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There’re 3 Types Of People When It Comes To Making/Keeping Friends. Which One Are You?

There’re 3 Types Of People When It Comes To Making/Keeping Friends. Which One Are You?

Man is by nature, a social animal. We all have a primal need for companionship and want people to understand us as we are, and share things with. Loneliness breeds anxiety and depression and whenever someone we know is going through a break-up or is stuck in a rut, we advise them to ‘meet new people’. Yet most of our problems tend to centre on our relationships and the more we grow older, the fewer friends we seem to have.

If you’re wondering why your social circle has been thinning steadily, then you must realize the problem is with you and with not other people, and it’s completely in your power to turn the situation around for the better. The first thing you need to do is take a cold hard look at your life and figure out your nature, because when it comes to making/keeping friends, there are only[1] 3 types of people.

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So Which One Are You?

1. The Independent

They make friends wherever they go, and tend to have more acquaintances than deep friendships. They usually are extroverted, confident and instantly likeable- the “social butterfly” kind- and look like they’re having a good time. People seem to want to spend time with them for they’re very easy to talk to, non-judgemental and have an understanding smile on their faces. But this has its drawbacks too- juggling work and a busy social life leaves no room for genuine heart to heart conversation and such people who have a lot of surface friendships tend to be pretty lonely on the inside. For instance, Jane Doe has thousands of Facebook friends and Instagram followers, and will always have someone to eat with and party with, but when her boyfriend broke up with her, she couldn’t seem to decide who to call.

2. The Discerning

They are very particular about the company they keep. They only have a few best friends they stay close with over the years, and they’ve actually put in a lot of effort to cultivate and maintain such a friendship. When a problem arises, they have people to fall back to. Although they may not look so social on the outside, they have a tight-knit community to turn to for help. But there are disadvantages as well. Life is extremely unpredictable and sometimes the friend may have to physically or mentally move away from you. Also, the deep investment means that the loss of one of those friends would be very very devastating. For example, John Smith has always been the quiet one, not very active on social media and usually seen hanging out with high school buddies Pat and Jesse. But Pat has recently moved away and Jesse died in a car accident and he has no one to turn to for solace.

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3. The Acquisitive

These are the people who do their bit to stay in touch with their old friends, but also continue to make new ones as they move through the world. Thus they’re never alone for they have people to hang out with and make small talk and when trouble arises, they have best friends who’ll always be there for them. But being such a person takes time and effort, but once you get there, the rest of your life gets super easy for you. For instance, Rose Carter has always been an amiable person, who balances time spent on social media and real life very well. Her co-workers love her and she makes time for her old friends at least once a month. Her marriage is recently showing some kind of trouble, but she’s getting by pretty well for she has a very supportive community who always has her back.

As per the 2014 American Time Use Survey [2], those in the 20-24 age group spends the most time socializing- a number that steadily decreases with age. Meanwhile surveys[3] repeatedly the importance of having good friends in one’s personal happiness.

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So Which Is The Recommended One?

The answer’s easy. Those who belong to the ‘acquisitive’ type, are the most flexible and have a pleasant life. So what can you do to be more acquisitive? Well firstly make three columns.

In the first one, make a list of people who truly matter to you, who agree with you on moral and ethical values and with those you can truly connect to. If no one comes to mind, think back to your school and college days. Once you have made the list, try to connect with them. Send them friend requests on Facebook or ask them out for lunch if they’re still close by. But don’t just stop there after the first meeting. Do follow-ups, surprise phone calls and send them birthday presents to make them realize you genuinely care for them.

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In the second one, write down the names of acquaintances you meet everyday and get along with. Be grateful for them, and see if you can turn the surface friendships to something deeper.

And in the last column, write down the names of people you met briefly but would genuinely want to be friends with. Every time you meet someone new and like them, jot their names down. These are people who may become great friends in the future.

Finally, don’t forget to be a nice and friendly person. Be polite, empathetic and kind to all those you meet. Help people however and wherever you can and soon you’ll be living a life where you’re genuinely happy and have more genuine friends than you can count.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Archita Mittra

wordsmith, graphic designer, ideator, creative consultant, full time freelancer

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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