Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Krystal Clear Advice: How to Win Friends and Influence People... or just how to meet people

I recently moved to a new city and I’ve been finding it rather difficult to meet new people, how can I make this happen?

Whether the new move happens for educational reasons, career obligations or just simply for a change of scenery making new friends and finding interesting people can be a challenge.

The most difficult task is simply taking a risk and talking to people. I know personally, I have an issue with talking to strangers, but the only way to make them mean something is to ask them something; get a conversation started. Usually you can determine whether they are worth hanging out with again in a matter of minutes and then just act accordingly by either walking away if they’re lame or giving out your number if they seem cool. Making new friends is almost more difficult than finding lovers because you can’t show friends how much you like them by sticking your tongue in their mouths, instead there has to be a greater mental connection, which happens through stimulating the humor, intelligence and common interests you and the other person share.

Here are ten great ways to find that stimulation.

1) Coffee Shops—though a bit awkward at first, if you see someone reading a magazine you as well enjoy you, drinking some weird looking beverage that could be good, typing some intensive screenplay or whatever you can interrupt and start up a convo about said interests.

2) Music Venues—obviously you share the same taste in music, and of course, a similar love of music is the most important aspect of any great friend, so those who are at the same concert as you allows the perfect opportunity to narrow down the crowd and find someone humorous or intelligent to talk to while the bands are in between sets… this is usually based purely on appearance—though sometimes looks can be deceiving, drinking can help.

3) Art Openings—they have free wine and food. Even if you don’t meet anyone and the art sucks at least there is free alcohol. But generally art openings are perfect spaces for dialogue with people who generally are liberal-minded and open to new experiences.

4) Working at a crappy restaurant—the benefit of having a service-industry job is that you can often meet a lot of people who are as bitter and cynical as you. If you are not bitter and cynical than perhaps steer clear of the service industry sector or you will surely become that way. Anyway, after a long terrible shift full of bad tips and gross eaters you and your fellow servers/cooks/hosts etc. can go hit the town and complain about how much life sucks.

5) Craigslist—not for their weird personal ads section, but for the community section which lists classes and activities where you can select events that peak your interest. I suggest taking some type of class like yoga or cooking.

6) Craigslist also offers the “creative callings” which is also a great way to meet people that share similar mind sets when it comes to artistic endeavors. Or you can start your own artistic endeavor and meet people that way—Ryan started painted people and made all sorts of friends, as just one example.

7) Volunteer—not only will you feel good about your altruism, but you’ll also meet people who are out to feel good too—oh and there is the helping-others-thing that’s sort of important.

8) Attend a Lecture/Book Reading—many colleges and libraries have speakers come through on a regular basis, attend one that sounds interesting, perhaps it will be and perhaps there will be other people of interest as well. If not, they usually also have free food and sometimes even wine.

9) Get a dog. You’ll always have someone near you and it will give people a conversation starter when you’re walking down the street especially if said dog is particularly cute, fluffy and hops rather than walks. If you are in a building that can’t have dogs, become a dog walker—same gist.

10) Start a band. Then you’ll at least have three or so other people to hang out with even if you eventually hate them all. Also once your band starts playing shows you’ll meet people who want to be your friend just because you are in a band.

So. There you have it. Ten ways to possible meet new people—well you will definitely meet new people, whether you like them or not, well that’s up to you.

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