Please be patient. A whole new experience is on the horizon...

Start:Jul 07, 2020

Duration:15 Minute(s)

Goal: this Cognitive Trail will improve the ability to make friends who bring out the best in you (My Space).

Description: 'My Space' is part of The Next Step navigational series. Use it like a GPS. Each day it gives specific steps to help you choose friends and ... Read More


Step 1

Here's your next challenge: Begin the process of making new friends even if you like the friends you have.

We're going for the Testudo here.

The first thing you do in this process is be aware of who's around you during the course of your day.

Notice the people who tend to build up the people they're around.

These people won't all be your age. That's a good thing.

Look for variety.

Look for people who are encouraging, who explain things to you that make you stronger.

Look for people who challenge you to aim higher.

Look for natural leaders who inspire you to aim higher.

Keep in mind that each of these qualities provides a type of 'shield' for you that forms a supportive group of friends like the Roman soldiers in a Testudo battle formation.

Can you name a couple of people who fit this description and include what they're best at doing based upon what we've discussed in this step?

Step 2

Look around you.

Forget the age of the person or what they look like or their position in in life. Examine qualities only and consider befriending them.

Will you look around for someone you will commit to reaching out to as a potential new friend in the next 24 hours?

Step 3

Next take your first bold step.

Your follow up could look something like this:

*Talk to them in the hall or in class or wherever you notice them. If you're shy, it could like this: "Hi, how's it going? I think I've seen you around before. By the way, my name's .... What's yours?"

* Invite them to go for a hike OR play basketball OR whatever interests you that gives you time to get to know each other. Doesn't have to be radical. Fit them into your day naturally.

*As you get to know them, check in occasionally. It can be as simple as a text to see how they're doing.

*If they're neighbors, visit them.

*If they attend the same school, arrange to meet them for lunch or after class.

Choose one or two of these ideas at first or come up with ones of your own.

No rush. No pressure. Keep it real. At the same time, you're watching each interaction to see consistent behavior over time that models the qualities you admire.

How committed are you in following at least one of these suggestions?

Step 4

Let's continue building your comfort level around this idea.

You have to admit that it's kind of fun that you get to do the choosing, huh?

List qualities you admire in people. These qualities can be outside the Encourage, Strengthen, Challenge or Lead parameters.

Step 5

Finally think about other ways you could approach people and invite them to spend more time getting to know you.

Remember: It shouldn't be something that makes either of you feel weird. It's simply a natural progression. A next step toward friendship.

It does NOT need to involve telling them you are considering them for friendship or that you're building a supportive community.

Keep it simple.

Keep it real.

Remember the 9- to 12-month rule.

You don't really know anyone until you've seen them in many types of circumstances and stressors, which is usually a 9- to 12-month period or even longer sometimes.

Are you looking forward to seeing how this will all work out?

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