How To Make Friends: Part 5 – Mind The Gap


So, yesterday I showed you a simple 3-step process to clarify EXACTLY what ideal friendship means to you AND shared the 7 core traits that I look for in my friends.

(Click here to catch up on part 1, part 2, part 3 or part 4 of this series on how to make friends if you’ve fallen behind.)

And in the last 24 hours I’ve received TONs of great emails, filled with your reflections and core trait lists, in return.

Which is awesome.

Because, as expected, it turns out that almost everyone has a slightly different perspective on ideal friendship.

Some folks prioritise values like discipline, kindness and generosity. Some value shared history. Some go out of their way to make friends with conflicting points of view (← super smart tip from my aunt Ali 🙌).

And the best part is that ALL of those perspectives are correct. Because the thing is, there is no right answer. There is only the right answer for you. Right now. And even that answer will change over time.

But what’s most important and special about the steps you’ve taken so far is that you have some kind of answer at all.

You’ve thought proactively about who you’re current friends are AND what kind of people you ideally want around you. You’ve made it possible to compare point A with point B. Which makes it MUCH easier to work out how to close down the gaps.

But before that, we need to work out where the gaps even are.

And for that, you’ll need to follow 6 simple steps. You’ll need to:

  1. Grab a blank sheet of paper;
  2. Re-write your actual friend list from part 3 as rows of a table;
  3. Re-write your ideal traits list from part 4 as columns of the table;
  4. Put a tick in every box where a friend has a trait you’ve identified;
  5. Calculate the total number of ticks for each trait and friend; and
  6. Think about what that means for next steps.

Your table will have more rows and columns than this one, but here’s a 3 by 3 example to show you exactly what I mean…

How To Make Friends - Trait Table

Simple, right? And yet this process is incredibly powerful.

Because it’s only once once we’ve plotted a map of our current friends and ideal friendships out on paper that we’re able to do this…

How To Make Friends - Trait Gaps

We’re able to work out which core traits are and aren’t well represented.

We’re able to work out which friendships are and aren’t pulling their weight.

We’re able to start minding our gaps.

And it’s only at that point; it’s only when we know what the journey looks like from point A to point B that we’re able to plan our next steps.

Alright. 🙌

Let’s leave it at that for today.

If you haven’t run through the homework from the last few parts of this series, then now’s a great time to catch up. We’re about to transition from diagnose (work out what could be better) to design and deliver (work out what to do about it) and this table will form the foundation for what’s coming up.

If you have run through the homework (including today’s) then now’s a great time to think for yourself about what you’d do next.

And in either case I’ll see you back here tomorrow where we’ll start talking about my favourite part of this process. We’ll discuss the who and the how of new friendships. We’ll start the process of changing your life.

Look out for tomorrow’s update.

And until then, take action, think clearly and go well.

Keep Reading Part 6 →

Arthur is a productivity coach and writer who helps top young execs and entrepreneurs be more productive, find more balance and live more meaningfully. Want to know more? Take this 2-minute quiz to discover your Productivity Quotient (PQ) and learn how to get BIG things done. Take the Quiz →
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