We all have a variety of friend groups, and each has its own unique history.
Whether we met years ago in college or as recently as last week's yoga class, our friendships tend to take on their personalities. It’s only natural that if we love our friends, we want them to love each other too, and if we have a big upcoming event like a wedding or birthday party, we'll suddenly find our different friend "universes" merging as everyone comes together.
How do you introduce two friends (or friend groups) without the drama?
Here are 4 tips from our resident friendship expert, Danielle Bayard Jackson, to help you merge everyone without the awkwardness: [WATCH THE YOUTUBE VIDEO]
1. Prep the “outsider” friend.
To avoid any awkward moments, pull your friend aside before the group hang and give her any relevant information that can help her feel prepared. Perhaps you want to mention the group’s sense of humor or odd habits and even their political leanings. Sure, your friend should get to know the others on her own terms, but providing context can help put her at ease in an unfamiliar setting and potentially avoid uncomfortable interactions.
You can also help her prep topics that you know will help her to immediately chat with the rest of the group. This can eliminate the sometimes awkward challenge of trying to determine ways to join the conversation. Female friendships thrive on feelings of connection and understanding, so providing this kind of information upfront can help expedite the process of you all becoming friends!
2. Keep your "inside jokes" at bay.
Unless you’re in on the joke, you won’t get it. So while referencing that funny thing that happened during spring break might be inevitable, try to be mindful of the conversation lingering on the memory. Try to stick to common ground in your conversations, so no one feels left out. Think about topics everyone is familiar with or interested in, and make an effort to discuss those things instead.
If you do want to lean into talking about people, places, or experiences that a particular friend can't relate to (because she has no idea what you're talking about!), then make an effort to provide context or to give her the back story so she can at least follow along and feel your effort to invite her into the conversation.
3. Play "matchmaker" to facilitate connections.
The key to many successful friendship introductions is doing the work to help each person form their own respective relationships. Help your friends recognize certain commonalities and/ or talking points by making connections that don't necessarily include you.
Try something like, “Hey Jessie, how is your new puppy? You know, Natalie just adopted a dog too...” These kinds of introductions help your friends feel more familiar with one another without needing you to guide them through the entire hangout.
4. Encourage everyone to get together again.
You want to stoke the flames of these blossoming friendships, so don’t abandon the fire now! After you spend time together, individually offer your friends words of encouragement the following day. Try something like, “Hey Olivia, Whitney thought you were so funny last night. We need to do that again soon!” Letting everyone know-- on an individual level-- how their company was valued and appreciated can help prime things for the next gathering.
Remember, when you're introducing friends, you want them to feel comfortable with each other. And this is an effort you can make before, during, and after you spend time together.
The most important friend advice
Don’t stress out, and enjoy yourself! You have different friends for a reason: they all bring something unique to your life. And if your different friend groups don't necessarily do well when they all come together, it's okay. You can continue to maintain their friendships in siloes. These tips are here to help give you a solid starting point when introducing friends, and if they hit it off, even better.
For more tips on how to merge your friend groups successfully, check out this article which features advice from our resident friendship coach, Danielle Bayard Jackson.
If you have a more specific issue that you want to work through in real time (without judgement!), consider booking your one-on-one friendship coaching session.
And if you're tired of getting one-off tips and are in need of a deeper, more overall friendship transformation, you should probably consider joining our signature 8-week program, "Friendship Elevated" (which includes weekly videos, homework, and 4-5 coaching sessions!). Learn more here.
Danielle Jackson, Friendship Speaker
Have any questions about online friendship coaching or need an expert as a speaker? Check out our different personal coaching packages or contact us online for quick responses on any of your questions!
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