Is it okay to ask someone to be your friend?
Last week, I saw an Instagram reel about asking people to be friends. I decided to share it on my Instagram story and ask if people thought it was okay to ask someone to be your friend.
83% of people that participated in the poll thought it was okay to ask for friendship, while 17 thought it wasn’t.
I also asked what people thought, and I got a few responses.
Here’s what I think.
I think it’s okay to ask someone if they can be friends with you, so I’m definitely for the yeses.
However, I believe both asking and not asking have advantages and disadvantages. I also think not asking and allowing the friendship to flow is the safe option here.
Here’s a response that sums it up.
I’ll be talking about the disadvantages and advantages of asking directly.
The disadvantages of asking for friendship directly
If you ask someone to be your friend, you should prepare for what could come with it.
1. People may find it weird.
2. It can make the other party (the one you’re asking) uncomfortable. They might not know how to respond to that request, and sometimes they feel pressured, which brings me to my next point.
3. It puts pressure on both you and the person you asked. I’ll talk about this soon.
4. They can reject your proposal, so prepare for that.
5. Sometimes you are taken for granted because you approached them, so accepting might feel like a favour. They might not consciously realize this, but it happens.
6. Sometimes, the person might not be worth it. You might like their vibe (or whatsoever thing is drawing you to them) from afar, but when you get close, it might not be what you want close to you. That makes it difficult to break the friendship without it being somehow because, to an extent, you’ve made an unsaid commitment.
Speaking to point 3 about putting pressure on both parties
When you ask someone to be your friend, it puts pressure on them to respond and act positively to your request, especially if the person is being nice and finds it difficult to say no.
You’ll soon realize there won’t be a connection, and things may feel forced, awkward, and uncomfortable. Eventually, that friendship may not amount to much and will fizzle out quickly.
How does it put pressure on the person who asked for friendship?
If you ask someone for friendship, you should be ready to make it work. See it like shooting your shot romantically (boy or girl).
When you shoot your shot, it’s an unspoken responsibility to put in the effort until the person you accept you comfortably.
It all rests on you to make plans, intentionally communicate, and so on. Just as with shooting your shot romantically, you need a plan. You don’t expect the person you asked to be your friend to make plans or put so much effort into communicating with you. You want to make it easy at first.
Believe me when I say it’s a lot of work and pressure. It can also be exhausting. If you have to go through that, the person has to be worth it. Again, just as with shooting your shot romantically, you’re prepared to put in the effort because you believe the person is worth it. You’re committed to at least making it work until it doesn’t.
Remember that your effort might translate to nothing because it may work out, or it may not, and that’s okay. That’s life.
The advantage of asking directly
The advantage of asking directly is that the person sees your intentions and can consider if they can make that friendship work. The person, knowing your intentions, can also commit to being friends with you because you have stated why you want them in your life. With this, you both know what you want and can work directly toward it.
Secondly, when you go with the flow or indirectly try to make someone your friend by investing your time or resources in them, they still might not give the way you want. You might want them in your close circle, but they have no interest in being there. They have no idea that you hang out with them and invest in the relationship because you are trying to bring them into your close circle.
As a result, you get exhausted or unhappy that they are not doing what you expect of them. Directly asking if someone wants to be friends solves this.
If you tell them you want them in your circle as good friends, they could give you some allowance to make it work. It also lets them see your intentionality towards them.
Again, it’s risky, it may not work, but it’s an advantage to consider.
Why I think not asking for friendship directly is a safe option
If you want someone to be your friend and you don’t ask directly, chances are, you’re indirectly chasing the friendship and letting it flow. Doing so is good and safe because as you interact with them, you can tell if there’s a real connection and if you want them close.
Sometimes, we like people from afar, but when we draw a little close, we might see that we don’t want them in our close circle for different reasons. Therefore being an outer circle friend and acquaintance is enough.
When that happens, unlike asking directly, which makes you feel like you’ve entered a commitment since you asked, you could pull out and stop drawing close. That’s very safe. You don’t have to feel bad for pulling out after asking and getting the person interested and committed.
With not asking directly, there’s no commitment whatsoever. You’re free to withdraw effort into the friendship, no questions asked. You’re also free to stop pursuing the friendship when you feel like it or see something you don’t want.
In summary, and in my opinion, asking someone to be your friend is okay. You only have to be prepared for what’s at stake. Secondly, you need to know when to ask directly and when to let it flow.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on this in the comment section.