As my Dad always says, "It begins with you."
Don't ever wait for someone kind enough to be friends with you.
You GO and first be a friend to someone who needs a friend too.
I think one of the reasons why so many of us feel helpless at crossing barriers or making new friends in a new place or a new culture is the simple fact that we have gotten the whole concept of friendship wrong from the start. And if you have ever experienced bullying before, never remain in that dark place of seeing yourself as the victim. You can rise above it by reaching to others around you (once you open your eyes to truly see) who are also facing the same things, or worse.
See, often when we think of making friends, we are thinking solely of ourselves. We are thinking about what 'those people' will think of us. Even the most confident people have these thoughts cross their minds.
But what if we flipped this around and started to think about the people around us more than we worried about ourselves and how few or many friends we have?
What if we stopped thinking about trying to 'fit in' into a particular group or clique (I've always harboured a healthy disdain for cliquey-ness) and instead focused our minds on making others feel included, accepted and loved?
Can we choose each new day, in each place we step foot in, to be less of a narcissist and more of a catalyst for breaking barriers and being the instigator for awesome things to happen between people?
It takes courage. It no doubt takes self-lessness and ultimately, love. Real love takes heart, mind and soul to operate as a whole.
I have always reminded myself, don't worry about whether or not people want to befriend you. Don't ever worry about your 'status'. For goodness sake, break the status quo and rise beyond it!
I've always made it a point, to open my unseeing eyes to see the people around me who need a friend, who need someone to look out for them, to say an encouraging word to them. But to be honest, many times I have failed to be this kind of a person. I have failed to look out for others more than I've looked out for myself. I am 'by nature' pretty darn selfish. But the point is not that we fail. The point is that we try to rise above our failure to act, to care, to stand up when we must, and to be the friend God calls us to be to those who are on their own.
~ J a n i e ll e