How Can We Make Good Friends?
Tom was born in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan. He studied in the United States during his college years. He received his master’s degree at the Australian National University where he taught Japanese as an Associate Professor. Currently, he is a communication skills trainer and also works in the real estate business and has many friends from various countries. The key to making good friends, he says, is “love that gives” and “working hard to develop yourself.”
Two Key Points to Making Good Friends
As a communication skills trainer, I’ve met a wide range of people. Some people have trouble associating with others and have difficulty making friends. So I would like to discuss two key points to making good friends. The first is to show respect and love for your friends through your words. Try to say things to others that would feel good to you if you heard them. For example, say things like, “Thanks for the great time” and “It was really nice to get to know you.” If you are not good at speaking, then smiling and using body language to express your sincerity is also an effective way to communicate. Additionally, I recommend that when you meet someone new send them an e-mail or letter before the day is over to express how nice it was to meet them.
The goal of good communication is to reach another person’s heart and form a comfortable relationship. It is, therefore, based on the premise that you get rid of your worries and become a bright and positive person. When there is static noise over the phone line, you can’t hear the other person clearly, right? In the same way, when your mind is full of worries and you try to communicate with another person, you cannot give or receive messages accurately.
For example, let’s say you are still tied to a past wound of being betrayed by a friend and feeling hurt. Even if you meet someone new and he or she tells you, “Let’s be good friends,” you may not be able to accept it because you will hear a negative inner voice saying something like “I might be betrayed again” or “the person might have a hidden agenda.” With this worry in your mind, you will not be able to make friends.
If you can be refreshed and get rid of your worries, you should be able to sense others’ thoughts and feelings without prejudice and build a relationship of trust. If you really can’t let go of your painful past experience, then try to change your perspective on the experience. For example, try to think that it was a necessary lesson for you to understand others’ pain. If you can think of the positive intention behind the event, then you will be able to view the experience favorably and feel better.
Working Hard to Develop Yourself
The second key point to making good friends is “working hard to develop yourself.” Specifically, that is building knowledge and experience to better yourself. This will broaden your relationships and you will be able to make good friends. A good relationship will not last if you only receive help from others one-sidedly. You need to have something to offer others.
First, read many books and gain plenty of knowledge. It is mentioned in Ryuho Okawa’s book, “Love, Nurture, and Forgive”, that by gaining knowledge and experience, you should be able to expand the range of your activities and give greater influence to others. Someone with a rich store of knowledge can talk about different kinds of topics depending on the other person’s interest. Also, people working hard to enhance themselves will be able to be a good influence on others.
In addition, try to acquire different kinds of experience. Try to challenge various things and do not be afraid of failure. Your experiences of going through a challenge or overcoming adversity should help to understand other people’s worries and be of help to encourage them. There are those that just by talking to them, you can feel uplifted or you feel like a knotted thread is disentangled and feel refreshed. Many people are attracted to people with a rich heart like this.
The Spiritual Bonds Between People
Finally, do not forget to appreciate the “spiritual bond” between people. I’ve met numerous people in Japan, the US, and Australia. In the beginning, I was confused by the differences in the views and cultures. After studying in the US, I got used to the American way of thinking. So when I first moved to Australia, I had negative thoughts about Australians, I thought they were quiet and passive. I felt that I couldn’t understand them and that I didn’t fit in. That is when I met the Happy Science teachings. I learned about how people go through reincarnation and are born again and again in different races and in different countries.
Therefore, I realized that the people I meet in this lifetime are spiritually connected to me from my past. We have known each other before. When I discovered this spiritual perspective, I reflected on my narrow-mindedness.
When I found out that people who I thought I couldn’t understand could be spiritually connected to me, I felt affection even for people I used to criticize. I felt that through eternity, the people we meet are all companions that go through spiritual refinement together. I felt a feeling of oneness and I was able to make many friends creating bonds of understanding and respect. Value and appreciate every spiritual bond between you and the people you meet and continue to work hard to develop yourself in order to assist others and be a good influence.