Making friends isn't always easy and can be quite difficult if you overlook opportunities for connections. This may mean stepping outside of your comfort zone to recruit new allies. It may even mean crossing over into enemy territory. While converting someone that doesn't like you into a friend may seem unthinkable, the benefits of making a productive bond can outweigh your risk of rejection.
Acknowledge your sincere reasons for desiring an alliance. Understand that your target may feel uneasy with your proposition. This is especially true if you used to be friends, or if you're seeking help with personal advancement. Addressing a shared goal or outlining reasons why you should move past differences can set the stage for peaceful interactions.
Apologize for any past transgressions. This shows your humility and can facilitate goodwill for your efforts. Explain that you want to leave the past behind and that you're willing to make a dedicated effort to prove yourself trustworthy. If you've never had any formal discord, explaining that you simply want to be friends may suffice. Uncovering the reasoning behind your bad blood can make it easier for you both to move forward.
Find common ground. Allow your personality to shine as you uncover shared interests. Use active listening skills to retain useful knowledge about your new friend. Asking open-ended questions and repeating back information demonstrates your sincere interest. It'll be easier to strike up conversations and to schedule enjoyable outings once you find common ground.
Enlist the help of mutual friends. It may be easier to win over someone that doesn't like you by showing them that you are friends with other people they trust. Arrange group meetings with mutual friends so that you both can become more comfortable with the idea of hanging out individually.
- Give the process time, as it may take a while for true friendship to manifest.
Remy Lo has been a freelance writer since 2002. He covers a wide range of topics, from politics to personal improvement, and has been published in a literary magazine and several websites.