Want friends? Don’t look for Common Interests

Has this ever happened to you? You find someone who likes the same thing you do. Maybe it’s a book, a movie, a music artist, a kind of beer. You feel an immediate affinity with them and think “why don’t we hang out?”

I mean, you have something in common. You finally found someone who shares the same interest in whatever niche and minor thing you like.

But when you sit down and get to talking, what happens?

For sure, you talk about that thing you have in common for a few minutes. And then?


It turns out “Find someone with the same interests as you” isn’t really good advice for making friends.

But if that’s the case, then why is it that some people who have something in common easily become friends, while others just chat for a bit and then run out of things to talk about?

It’s about common creativity – not common interests

Some people make friends, while others don’t:

  • People who play sports make friends, while people who like watching the sport don’t.
  • Writers make friends with other writers, but people who like the same books don’t.
  • People who make music make friends with other artists, but people who like the same music don’t.

The main topic is the same, so why is there a difference?

It’s because one is focused on consumption and the other on creation.

I’ve seen this in my own life, too.

How I made friends through creativity

Recently, I’ve been really into making espresso at home. It’s not about the caffeine rush. I love the art of the preparation: how changing one small aspect of it can lead to a very different taste, how different beans require different methods and recipes. I’m always in search of making a butter cup.

And through this I’ve made connections and friends with people all over Europe.

But that’s where this topic caught my interest. I’ve been interested in Tea, Beer, and certain niche music genres and artists. Whenever I found someone with a similar interest I would get excited and connect with them, maybe get some tea or a beer or listen to that music.

But we never really kept in touch.

Why was it that tea and music lead to dead ends while this coffee made me great connections?

It has to do with consumption, not creativity.

 My other hobbies – tea, beer, music – were focused on consumption.

While my coffee hobby was focused on creation. It wasn’t the consumption of the coffee, but the creation of a great cup of coffee that was my main focus.

To Be Human is to Create

At the time of writing I’m only 31 years old. But even at this age, the older I get the more I realize that creating is what gives life meaning.

Of course consuming music, media, good foot etc is great.

But we need a balance of consumption and creation. You need a balance of eating and exercise.

I’ve been much more happy when I’ve applied myself to a new skill or creating something instead of just consuming. And over consumption – both mentally and physically – leads to all sorts of problems.

In today’s consumerist world, we are being bombarded with messages to consume: buy this car, eat this food, enjoy this luxury, take these drugs and our collective mental health is hitting all time lows.

But when we find a task or hobby where we can focus on creation, life gets brighter. It’s in this spirit of creation that our lives find meaning and we can fully connect with those around us.


Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.

But I say to you that when you work you fulfill a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when the dream was born,

And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,

And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.

  • The Prophet By Kahlil Gibran

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