How to Make Friends: Don’t Be Nice

Growing up, I was told the key to making new friends is to be nice to everyone. Don’t be fooled. People who are nice to everyone do not make friends, only acquaintances. For example, there’s a girl in my grade who is nice to everyone. She was nominated Homecoming princess 3 years in a row and is involved with best buddies. I always see her surrounded by people, but never the same people. Nevertheless, she is liked by everyone. And I admire her ability to be kind to everyone. It’s a trait I lack, but I’d personally rather be disliked by many and have a few close friends than be liked by everyone and have multiple acquaintances. She is an example of a person who is nice to everyone and struggles to still have a close knit group of friends.

Before going any further, I should probably define what I believe qualifies a friend as a “friend”. A friend, to me,  is someone who knows your wi-fi password, someone who’s slept over at your house, someone you can be comfortable with in silence. I hold a high standard for who I title as a friend because I treat them to a higher standard. In contrast, people who are nice to everyone have trouble juggling such closeness with a multitude of people who hold varying degrees of affection towards them, making it difficult to sustain a true friendship. 

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Here you can see my friend using the “hard-to-get” technique on me. It’s super effective.

As humans, we are naturally competitive creatures. It’s illustrated in academics, sports, and beauty pageants. We desire to feel special. It’s the same with friendships. If a person I consider as a friend is nice to everyone, how am I supposed to know where I stand with him/her? I’d feel replaceable. In my mind I think, “Well, she already has so many friends. I’m sure I won’t be missed. I’d also rather not be someone’s second choice.” That’s the problem with being nice to everyone. Therefore, I believe the key to making long sustainable friendships is to be moderately cold towards people who you are not interested in and being significantly nicer to those you are.

I’m not saying people should be jerks to other people, but rather it’s ok to “play favorites”. It reassures friends that they are more important than other people in your life, which is true. My friends are more important to me than anyone else, besides family. That’s why I find it logical to only treat them as such.

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It’s tough being a wanted woman.

Do you think it’s possible to be nice to everyone and still maintain a small, close knit group of friends? If yes, how do you prevent anyone from feeling left out?

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7 thoughts on “How to Make Friends: Don’t Be Nice

  1. Jack H says:

    I think it’s very possible to be nice to everyone while maintaining a close group of friends. The key is to throw the people you don’t like into the hands of people more like them, kinda like friend-outsourcing.

    Personally, I look up to the people I know who are nice to everyone, and I aspire to be like them because they make the world a happier place, even if it takes extra effort.

    Overall a great, though-provoking post, and not as cliché as I thought when I clicked on it.

    • Laurarue says:

      “Friend-outsourcing” I like it! It sounds a little easier said then done though. Hmm or I’m just bad at that sort of thing. Nevertheless, thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂

  2. Hazel @ Stay Bookish says:

    “People who are nice to everyone have trouble juggling such closeness with a multitude of people who hold varying degrees of affection towards them, making it difficult to sustain a true friendship.” – I AGREE WITH THIS! I completely adored this post! Very thoughtful plus those pictures with your friends are adorable!

  3. Thomas says:

    Not entirely sure this post isn’t satirical, but I don’t think it’s that you have to be cold – rather, you’re just closer to a few people than others. I like to believe that I’m “super nice” to everyone, but there are only a few friends who I actively seek out and share deep stuff with. Not everyone desires a few tight knit friendships, but for those who do, I’m pretty sure they can attain them without losing their sense of compassion or kindness.

    • Laurarue says:

      I can see how my post could be seen as slightly satirical, but that wasn’t my intention 😂. I think the main difference between our point of views is we define the word friend differently. “Few friends” implies you have people outside of your close group of friends who you recognize as friends. What I define as a friend is probably what you would consider as a close friend.

      It’s definitely possible to be nice to everyone and still have certain people you are closer to, but it makes it harder to accommodate to everyone. For example, if someone you didn’t see as a close friend thought of you as one it’d be difficult to manage time between hanging out with him/her and a person you are closer with, which could lead to misunderstandings and feelings of being left out from your closer friends. Therefore, I just prefer to be distant towards people who I am not interested in befriending so I don’t mislead them into thinking we are friends (not that people are lining up to be my friend anyway BUT if they were…).

      As usual though, thank you for commenting Thomas. I always love hearing your opinion on my posts. C:

  4. Steven says:

    I enjoy having a close knit group of friends, ones that I can share anything and talk about anything with.

    yet people often describe me as nice and caring. With other people I tend to act nice around them but if I sense they wont be close friendship material then I do my best to keep up the small talk only as needed. However if they honestly need someone to talk to or have problems they need advice on ill stay around.

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