Top tips for getting to know your friends from the Belonging Network

We had our first ever Belonging Network Zoom meeting yesterday and it was a great success!

We spent some time getting to know each other and find out about things that we had been doing to have fun in lockdown. It was very uplifting! People had been spending time doing things like getting in touch with old friends, getting out into the garden to water plants and doing yoga and pilates. It was lovely to hear.

We also had a chat about our top tips for making and keeping friends. Everyone thought getting to know your friends is the most important thing, No matter how long you have known someone, you can still get to know them better. The group came up with this list of ways to get to know someone.

1. Take your time

People thought that you should go slowly when making friends, you should take your time to get to know them. From experience people thought maybe it’s not a good idea to give people your phone number when you first meet them. Also, maybe it’s not a good idea to see if someone wants to meet up again if you have only met them once.

2. Ask them questions about themselves

Everyone thought asking people lots of questions about themselves is a good way to get to know someone. This can help you decide if you want to give them your number and if you would like to meet up with them again.

But asking people questions about themselves isn’t just important when you first meet. It’s also important if you have been friends for years! You can always learn something new and unexpected about your old friends 😊

3. Know when you feel safe with them

People thought asking questions is also a good idea because it can help you know if you feel safe with them. If you like what they are saying, feel like they are telling the truth and feel that they accept you, it is easier to feel safe with someone. Equally, if you don’t like how they answer your questions, you know to move away from them.

4. Spend time together doing hobbies

Doing things like walking, watching the same TV programmes, listening to music or taking part in other hobbies that you have can be a great way to get to know people. You can learn a lot about each other just by talking about your favourite TV programmes!

5. Keep in touch

People spoke about how important it is to keep in touch with friends. There are so many ways to keep in touch – landline, email, Zoom, Skype, text, Whatsapp, Facebook, the list goes on and on! It’s important to find the right way for you and your friend to keep in touch, maybe you both like sending letters! Or maybe your friend isn’t on social media so you call them on the landline 😊

What do you think about our tips? What kinds of questions are good questions to ask people if you want to know them better? How do you know when you feel safe with someone? We’d love to hear from you.

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