|From reading most of the other comments, I find it a little bit sad that so many people feel that online friendship is superior to Ďface to faceí friendship. There are so many more ways to relate with a person outside of words. (Smileys make a huge difference Most people will have heard this statistic about interaction: 7% on words, 38% on tone of voice, 55% on body languages and gestures. |
For a long time I was very shy . However today I have some truly deep friendships and most of them have come from advancing past the Ďjust talking boundaryí. Hereís a corny quote: ďAn acquaintance hears your voice, a friend hears what you say, a true friend hears what you donít sayĒ
One of the things that really changed it for me was deciding to make the first phone call. For a long time I sat and waited for a long time for an invitation, and got pretty despondent when it didnít come . Eventually I realised I wasnít entitled to anything, and I just took more responsibility for my social life. I rang people up and organised things. I wanted to look forward to friends company. Following this leap, I realised it wasnít ďjust meĒ . Everybody has doubts.
Playing music with a friend is tremendous . One needs to listen. Better listeners make better jammers. And because one canít talk and play at the same time, one must practice trusting yourself, and then others.
Travelling together is also great. Iíve done a few bus journeys between Dublin, London, Paris and Amsterdam. At about 12 hours a connection, a friend and I spent a lot time together, travelling together and in silence together. We were getting use to eachothers company in a very different way. Since then though, there has nearly always been a great naturalness and ease between us.
Sport together is also wonderful for a good interaction. A personal liberator has been Aikido. There is a lot of physical contact in Aikido, which will leave you at the mercy of your dormant nervousness ! After a while though, one learns to build up a very strong rapport with a training partner, without having to exchange very many words. There is no fighting, competitions or winning and losing in Aikido. Itís just healthy interaction . I also beat my fear of falling by learning to roll, a great confidence builder
The last activity is dancing ! Not a drunken kind of wiggling on a Friday night , but dancing lessons. It is a hard one to break into, particularly because most people donít go alone but with another person. But being able to just swing around with someone will tell you something about eachother that youíd otherwise never know. Irish dancing is particularly suited to helping people break into a social group. Its often in groups of 2, 4 or 8.
Encounters with different nationalities can teach one a lot about friendship. Iím Irish myself, and having gone to University for four years Iíve made friends with England, America, France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Slovenia, Bosnia, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Columbia and Holland. Obviously with a list that long Iíve had some exceptionally lucky and brilliant experiences. But, being immersed in another culture has taught me so much about how I make friends and treat the ones I already have. Staying with a few French families, especially for large meals has taught me immeasurable amounts about social graces and informal politeness. Also, some particular good friends from Slovenia, Bosnia and Russia (all girls) have a very sincere manner of being interested in a person. Maybe something about their sudden new found freedom affects them, but there is no shyness about wanting to get know somebody. They're brave, polite, patient and interested. Unlike in Ireland, where we sometimes play it a bit too cool by frequently saying things like ďIíll let you goĒ at the end of a phone conversation.
I'm also very lucky to have a cool 92 year old Granny , who's also a great pal.
This is huge mess of ideas. I've been typing too long...