It's a good feeling to belong in a group of friends who make you feel valued and who accept you as you are. Good friends are there to listen when you need to share a problem. They laugh at your jokes, they believe in you and they can help to build your confidence. You may have the same likes and dislikes when it comes to things like music, clothes, sports or other interests, but you can also respect each other's differences, try out new ideas and learn from each other.
Making friends doesn't happen naturally and many people find it difficult, but you can do things to help with this. First of all, don't put yourself down, self-confidence can go a long way to helping you find and keep friends! It's also worth thinking about these things:
- Think about how you meet people. Do you give them a smile, look them in the eyes and make the first move? Or do you look away, frown or try to make yourself look small and invisible? Your body language will tell people whether you are making an effort to meet them or backing away
- People who are good at making friends ask questions and are interested in what other people have to say. They don't expect everyone to think or act exactly as they do. They aren't afraid to talk about their problems, but they don't spend all of their time moaning
- Getting involved in clubs and activities is a good way to meet new people and find new friends
- Don't give yourself or others a hard time if you can't make friends with a certain person or group, just move on and accept that not everyone you meet can be a friend.
Are you worried about a friend?
If you are worried about a friend, tell them how you feel. If you think they may be getting into trouble, be prepared to listen and let them know you'll be there for them.
Don't try to handle serious problems by yourself. There are clinics, telephone and email advice lines that give professional advice and help. Many of these services are confidential and you won't have to give them your name - for more information look at our Get Help and Emergency pages .
Remember…. good friends watch out for each other.
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