In today’s world many people have found that online social networking has allowed them to be much more comfortable sharing their lives with others, albeit behind a computer screen. However, there are still many occasions where we need to get out in the real world and learn to have real face-to-face conversations.
If you’re looking for work, a date, fellowship, networking, whatever – you increase your chances by letting others know what you’re looking for by combining in-person socializing with internet socializing.
A pastor at Sunday Service once said, “There are two types of people, the introverts and the extroverts.” “Introverts need to get away from people to re-energize themselves and extroverts need to be around people to get energized.” One is not more important or better than the other. There are some people who are naturally very introverted yet can focus outside of their comfort zone in order to have conversations and mingle with others in a face-to-face, group, and one-on-one setting – the following 7 tips are for you.
1. Let your circle of friends (in-person or online) know that you’re looking to get out this weekend. There are many Meetups across the nation on every topic of interest that you could have. Make a list of your interests and check out when’s the next get together in your local church, school, and/or neighborhood. Get on the email blast for your local Meetup.
2. Make a goal of getting to know at least three people that you’ve never spoken to or met whenever you’re with a group of people and/or join new online groups.
3. Ask open-ended questions. Talk about work, school, church, where they grew up, sports, whatever you are comfortable with – have 3-5 questions you will use on a regular basis to break-the-ice when meeting new people. When you’re prepared and have a goal, meeting new people and getting to know them is not so hard.
4. Know a little about current events so you’ll have a topic to talk about.
5. If you feel you’re getting along, ask them if they are on Facebook or Twitter and you’d like to keep in touch.
6. Don’t share too much personal information. If you just broke up with someone or if you’re homeless, living with relatives – might just be TMI (too much information) for someone you just met and you want to keep the conversation light but flowing. Build upon a series of topics – don’t just drill sergeant your questions like you’re interrogating them, it’s a conversation.
7. Take a deep breath, relax, ease your way into the crowd. Go on, it’s okay, if one group doesn’t work or seems cliquish, go to the next group. Eventually you’ll find that with practice, you’ll be able to mingle like the extroverts. Then you can go home and recover until the next time and you’ll realize it wasn’t so hard after all.