- My age:
- I am 49
- Where am I from:
- Iris color:
- Cold gray-blue
On a recent road trip with my best friendI came to a surprising realization: we've known each other for years, we live together, we spend all day texting and all night gabbing, and yet there's still plenty we don't know about each other. Somewhere in the midst of constant interaction and communication, we have failed to connect all the dots. There are things you can ask your best friend that will make your bond stronger — for instance, though I know that my best friend likes to watch old episodes of Seinfeld when she's sad, I don't know the right things to stay after she gets in a fight with her mom or gets rejected from a job she applied for. It occurred to me that many adult friendships, especially between roommates, can escalate quickly, creating a false sense of intimacy and closeness that takes an extra effort to create something more authentic and honest. Whilst stuck in traffic somewhere along the thruway, my best friend and I cycled through our usual topics: social gossip, celebrity rumors, family drama, relationship woes, financial stress, and a lot of grunting and moaning regarding the slow pace of traffic.
Up until a year agoI saw the world as a place where very few doors opened for me. At first I thought it was due to being extremely introverted. But as time went on, I started to struggle with making friends. My few closest friends always told me to a club or go to parties. People always told me where to meet people. But they never really showed me how to actually create conversation.
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On top of that, I never really liked going to big social gatherings. I like talking one-on-one.
So I decided to do things my own way. I started talking to strangers on my college campus and in the city because I was tired of staying on the sidelines.
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Great things come to those who are willing to risk rejection and put themselves out there. After two months of doing this, I made some great friends, simply by starting conversations. There is always the choice to talk to whom I want to talk to. I asked people what drink they bought from the coffee shop. I asked someone about her customized bike. I asked people to share opinions on things that affected me.
Some people opened up to me. Some people stayed shut down. Some of them continued talking about themselves when I put the spotlight on them. Others simply answered my question and left the conversation there. All of these interactions allowed me to understand how to engage with people.
For example, I learned that tone and body language are more important than saying the right thing. Through my experiences, I learned that people are usually friendly and happy to talk to you. It was up to me to create my own opportunities by connecting with people.
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Besides feeling more connected, I feel happier knowing that I have the power to talk to whomever I want to. More opportunities arrived by networking with others.
For example, I was able to pursue photography with a new friend simply because I reached out and asked. You have to be willing to put yourself out there to start a conversation. I noticed that people are welcoming after you break the ice.
However, more people are welcoming than we generally expect. How many times have you worried about a worst- case situation only to find out that it turned out much better than you anticipated? If they passed up on the opportunity to connect with you, then they missed out on something great.
This is your life, and you have the right to talk to whomever you want to talk to. Not everyone is that open. Allow them to be how they are and think how they do, without letting it challenge your courage. One of the best ways to combat the fear is to do it repeatedly. Push through the fear and it will start to feel more natural. The fear may never fully subside, but if you continue to battle through it, the momentum you create will be more powerful than the remaining fear. For example, when I feel terrified of approaching someone, I think back to a calming moment or a moment that made me laugh.
If your intentions are authentic, you will come across that way more and more each time you try.
It made me learn what I needed to work on. The best way to keep someone interested in a conversation is to show an interest in their life. Everyone likes to talk about themselves. Laughter makes the conversation fun and joyful. People enjoy talking with others who make them laugh.
If you find a keyword that helps you figure out their interest, try to talk about that. I noticed that people relaxed themselves when I smiled first. When I continued smiling throughout the conversation, they smiled back and really opened themselves up to deeper conversation.
Take a chance today and talk to someone new. Photo by Zach Dischner. Matt Ramos is a college student who wants to make the world a better place. You can read his blog at theapproachmachine. He writes about rejection, breaking social barriers, and altruism as a means of overcoming his struggle with social anxiety while making the world less boring. This site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The content on Tiny Buddha is deed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment.
“hey, [mutual friend], what do you think?”
It's not about me. It's about us. Your stories and your wisdom are just as meaningful as mine. It was scary for a naturally timid person like me, but I decided to fight the fear. Here are the 11 tips I learned about turning strangers into friends: 1. Detach yourself from the outcome. Tolerate rejection.
If you feel the fear, do it anyway. Make it about them. Talk about their interests, opinions, and ideas. Then respond to what they share. Make them laugh. Try to discover their core passion. If you see their eyes light up when they talk about something, ask more questions about that. Go out and smile! Smiling gives a good first impression. Practice in the mirror. Then smile to the world.
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Imagine that the other person is already your friend. About Matt Ramos Matt Ramos is a college student who wants to make the world a better place. Web More Posts. See a typo or inaccuracy? Please so we can fix it!
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