How to make New Friends
It’s tough to admit that you don’t have many friends. But until we start to realise this might be the case, it’s certainly not going to get any better. Who Needs Instructions was set up partly because of the friendship problem men have. When you compare men to women, we simply don’t spend anywhere near as much time or emotional effort ‘working on or maintaining’ our friendships.
The Terrible Stats
But, according to a 2021 survey (of 2,000 adults), 15% of the men who responded said they had ‘no close friends’ (that compares to 3% in 1990). Plus, less than half of those men said they were happy with the number of friends they do have.
Who Needs Instructions is a membership organisation for men, whose benefits include activities and events which bring men together. Everything from a simple walk in the park or a trip to the football, to a wine-tasting experience at an exclusive vineyard or trying meditation for the first time. We do this for two reasons. One, because men simply don’t make the effort. And secondly, we want guys to try something new, something they may have never experienced before.
Do Some Heavy Lifting
Call us ‘The Sherpa’ if you like, our aim is to do the heavy lifting and create scenarios where men want to get together. We want to create situations where men can share stories, find out how each other is and ultimately… make friends. By doing this (and we’ve seen this happen, time and time again), men will bond over commonality. If we discover we’ve been through something similar to you, we’ll want to share and compare stories with you. This leads to a deeper connection, and with that comes a willingness to share more.
This is when the ‘V’ word normally pops up, Vulnerability. Even in 2023, this is seen as a weakness amongst men. But it isn’t. We’re not suggesting that you ‘lay yourself bear’ in the first five minutes of meeting someone, but if you can start to find similarities during those initial conversations and begin to relate to that person standing before you, the vulnerability comes naturally.
Childhood stories, relationship matters, or work scenarios can all lead to a shared experience. And here is the second skill that men tend to need to work on, listening. We need to become better listeners.
Become Better at Listening
As someone is telling a story, men are typically already thinking of a story to reply with. This isn’t always the case, but we bet you can remember a time when you were sat with a group of friends, and that one guy replied to someone else’s story with a “well, if you think that was bad, how about this”. We guarantee you the guy who spoke second never heard the end of the first guys’ story.
We need to open our ears when we’re being spoken to and listen. When you respond, maybe respond with another question. There might have been a point in the story that you weren’t completely clear on; ask them to clarify that. The storyteller will love that, have felt listened to and most likely, want to hear what you have to say too.
Make the Effort, it's Worth it
Guess what? This all takes effort, but we think the effort is worth it.
Imagine growing old with no one else to share those ridiculous stories with that you’ve told a hundred times. Imagine not having someone there for you when you really need it. That could be the case unless you work at your friendships.
It won’t all be plain sailing and often it can feel a little one-sided but stick with it.
Introverts Have a 'Trump Card'
And, if you consider yourself an introvert and possibly find it hard to make new friends, you might actually be in a better position. Extroverts, on the surface, seem to have lots of friends and be incredibly outgoing. An introvert, however, is likely to put more effort into their close friendships than their opposites, the extroverts. So, if you have an introvert as a friend, you may be luckier than you think.
If you'd like to know more about Who Needs Instructions, simply drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask away. Membership is £30 a month (for August 2023 ONLY) and if you'd like to see the list of benefits, visit our MEMBERSHIP page.