Izzy Kalman teaches how to make friends. Check out his blog http://bullies2buddies.com
“Now, let me teach you about baboons. Baboons are apes that live in the plains of Africa, and in many ways, they are like human beings. Like our ancestors, they live in tribes. But they are also extremely strong and dangerous. A human being would stand no chance in a fight with a baboon, and if they fight with each other, they can be deadly.
Male baboons don’t live forever in the same tribe. When a male baboons grows up, he leaves the safety of his own tribe and looks for another tribe to join, and he’ll probably live there for the rest of his life. But the young male baboon can’t just walk into the middle of a strange tribe and say, “Hey, I’m here to join. Where do I sign up?” He is a stranger to them, and they don’t need him. They’ve been getting along fine before he came along. They would see him as a dangerous enemy if he suddenly intruded into their tightly knit tribal group, and they would tear him to pieces. In order to accept him, they must first trust him and then get to like him.
So you know what the baboon does? It’s really quite amazing. He sits himself down far away from the tribe, but in a place where they can easily see him. Since he is far away and not acting in a threatening manner, they are not very scared of him. And then he just sits and waits. He waits days, weeks, and sometimes even months. His patience is really amazing. Can you imagine sitting for months near a group of people and having no real contact with them?! But that’s exactly what the baboon does. Little by little, he sits closer. They start getting used to him being there, and they lose fear of him. Then the children, who are by nature curious and adventurous, start going near him. They play with him, and he plays with them. Then some of the young women get curious, too, because they are as interested in meeting new guys as he is interested in meeting new girls. And eventually, he is inside the group. They have gotten used to him, they have gotten to like him, and he belongs.
You, too, can learn from the baboons. It will work the same way. Find the group you like, but don’t work hard. Do not try to force your way in, because they may push you out. Just hang out near them, and relax. If one of them notices you and starts up a conversation, then that’s wonderful, and you’ll probably be inside quicker. But if they don’t, don’t despair. Look around and find a group member who interests you and looks friendly, and start talking to him. What if you can’t think of anything? The easiest way to start a conversation is to pay him a compliment. Make it genuine. Think of something you believe the person would really enjoy being complimented about. He will probably be so grateful to you for noticing that he will tell you all about it, and before you realize it, you’ll have a new friend. That friend will be your key into the group.
The important thing is to have patience. Remember the baboon sitting quietly in the distance, and try to be like him. The kids will end up accepting your presence and will even forget that you were once not part of them. And the good thing is that people are quicker to accept others than baboons are. It won’t take months to belong. Members of the group will gradually start talking to you, and things will move quicker and quicker. It will probably be a matter of days, or a couple of weeks at the most, till you are considered to be part of the group. Just remember to be calm and to be yourself. Tell yourself, “I don’t care if they don’t accept me,” and they will end up accepting you more quickly. You’ll know how successful you are by how much fun you’re having. If you are enjoying being with them, you can be sure they are enjoying being with you in return.”