David Mitchell is simply hilarious and switched on. Watch this as a precursor to what I’m about to say.
If you didn’t watch it, he’s talking about how hard it is to tell people you don’t want to be their friend because you already have too many friends.
I’m going to talk about the opposite. And sadly, not be as hilarious.
How do you tell new people you meet that you want to be their friend?
Of course this is largely done organically. You meet them somewhere, you get on well, you see them again, you build a rapport and slowly develop a friendship, the depth of which varies depending on your level of compatibility.
But there’s a difference between a bunch of friends, and a really good friend.
How do you make that leap to just calling each other up coz you’re bored, or dropping in unannounced? Do it too soon and it’s extremely awkward and may scare them off, but how soon is too soon? Of course there is no answer to this. This is my problem.
There is etiquette for getting into a new relationship and breaking up a relationship. You can ask someone on a date, you can tell them you like them. How do you do that with someone you just want to be friends with? There is no socially acceptable way to say to someone, “Hi. I think we have a lot in common and I enjoy spending time with you. Wanna be good friends where we hang out heaps and talk about stuff?”
Firstly it probably sounds like you’re hitting on them, secondly, it’s weird. There is no way to have that conversation without breaking social conventions and freaking the other person out. Which is the opposite response to the one you want.
This becomes harder and harder as you get older. People are set in their social circles and it’s hard to break into that. Especially when you move to a new place where people have established connections. I’ve been lucky here where most of my friends are in the same boat as me, so we’ve all gravitated together and have space for each other, instead of having to ‘insert’ ourselves into an existing friendship group.
I wish there was a social sign you could give someone that let’s them know you think they’re friend material without being a weirdo.