Making New Friends – That X Factor
In the last few weeks, I’ve met a number of new people. It got me to thinking about how we choose our friends and the different ways we make new ones. When I think back on my friendships with those closest to me, I can’t really tell you that moment when we realized we were going to be the best of friends. It just happened, it was natural. We “clicked.”
Clicking or Clacking
Have you ever met someone and you instantly like that person? The conversation flows naturally. They don’t have any of those annoying habits that drive you crazy. They have similar world views, attitudes, and behaviors.
I call this “clicking.” These are the friends I can truly be myself around. I don’t worry about whether they like me or not. Our social language is the same, so I already know that they do.
Then, there are the clackers. You meet this personality type and your preference would be to just turn around and walk away from them. For me, there are several things that instantly turn me off.
- Extremely loud people for the purpose of grabbing attention. Example – the woman who cackles loudly just as everyone else finishes laughing.
- Know it alls. If you’re telling a story about your doctor putting you on a regimen, this person will begin to tell you why your doctor is wrong. After all, she has no degree whatsoever in that field, but still knows more than your doctor who went to school for 12 years or more to get his medical degree.
- Me too women. Want to share a story about your last vacation? Don’t worry… Miss Me Too has gone on the same vacation, only hers was ten times better. It doesn’t matter how unusual your story, Miss Me Too has done it, been there, is better than you.
- Crass people. While it is perfectly natural for close friends to share personal details of their lives, it is not so natural for someone you met two seconds ago to jump into the conversation and share her personal sexual history with you. I’m sorry, but that is just weird.
These are the things that clack for me. Yours may be completely different.
The Bottom Line
Cultivating friendships takes times. I like a lot of people, but I don’t click with them all. If I’m going to take time away from my family and my writing and my home, then it is going to be for a friend I click well with.