Have you been told that you’re hard to connect with? Don’t have close friends? Do all of your dating relationships last a month, max? You’re probably emotionally unavailable. This means you’re probably lonely, which is no fun. Here are a few tips to help you to open up and start making some real relationships.
- Say what you’re thinking. Whether you say it or not, there’s a lot going on in your head. Share that with people, whatever it is. The more you do, the better you’ll get at it and the more people will be able to learn the kind of person you are. Even if what you have to say is gooey, sissy stuff. It might be weird and uncomfortable, but telling people how you feel allows for connection. Even if it’s saying “you’re awesome” randomly, it’s better than nothing at all. Just keep your feelings to yourself when you’re on the toilet, no one wants to have a heart to heart when you’re sitting on the pot.
- Try new things. If it’s something that you’ve never done before but someone you’re hanging around is doing it and you’re even vaguely curious, go ahead and give it a try. You might not only like it, but you may find something that you can do that you can share with other people. Being versatile allows for closer relationships. Don’t be that guy who’s like, “I don’t want to!” to everything. No one wants to hang with that guy.
- Smile more. This is the simplest and easiest thing to do when you see people. Smile. Let other people see that you’re a nice human being and that you want to be friends. If you’re scowling, people are going to think you’re emotionally unavailable as well as a jerk. This doesn’t mean that you have to go around smiling all the time or that you have to paste one on when you don’t feel like it. It just means that if you’re happy to see someone, show them. They’re probably happy to see you too.
- Do things for others without expecting anything in return. Living in your own world and doing your own thing can make a person a bit selfish. When you don’t have other people around you to mess up your life, it’s understandable that you might be a little ignorant of what other people need. I would suggest getting out of your hole and doing something nice for that other person. They might even be there for you when you need them. It’s nice.
- Let others do nice things for you. This coincides with the last bit of advice. When you do things for other people, allow them to do something for you. Taking care of each other is part of what relationships are about. You don’t have to do your own thing all the time. In relationships, there’s just no room for pride.
- Make eye contact. This is the number one rule. Eye contact shows that you’re listening and that you care. No eye contact means you get written off as someone that isn’t interested in a relationship. Eyes are expressive and say a lot about you. Other people want to see them.
- Share your space. Your couch, your kitchen, your house—share these things. You don’t have to talk or be super conversational all the time to have close relationships. Introverts are awesome and relaxing to be around, especially for extroverts. So if you don’t feel like interacting, sharing your space is a huge start to being close to other people.
- Stop talking. This one is for the extroverts. Listen and respond. Relationships require that you interact with other people, but very little interaction goes on if you aren’t listening. Relationships also require a fair amount of give and take. Asking questions and responding will allow you to step into the other person’s shoes for a bit.
- Invite other people to your favorite activities. It doesn’t matter what it is. Do you like to walk your dog in the morning? What about late night movies? Or maybe you’re a Trekkie who likes to grocery shop at two in the afternoon. Whatever you like to do, find someone who might also be interested and share it with them. Other people like to be involved. They like to know what’s going on. Knowing what you like to do says a lot about the kind of person you are, how interesting and complex you are. Letting people in on what you like to do doesn’t just benefit them, but you just might find that you like having that other person along. Before long, you’re hanging out all the time and your attached for life! Too serious? Okay, maybe you’re just friends. Good friends.