STARING OVER AGAIN
By Harlan Jacobsen
NOW THAT I'VE SAID "HI THERE," WHAT DO I DO TO MAKE A FRIEND OUT OF A STRANGER?
Starting with an initial comment or question about what is going on about you (small talk) gives them a second or two to decide whether it is OK for you to invade their personal "territory" bubble. They can back away, respond, move closer, or not respond.
NEXT, STATE SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF, OR YOUR FEELINGS IN A POSITIVE MANNER, OR WHAT YOUR CURRENT CONCERNS ARE, ETC.
Then ask them a question that requires more than a yes or no answer. For example, I am just new in town and I am finding it difficult to meet other single people. Where do you go to meet people?
NEXT, MAKE SOME OBSERVATIONS OR HUNCH YOU HAVE ABOUT THE OTHER PERSON
They will respond with its correctness or incorrectness and may elaborate further if interested. For example, you look like you are the outdoor type. Do you play tennis?
Depending on the likely duration, you may or they may be splitting momentarily (elevator, for example), so you must often decide almost instantly-do I want to see this person again (or longer)? You will need to make a suggestion or ask a question do you have time for a cup of coffee? Or how about getting together for a cup of coffee later?
One of the best gimmicks for meeting someone you want to see again is a suggestion I heard recently. This is the break away key ring. Put about 15 old keys on a ring that you can open readily. In a situation such as the elevator meeting "accidentally" have your break away key ring come apart and spill all these keys all over the floor.
They will get down and help you pick them up. Afterwards, you can suggest, "Thank you for helping me. May I buy you a cup of coffee?"
AVOID USING THE INTERVIEW TECHNIQUE
This is the long series of questions like, how long have you lived here? How many children do you have? and on and on.
INSTEAD STATE WHERE YOU ARE (SHARING) AND THEN GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO RESPOND
For example, "I'm just new to being single and I'm still uncomfortable at meeting new people. Have you been single long?"
You can then move further with more personal "sharing" and when they respond with something equal of their own personal sharing you can get even more personal. If they do not respond with something as personal you need to be careful not to go much further in intimate sharing until they do too. Sort of like a see-saw if you move in too far it upsets the balance and the other becomes uncomfortable up in the air and "falls off."
USE THE OTHER PERSON'S NAME AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE
By using their name you are letting them know you are interested and giving them a good feeling. Use their name several times in conversation and be sure to use their name in parting.
YOU HAVE SOMETHING THAT EVERYBODY WANTS AND NEEDS
You may hoard it or give it out freely. The more you give it away the more you have and the better you are able to distribute it. Everyone wants and needs respect, recognition and attention and you have it to give.
Now if you are newly divorced and are personally starved for respect, recognition and attention from other, you may say, I just don't feel capable of giving when I am not receiving.
NO MATTER HOW STARVED YOU ARE, YOU CAN STILL PRACTICE GIVING THESE TO OTHERS
Most newly divorced are like a vacuum cleaner, they suck up these things but don't give any out. Then they wonder why they are not well received and popular.
PRACTICE GIVING RESPECT, RECOGNITION AND FULL ATTENTION TO OTHER SINGLES YOU MEET
Everybody not just Mr. or Ms. Right candidates or prospects. Practice, practice, practice until it becomes automatic, natural and fun.
TAKE SOME COURSES, READ SOME BOOKS, LEARN HOW BY PRACTICING EXPERIMENTING
When you go out and meet people, go out with the idea you are "practicing." Amazingly, when you are just "practicing" things work better. If you get in lots of practice you have a successful evening.
ORGANIZED SINGLES GROUPS MAY APPEAR TO YOU TO BE CLIQUISH
Actually they have shared some things together and have some strength in their relationships as a result. They have done or shared nothing with you. Get in there and share some experiences together. Soon you will be a well-accepted part of the group.
Become a doer. Every group needs help in activities. Participate, help out to make things go and the group succeed. You will have all sorts of reasons to have contact with others and soon you will be a well-accepted member of the group.
IN GROUPS OR ORGANIZATIONS YOU CAN DEVELOP NUMBERS OF FRIENDS BY SHARING EXPERIENCES
Whenever you accomplish something together, or overcome some resistance together with other people, you develop a sort of friendship "bond." Even with individuals sharing a job such as organizing a party and making it a success together develops a bond.
Going on a whitewater trip and "surviving" by working together builds a bond. Anything where you are actively doing something or overcoming a resistance together, or sharing a unique and active fun trip or experience together helps build a bond of friendship and builds strength in a friendship.