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How to Make Friends

SOFTEN. This word can help your make friends. An acronym (each letter stands for something) created by psychologist Arthur C. Wassmer, Ph.D, author of Making Contact, SOFTEN will remind you to:

Smile. "Smiling says I enjoy being with you," says Dr. Wassmer. "It's a voluntary act. Anyone can do it."

Open Posture. Let your body say your want to be friends. Uncross your arms and legs. The more open your posture, the more welcoming.

Forward Lean. If your lean toward people, they get the message that you're interested in them and they'll like your for it.

Touch. Touch is one of the most powerful nonverbal ways of communicating. Try shaking hands with two hands. Or, pat your friend on the back.

Eye Contact. Another potent way to express interest, attention and respect.

Nod. People love it when you nod when they're talking. It doesn't mean you agree, just that you're attentive.

If you're shy, practicing these behaviors will eventually change how your feel, says Dr. Wassmer. And if your find it hard to make friends, he suggests that you try thinking of other people not as demanding, but as needy. "People want just what your want," says Dr. Wassmer; "a little love, a little attention, a little gentleness. Think of yourself as a powerful giver of gifts."

(From Emotional Health, by Myron Brenton and the Editors of Prevention Magazine, Pub.—Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, 1985, p 76)



In a survey of human-resource professionals by Adia Personnel Services, 94% agreed that “frequent thank you’s help motivate staff and reduce turnover.” Some 4% felt that “a performance review is the appropriate place for rewarding employees.” Less than 1% refuse to subscribe to the management philosophy, “catch them doing something right.” More information from Adia Personnel Services, 64 Willow Pl., Menlo Park, CA 94025.

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