite show on Netflix - ask them what it’s about (or tell them you’re into it, too, if you watch it).
R U OK
R U OK Day comes around only once a year but the concept of checking in on our friends is an everyday opportunity.