Over the last week, I’ve had a few families tell me that their child will not do anything to try to make friends. The expectation that they have for friendship is that everyone will come to them. It reminds me of a king or queen holding “court” where the townspeople present themselves with whatever they have to offer.
The motivation for this opinion is not selfish or from a feeling of being “better” than another. They lack the knowledge and confidence to seek friendship. Finding friends can seem like too much work. When socializing feels like a “grind”, it definitely doesn’t feel like fun. They also might fear rejection which can make not trying seem like the better option.
The problem with that is unless someone is hugely entertaining or if people are drawn to a person because they are so incredibly charismatic, is not likely that they will have loads of friends seeking to spend time with them. It also can be indicative of what type of friend the person will be. If they are not putting in time and effort into the friendship, then why would somebody want to be friends? Friendship is reciprocal. If they truly want friends badly enough, then they will make the commitment to do what takes to meet people at least halfway. Both parties need to be dedicated to maintaining those friendships. That requires scheduling social time together, texting to check in, following up on the important things in their life, listening to things you might not be interested in, and generally engaging in the other persons life.
Be wary of seeming like royalty holding “court” where people come to see us and “present” themselves to us. Join the townspeople, mill among the crowd (virtually) and commit to meeting potential friends halfway and let the friendships begin.