If you find yourself hesitating and scared in social situations, then you probably realize how many opportunities for meeting and making friends you've missed out on. In this article, I'd like to share with you a set of techniques to overcome these reactions.
People usually make the mistake of thinking that having a great social life is reserved only for the most extroverted of us; while in reality , it boils down to having the right strategy.
The Difference Between Social Rejection And Normal Social Behavior
The common mistake is to interpret normal social behavior as rejection. Once you learn how to interpret what others are saying and doing, you'll realize how rare social rejection really is. For example, if someone doesn't have enough time for new friends, and can't meet you, it doesn't mean they're rejecting you.
See, even the most socially skilled people have this happen on a regular basis: they meet someone, the connection doesn't happen, they have nothing in common, they don't have time to meet, or the other person never calls because they're too busy.
The important thing is to accept this as a reality; not everyone you meet will be your friend, and not everyone who is interested in being friends with you will have the time for it.
Your best bet is to move on, and focus on learning how to make friends; as that's one of the most important life skills you can acquire.
Meeting New People: Private Venues vs. Public Venues
Meeting new people takes a lot of effort when you do not know how to do it. I really love efficiency, so I always focused on the quickest and easiest ways to meet new people.
I'd like to suggest that you probably think that public places, like pubs, clubs, and coffee shops can help you meet new people. Well, that's doing it the hard way. In public places, people usually come with their existing friends, and focus on them.
In private and semi-private places, you're way more likely going to meet interesting people that are compatible with you. These places can be birthday parties, private parties, or local communities you can find in forums, or meetup.com.
As a rule of thumb, go to places where people come alone or in pairs, and where it feels natural to everyone to walk up to someone and say, "Hi, my name is so and so."
When You Meet New People, See Through Their Eyes
When meeting people, you don't want to be in your head all the time, you have to focus outside yourself. You can achieve this by taking other people's perspectives when you first meet them. All you have to do is try to figure out how they're feeling, where they are in life, and what their unique opinions are.
If they share a situation that happened to them, imagine yourself in their shoes, and tell them what you would have felt in their place.
If you do this, you'll be regarded as a valuable person; a person who is generous and can stop thinking only of herself, to think about others. People really value those who can listen, understand, and tolerate. That's where you come in.
Get Others To Remember You By Showing Some Vulnerability
It is very important to get ready to open up a little more than usual, if you want to make friends. People need to know that you're able to trust them with some private information, before they can trust you with theirs.
This happens unconsciously of course; and politicians abuse this because they know it gets people to trust them. What you can do is be ready to share something quirky or funny about yourself; maybe a weird habit or a craving that makes you sound… human!
This instantly makes people want to get closer to you.
You don't have to reveal your wildest secrets here; all you have to do is show a little humanity in yourself by mentioning one of your quirks. People love this show of vulnerability, and will respect you for it.
Another way to do this is to avoid filtering your thoughts too much. Say more of what pops up in your head on the spot. This makes you sound like you're not hiding any weird agenda.
– Paul Sanders