There seems to be a motto amongst (most) children in regards to making friends and it goes something like:
“You’re doing what I’m doing! Let’s do it together!”
“You’re doing what I want to do! Let’s do it together!”
Somewhere along the line our approach to friendship-making changes and I’ve heard many adults say that they just don’t have time for new friends anymore. With work commitments, a lower metabolism as a result of aging which equals more time thinking about working out (whether you do or don’t) and the huge commitment of being available to your family – the concept of starting a brand new relationship could sound like a lot of work. If we connect with someone there’s usually the expectation or at least desire to see each other again, that is, unless you’re six years old. If you’re around the age of six you can make a best friend in one day, call them your best friend, have the best day of your life, share snacks, give away valuables and then never see them again. In fact the next day you may even hear your six year old say, “I had such a great day yesterday with my best friend!….what’s her name again?” I admire this guilt-free approach to new friendship. Why can’t we do this as adults? And get your mind out of the gutter if you’re thinking….Yeah, this is called a one night stand.
Think about it…
What if you could have the best day ever with someone you meet for the first time and then (if you so choose) never see them again? According to my six year old, this is how it’s done:
1. First you have to be at a new place where you won’t know anyone. Meeting a new best friend for one day is not something you do at school or a month long camp. If you run into someone you know chances of finding a new best friend for the day will be limited. Week Day Camp is a good option as well. Just know that if it’s a week long than you’ll have the new best friend for the whole week. Breaking up friendships mid-camp is heartbreaking.
2. If there are multiple options for someone new to meet don’t cast your net too wide. You may just be committing to ‘best friends for a day’ but you still want it to be a solid friendship based in knowledge and caring….like remembering their name if you can.
3. Once you find your new possible friend, stand there and stare at them. You will both slowly walk towards each other. This dance of the new friendship makes everyone barf a little in their mouth (especially if you are being watched by a parent who desperately just wants you to make a new friend the first day of camp – like if your mother is Allana Harkin who breaks into a full body sweat dropping you off on day one). The nervier of the two will be the first to say “Hi My name is (insert name here). What is yours?” If the person just stands there staring at you that doesn’t mean you still can’t be best friends. But when someone asks you the name of your friend you just need to say “I don’t know” or “She doesn’t talk but she likes to run.”
4. At some point in the day you will have a strong desire to give your new best friend something that you own. Feel free to go with this impulse. Just know that later that evening right before bed you may ask – “Hey! Where is my Hello Kitty bracelet?”. Once you realize you gave it to your new best friend who you no longer remember what they look like, you may feel remorse and then bawl for an hour. But that is the price of have a new best friend for ONE DAY.
5. Sharing food with your new best friend is a solid way to cement the friendship. Just make sure you have chips on you or have access to Doritos before you offer them. An non-performing chip offer is a sure way to dampen a new best friend relationship.
6. When the day is done and you have had the “best day ever” with your new best friend you don’t always have to say goodbye. Just run away. Of course it’s always best to be polite and perhaps offer a hug or high five but running also seems to be effective and sends the message – WE NEVER HAVE TO SEE EACH OTHER AGAIN.
7. When friends or parents ask you about your new best friend from your great day don’t feel you have to remember their name. And when someone asks “Should we get their phone number?” Just say “Why?”
8. Finally, bask in the beauty of being fully present with a new person for one day without thinking… I’ll get to know them better next time. There could be no next time: Just right now, walking barefoot in the grass, enjoying a new cocktail (alcoholic or not) and knowing that the world is full of interesting people… like that one person you may meet for one brief moment in time.
Now go meet someone new.
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