How to Make Friends (Like a Jerk)
Today is Friendship Day and as I look around my apartment at my fourteen cats, three raccoons, two and a half lizards and a goat, I realize I am a very lucky man to be surrounded by this many friends. Especially if you count the bus driver and mailman as friends. I mean, they never come when I invite them over to play “Guess What Happened to the Other Half of the Lizard” or similarly fun games, but I know they’re cool. They’re just busy right now.
But I know from the internet and people being sad on Reddit that some people aren’t as fortunate to have as many friends as I do. Here, I’ll start you off: we’re friends now! If you’re reading this, we are actively friends. There, you’ve got one! But I am not coming to your friend’s “No Doubt” cover band show.
Anyway, you’ll probably want more friends than just me, especially since I refuse to keep you company at your friend’s stupid thing. Also because I have a tendency to sleepwalk into my friends’ homes late at night in an old timey burglar costume and thieve their favorite large burlap sacks.
Fortunately I already have a well-established series of self-help guides, so after attempting to take random pages from each of those and glue them into a new book to give my publisher, he said that I couldn’t do that and I would have to write a new one. So here you are, you thankless bastards.
This step is really important. Probably the most important in the sense that it’s really hard to make and most importantly keep friends if you don’t leave your place to go interact with them. You can try and meet folks through the internet first if that’s your bag, but you’ll still have to actually go to another location to find them.
It is also very important to find out where they live, because if you’re really in a bind and need a place to hide out from the fuzz or the people from the petting zoo who want their goat back, they’re gonna be your go to buddy. Remember, a true friend is one who will aid and abet your so-called “criminal” activity.
Practice small talk
Now when you get to actually meet your friends face to face, you’ll have to have something to talk about. I’ve tried staring at them until a telekinetic link is formed, but so far that’s a no-go. Probably because the other person keeps breaking their concentration before I’ve managed to connect our chi, but whatever.
So you’ll have to go the old fashioned way and think of some conversation starters. You could start by asking about their general interests, things that most people have some kind of opinion about, like movies or music. But they might like boring things, so be sure to assert your own opinion if it does get lame. Then make sure they know just how awesome you are and how lucky they are to be in your presence. If they think you’re that cool, they’ll stick around and be loyal forever. Remember, confidence is key.
Find an interest and go to events for it
Do you like stuff? Luckily for you, pretty much everyone else also likes stuff. Even more luckilier for you, sometimes people like the same stuff that you like. If you’re interested in sports, head out to a football or soccer game. If your interests might get you shoved into a locker by people who are more interested in the first things, you might be better off hanging around comic book stores and neither of the first two examples. Because there are lockers at sports stadiums, and it does not feel good to be stuffed inside of them.
Going to parties and other social events is also a great idea, especially because there usually aren’t lockers there to be stuffed into. Unless you’re the one doing the stuffing, then it’s not so great because you have to improvise with things like toilets, or your own more powerful arm for a headlock. However, we’ll stick to headlocks for later because right now you want to meet people and make some friends and usually headlocks aren’t square one for that.
When you’re at the party you want to show off your own very best skills and attributes. This is an exception to headlock rule in the sense that if you’re the best at headlocks, now would be a good time to showcase that. If you’re also the best at flexing, or manipulating people into loaning you money for your latest crazy scheme, this is also a good time to show off those skills.
Even if your skill is sneaking back into the host’s humble home in the wee hours of the night and just borrowing a few things for a while, there’s a good tradeoff. Either they won’t know and still will at least put on the semblance of friendship, or you’ll get thrown into prison overnight, which is still a great place to meet people. Especially because you’ll likely have common interests.
Patrick is a writer and comedian living in Chicago and has never harmed a lizard. He also has a few friends who aren’t animals, but sadly cannot count a goat among his animal friends. Make him feel better about that by following his Tumblr. But he honestly doesn’t update that very much so be a doll and follow him on Twitter @fatfraud.