Making Friends Essay Research Paper Making FriendsThe

Making Friends Essay, Research Paper Making Friends The process of making a friend is a very unique one. It depends on the person one is trying to become friends with, it

Making Friends Essay, Research Paper

Making Friends

The process of making a friend is a very unique one. It

depends on the person one is trying to become friends with, it

depends on one’s gender, it depends on one’s age, but most

importantly it depends one’s personality. Every individual is

different and how they make friends differs just as greatly. The

way I make friends depends heavily on my personality. As an

introverted person, I tend to first meet potential friends through

what I call forced association. After the initial meeting, I

evaluate them and determine whether or not I think they should be

my friend. Bonding, specifically male bonding, follows and

acceptance is the final stage.

Before I can delve into the sometimes mysterious process of

becoming friends with someone, I have to divulge some personal

information. I am a great believer in personality typing: the

theory that a great majority of people fall into one personality

type or another. A complete analysis of my personality is not

within the scope of this essay, but suffice it to say that I am

very introverted. This does not mean I am anti-social, it merely

means that new and non-routine interaction with others taxes my

energy. The process of making a new friend is by definition a new

and non-routine interaction, therefore it is quite difficult for me

to initiate the process. This is where the concept of forced

interaction comes in. By forced interaction, I mean a situation

where another person and I are placed in an environment where we

have no choice but to interact with each other. The largest and

most important type of forced interaction for me is school, and

more specifically, classes. It is impossible to be completely

separate from other students in a class. Consequently, I met all

my best friends in school (of course, it was a place that I spent

most of my time so it is not a big surprise). Another type of

forced interaction comes when you meet a friend of one of your

friends. It would be extremely rude to not interact with someone

that your friend considered to be friend. That is the way that I

met a very close friend of mine and one who I will use as an

example of my friend-making process throughout this essay. His

name is Andres and I originally met him through another friend of

mine, Josh. We were all going to the same high school next year

(more forced association), so it was only natural for Josh to try

to have us all become friends. But I was not friends with Andres

when I first met him. I had to figure out who he was before that

could happen.

Evaluation has always been very important to me. I constantly

evaluate and re-evaluate myself, my friends, my schoolwork, and so

forth, almost to the point of obsession. I am ruthlessly self-

critical and it is only natural that this same criticism would

extend to those I consider my friends. Before I can become friends

with someone, I have to determine whether or not I want to be

friends with them. I have been told that this is an extremely

arrogant way of conducting relationships, but I find any other way

to be lacking. If one’s own needs in a relationship are not met

then it is impossible for them to fulfill other’s. The first step

in evaluation is the establishment of common ground. It is very

unlikely that I will become even casual friends with someone who I

have nothing in common with. The more important to me the

commonality is, the more likely I will desire to become close

friends with someone. One of the first things I look for is

intelligence. Part of my personality is the love of intelligence,

which means: doing things well in varying circumstances. A very

important part of a friendship for me is intellectual stimulation.

If it is missing, the friendship will invariably begin to wane. So

intelligence and knowledge are two things I look for almost

immediately in a new acquaintance. Andres possesses both of these

qualities and he possesses them in areas that we both find

interesting. Both of us have an aptitude for the sciences. This

contributed greatly to me finding him worthy to be my friend. But

knowledge and skills alone make a person boring, so I also look for

common personality traits. A love of humor is also necessary, as

is a low degree of self-monitoring: the degree to which people

change to match their surroundings. I am extremely low in that

area as I tend to act the same in any situation. An actor would

have an extremely high degree of self-monitoring. I also look for

a certain callousness in potential friends. Someone who cannot

take or give criticism will not likely last long in a friendship

with me. Andres had all of these things to some degree or another,

so it was only inevitable that we spent more and more time


After I get to know someone and I think we should become

friends, I try to spend as much time with them as possible. Mostly

for the purpose of bonding (the sharing of experiences) but also

for continued evaluation. The evaluation never really ends, it

just becomes easier as I get to know them better and better. But

if at any time, they fail to meet my standards for friendship, I

make it clear to them, either by direct confrontation or by

spending time with them less frequently. If change is not affected

then the friendship will fade away into either casual familiarity

or outright rejection. But the main purpose of bonding is to get

to know them as well as possible, and for them to get to know me as

well as possible. To this end, we will frequently go out to

movies, participate in after-school groups together, and basically

spend time together. This not only leads to a closer relationship,

it provides a set of common experiences we can both draw upon.

Andres and I (along with another very close friend) ate lunch

together at his house every day, went out to movies on the weekend

frequently and we all joined the Auditorium Tech group (responsible

for lights and sound for all school shows) at our school. Along

with being in the same magnet program (and consequently, many of

the same classes), these experiences enabled us to spend an

extremely large amount of time with each other. This getting to

know each other, or bonding, allowed us to cement our relationship.

Once that was accomplished, acceptance naturally followed.

Acceptance is always the goal for me when I start a

friendship. True acceptance for me only exists with my closest

friends, the friends who I think know me better than anyone else

(with the exception of my immediate family). Acceptance is the

time when I can truly be myself. It is when I can say what I mean

without having to worry about hurting people’s feelings or having

them think less of me. This is possible because after acceptance,

I know that most anything I say will not hurt my close friends and

vice versa. Acceptance is a nice break from the process of

becoming friends because it is where the evaluation is almost non-

existent. Unless something extraordinary changes, I will be

friends with that person for a very long time. But acceptance is

by no means easy to come by. It is unlikely that I will reach that

stage with more than a handful of friends in my lifetime. This is

in part due to my introversion. I concentrate more on depth in a

relationship than breadth. I prefer to have a small group of

friends that I have lengthy contact with as opposed to a large

group of friends who I do not know as well. Also, once I have

reached acceptance with a couple or a few friends, it is almost

impossible for me to reach it with any other friends. I only have

so much time to spend with people (less than other people because

I always provide ample opportunity for solitary activities) and I

do not want to split it up in too many ways. Therefore I prefer to

keep a few very close friends with whom I can share a deep and

meaningful relationship with.

Friends are one of the things that make life worth living.

Along with my family, they provide a support structure and a group

that I can share happiness with. Making friends has never been,

and never will be, an easy process for me. My personality could be

described as arrogant, abrasive, callous and territorial. These

attributes are usually not conducive to making friends. But I

could also be described as intelligent, genial, humorous,

insightful and supportive and hopefully that is how my close

friends would describe me. Although my process of making friends

is a long and arduous one, the end result far outweighs any risks

of rejection I may take.