Making Friends (With Yourself and Others)

Dec 9, 2022

dear gale,

a dream of mine came true today.
a conversation i had with patrick holland was just published to the creative independent!
for years now i have been wanting to work with TCI... i am so glad. i hope your will give it a glance.

moving country has given me a lot of perspective on my Self — how i see her and who i hope she can be and who she already is. i think a lot of the things that i want to be, i already actually am. i think occasionally my favourite qualities about myself are diluted by the general anxiety that has surrounded this big physical shift in my life... there have been periods where i have felt quite weightless in my identity. but what goes up must come down! i think disorienting ourselves is so important in the process of becoming grounded. i don't think i'll ever feel fully grounded... i don't think i'm eager to be — discomfort means i am growing! strangely, i find some ground in that constant state of change.

how have you changed lately?

i have been thinking a lot about how to be a good friend. i have met a lot of new people since coming to the netherlands... i have been very open to becoming close with new people quite quickly. i personally have nothing to hide, so being open and trusting has felt really refreshing. i recall 2016 when i moved province for uni... it took me months to allow myself to feel close to anyone. but in this excursion, i haven't felt closed off like i did then. and i know who i am better, and what sort of people i need around me, and to my luck they have been appearing. i am so grateful!! love finds us anywhere.
making friends... there are a lot of initial impressions. i don't think i've been a very judgmental person — the people i've met have been simple to trust. but more than ever, i have been wondering about how i come across to new friends. i want to make them feel heard and loved! i try to learn something new about a friend each time i see them... it can be easy to talk about yourself... naturally, hanging out with friends is an amazing way to release tension and anxiety that comes up when we're alone... i have been holding a bit of an excess of that lately, so i've been mindful to not put that on them too much. it of course hasn't been hard, because i have everything to learn about them. wat leuk! i love lists... so here is a list about how to make new friends. :)


  1. references — ask your existing friends if they know anyone from the place you're heading, or who is interested in whatever you're interested in, or who they think you would get on with.
  2. social media — follow new people (friends of friends are best), react to their stories, comment on their posts, become a familiar virtual face! this works best with people who seem similar to you in how they act online and what they post about... be reasonable.
  3. ask them to hang out — before asking to hang out... establish something that you have in common. it'll be good to mention your common thread in your invitation so they can contextualize why they would hang out with you. if you're not sure about a common thread, mention your motivation! and leave your invitation open to a rejection ("if not no worries!") — give them an easy out so they don't feel cornered. do not be self deprecating or apologize ("sorry this is random blah blah").
  4. be curious — ask them so many questions and listen to their response. think about how you can find deeper answers from their initial answers. if they mention their home town, ask what it was like to grow up there, etc. give them room to ask about you rather than dumping, and be vulnerable in your answers (without trauma dumping too soon).
  5. establish what you can keep in touch about — making a new friend is so fun, but will you keep in touch? why would you hang out again? whether it's just to spend slow time together, or to get crafty, find out how you both like spending time together and make an effort to do it more often.
  6. be active — once you've hung out a couple times, it's time to be an active friend. bring them soup when they're sick, invite them to things, give them hugs if they like hugs, tell them that you appreciate them... be the friend you want to have for them and don't let how they react discourage you (although, read the room and feel out when to simmer down).

that'll do! good luck.

gale, thanks for listening. i appreciate you.
until the next storm rolls in...