Making Friends

The process of making a friend is a very unique one. Itdepends on the person one is trying to become friends with, itdepends on one's gender, it depends on one's age, but mostimportantly it depends one's personality. Every individual isdifferent and how they make friends differs just as greatly. Theway I make friends depends heavily on my personality. As anintroverted person, I tend to first meet potential friends throughwhat I call forced association. After the initial meeting, Ievaluate them and determine whether or not I think they should bemy friend. Bonding, specifically male bonding, follows andacceptance is the final stage.
Before I can delve into the sometimes mysterious process ofbecoming friends with someone, I have to divulge some personalinformation. I am a great believer in personality typing: thetheory that a great majority of people fall into one personalitytype or another. A complete analysis of my personality is notwithin the scope of this essay, but suffice it to say that I amvery introverted. This does not mean I am anti-social, it merelymeans that new and non-routine interaction with others taxes myenergy. The process of making a new friend is by definition a newand non-routine interaction, therefore it is quite difficult for meto initiate the process. This is where the concept of forcedinteraction comes in. By forced interaction, I mean a situationwhere another person and I are placed in an environment where wehave no choice but to interact with each other. The largest andmost important type of forced interaction for me is school, andmore specifically, classes. It is impossible to be completelyseparate from other students in a class. Consequently, I met allmy best friends in school (of course, it was a place that I spentmost of my time so it is not a big surprise). Another type offorced interaction comes when you meet a friend of one of yourfriends. It would be extremely rude to not interact with someonethat your friend considered to be friend. That is the way that Imet a very close friend of mine and one who I will use as anexample of my friend-making process throughout this essay. Hisname is Andres and I originally met him through another friend ofmine, Josh. We were all going to the same high school next year(more forced association), so it was only natural for Josh to tryto have us all become friends. But I was not friends with Andreswhen I first met him. I had to figure out who he was before thatcould happen.
Evaluation has always been very important to me. I constantlyevaluate and re-evaluate myself, my friends, my schoolwork, and soforth, almost to the point of obsession. I am ruthlessly self-critical and it is only natural that this same criticism wouldextend to those I consider my friends. Before I can become friendswith someone, I have to determine whether or not I want to befriends with them. I have been told that this is an extremelyarrogant way of conducting relationships, but I find any other wayto be lacking. If one's own needs in a relationship are not metthen it is impossible for them to fulfill other's. The first stepin evaluation is the establishment of common ground. It is veryunlikely that I will become even casual friends with someone who Ihave nothing in common with. The more important to me thecommonality is, the more likely I will desire to become closefriends with someone. One of the first things I look for isintelligence. Part of my personality is the love of intelligence,which means: doing things well in varying circumstances. A veryimportant part of a friendship for me is intellectual stimulation. If it is missing, the friendship will invariably begin to wane. Sointelligence and knowledge are two things I look for almostimmediately in a new acquaintance. Andres possesses both of thesequalities and he possesses them in areas that we both findinteresting. Both of us have an aptitude for the sciences. Thiscontributed greatly to me finding him worthy to be my friend. Butknowledge and skills alone make a person boring, so I also look forcommon personality traits. A love of humor is also necessary, asis a low degree of self-monitoring: the degree to which peoplechange to match their surroundings. I am extremely low in thatarea as I tend to act the same in any situation. An actor wouldhave an extremely