What is the formula for friends? My mom used to tell me and my brother when we were little that you have to go right up and stick out your hand firmly and introduce yourself and just ask, "Would you like to be my friend?" I have to admit, this did work the two times I tried it, so I cannot dispute it's effectiveness.
We live in a very sensitive culture. People can no longer take a joke it seems. Say the wrong thing (which I am famous for) and you have an enemy forever.
Here is what they say, or at least what I have heard:
1. Don't talk religion.
2. Don't talk politics.
3. Don't just talk about yourself.
#1 Not true. You can talk about religion as long as you are not arrogant and dismiss the other person's beliefs. It is very off-putting to make another person feel stupid for not agreeing with you about a very personal and sensitive topic. As I have said before... most beliefs are based on emotion. There is usually an emotional reason that you believe what you believe about religion or God. Be kind and humble and there won't be a problem.
#2 Pretty true. Sometimes just because you like or don't like someone for public office, someone may dismiss you. I don't know why people get so riled up about 95% liars, but they do. People will sometimes be more willing to dismiss the 95% agreement for the 5% disagreement. It sucks, but people will still like you if you love them. Talk about your similarities and you will win them over.
#3 True. People want to talk usually. Open yourself up to really listen and you generally have your friend in your hands. You don't have to leave yourself out of the equation, as people love to step into another's life, but leave a lot of room for their lives and you are golden. You will have a friend because you cared enough to listen.
It really boils down to the golden rule. Live that and most people will love you