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hpr3904 :: How to make friends

This topic is being actively researched. Not for production use.

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Hosted by Klaatu on 2023-07-20 is flagged as Clean and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
autism, friendship, relationship, social engineering. 2.
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Duration: 00:47:41

Social Media.

Looking at aspects of Social Media - platforms, histories, popularity, philosophies, etc.

Show notes

  • No clear mark of when friendship starts

  • often feels "right" when mutual

  • to some people friendship is a persistent state. once you have it, it's forever unless explicitly dissolved.

  • for other people, it's something requiring maintenance. arguable this suggests that there are degrees of friendship, based on when you last spoke to one another.

  • degrees of friendship also suggests progression. friend → close friend → best friend.

how to make a friend

friendship requires communication.

  • start by communicating in some way that makes the other person feel not unpleasant

  • you're not supposed to target a friend. this can be a frustrating rule, because if you're trying to make a friend, you have to target somebody, but the general consensus is that you're not supposed to "try too hard". target lots of people in the hopes of stumbling across somebody to befriend.

  • complimenting something they have done, even if it's something simple like wearing a cool shirt, is a very easy start

  • finding ground common allows for repeated communication

  • repetition of this is what builds friendship. this is why friendships often develop at work, but can dissolve quickly after a job change.

  • the situation matters. chatting with someone who's being paid to interact with you, like somebody working at a store, doesn't count because in context they more or less cannot choose to stop communicating with you until you leave the store. chatting with someone who has anything to gain by chatting with you doesn't count (like an intern at work).

  • to speed up a developing friendship, you can invite the person to interact with you on something with a clearly defined goal. You like coding? I like coding! Would you care to collaborate for 4 hours on a script that would help me find my Raspberry Pi on my network?

  • during the activity, continue to communicate. this can be difficult because you're doing an activity that you both claim to enjoy, so in theory the activity should be sufficient to further the friendship. However, the activity doesn't build the friendship, it only builds a partnership. It's the communication that builds friendship.

unfortunately, there's no clear point during this process at which you know you have made a friend. so you have to define what a friend is, to you, and then work toward that goal.

Here are some examples of definitions for friendship. There is no right or wrong here, it's really just setting your own expectations and requirements:

  • A friend is someone to hang out with on sundays.

  • A friend is someone I can call when I've got some free time to kill.

  • A friend is someone I can play video games with online.

  • A friend is someone I can call, day or night, when I need help.

  • A friend is someone who has come over for dinner, and has met my family, and who I see at least once a month.

There's no official definition, so you must define it yourself. Your definition may differ from the other person's definition. You might say "we are best friends" but they might say "no, I already have a best friend, but you're a good friend" and THAT'S OK.

If it helps, classify what kinds of friends you have so you understand what kinds of relationships you are maintaining. Communicate with your friends, even if it's only to let them know that you're bad at communicating on a regular basis, or ask them how frequently they need to communicate to maintain a healthy friendship.


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Comment #1 posted on 2023-07-29 20:16:37 by dnt


Thanks for this! I listened to it on the way home from work and continued to think about it well into the evening.

Comment #2 posted on 2023-08-02 10:34:28 by Beeza


Hi Klaatu. Great show and very thought provoking.

You missed one type of friendship that applies to me and, I dare say, many others.

I grew up and went to school in London and became one of a group of 7 "mates". We never used the term "friends" in case we were deemed "soft" - crazy I know. Over the years we have all moved away from each other, in one case to the other side of the world, so we often only meet one another once or twice a year, sometimes not even that, and don't even converse by phone or messaging much in between. Despite that we all know that we can totally rely on one another should the need arise, and when we do meet the intervening months or years simply have no relevance.

Apart from my immediate family, of course, these people are closer to me than anybody else but the need to be in constant contact just doesn't exist. It's the polar opposite of people who are constantly on Facebook communicating with "friends" they've never met, and really know nothing about with any certainty.

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