One way to look at friendship is as a goal, complete with milestones to reach the goal.

How to identify and reach various milestones can be made a bit easier by identifying tasks and their sequence. Tasks build up into process steps (both can have milestones). As the processes becoming completed, the goal can be reached (stronger friendships, more enduring friendships and/or a greater number of friendships say).

The suggested set of inputs are; you, your personality, social catalysts, event hosts, event & transaction fees, the set of friendship prospects, actual new friends, actual existing friends, the event frequency and duration, event quotes (suggested get togethers), event bookings (agreements), scheduled events (confirmed meetings), the other person’s goodwill gestures, your need from the other person, the value of the relationship payoff to you, the cost to build the relationship to you, your ask of the other person, their negotiation, your reciprocal support level to them, the state of your ‘goodwill bank’ and the number of ‘bad debts’ (unsuccessful examples from the above efforts).

How do such inputs translate into processes? Broadly, there are some preliminary processes (the starting things such as ‘you’ through to the ‘event & transaction fees’ in the list above), some ‘prospect and friend’ processes (the list from ‘prospects’ to ‘actual existing friends’ above), some ‘event arranging’ processes (‘event frequency’ to ‘scheduled events’ in the above list), the event itself, and some post-event processes (‘goodwill gestures’ onwards in the list above). Within each process are various process steps. These can be broken down also into tasks.

To reach the goal faster, suggest managing the tasks and processes more effectively. An example in the preliminary set of processes, is in first understanding more about ‘you’ (ask others for feedback), to increase your likelihood of friendship success.

Sometimes, as for companies, it’s better to invest your time and energy in developing existing customers (friendships) than neglecting them in favour of ‘greener pastures’, which may not endure and are of unproven value in any case.

You also want as few ‘refunds’ (e.g. your input being completely under-valued by the other person, resulting in a level of excessive investment by you with no payoff) and ‘rework’ (e.g. a mis-communication resulting in the other person becoming offended, or one party having to rebuild the trust in the relationship) as possible, to be generated along the way, since both will slow the process down.

Good luck.

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