Q. I'm starting 10th grade at a boarding school in Thailand, with 1000 people from all over the world, & I'm from America. I've been going to the same school for my whole life until now, so all the friends I have, I've known since kindergarden, so I don't really know how to make friends at a new school. Plus I'm pretty shy with new faces. but I really want to make good friends...and come off as outgoing. Any advice? Thanks!
A. It is never easy to make friends quickly, especially when you are also going to a different country, but you have at least one thing in your favour: you are American, and Americans are respected and liked in most countries, especially Thailand, and the people there are very friendly. People tend to be fascinated with the country so they are likely to want to make friends with you first.
However, four simple things should help you make friends quicker;
1. ALWAYS be yourself. Never try just to please others or fawn over them. Being yourself will do the trick. Those who like you will certainly value and nurture you while those who don't will leave you alone and save you the stress!
2. Take an interest in others and, when in doubt, ALWAYS ask questions rather than just talking about yourself. It makes others feel valued and makes you sound interesting.
3. To find friends, you need to be a friend to others. Treat people how they wish to be treated.
4. Finally, SMILE often. A smile leaps across boundaries and languages. It doesn't need words. It makes you more approachable and might even brighten someone's day!
However, don't be in a rush to make friends on arrival. Just be yourself, show interest, treat people with respect and everything will fall into place. You won't have to worry at all because you will seem interesting and attractive enough to draw others to you.
I hope you have a great time! :o)
©Elaine Sihera (Ms CYPRAH) 2010
Emotional Health and People Management Consultant
"Respect and love begin with the self. If we have none, how can we give away any?"