Some people have all the luck when it comes to meeting the right people. Or so it seems. You know the ones we're talking about: those lucky individuals who seem to have the knack for effortlessly meeting and getting to know the people they want to meet. They're not necessarily smarter or more beautiful than the rest of us, but they seem to have something that draws others to them like a magnet.
It's true, some of us do have the ability to meet others naturally. The good news is, this is no accident of birth but a skill that you too can learn. The purpose of this book is to help you acquire that all-important skill, first by helping you find and create your ideal people-meeting environment, and then by letting you know how others successfully make contact, build rapport, and form lasting friendships and relationships.
If you've been feeling out of your element in situations supposedly designed for meeting other people, you're not alone. A large majority of the people we interviewed for this book felt the same way. Many of them suffered through less-than-wonderful people-meeting situations before they realized that it's difficult to find the right person in the wrong place. How do you find that right place? The fun social activities you love are the key to finding the right place-and the right people. So anytime you feel out of place in a social situation, you know that a key ingredient is missing. And that ingredient is your kind of fun activity.
In the hundreds of interviews we've done, in our own personal experience, and in the seminars we've led on how to meet people, one theme came up over and over again. The times we meet and get to know new friends most easily and enjoyably are naturally those times we are engaged in the activities we love. Of course, there are exceptions. All of us know people who met and became close during power blackouts, in hospitals-even at funerals. It's possible to meet someone through friends and neighbors, at work or at school, and yes, at singles' bars. But if these settings haven't worked well for you, perhaps you need to make fun an integral part of your people-meeting plan.
If the idea of planning how you're going to meet people seems too cold and calculating, consider the alternatives: doing the same old things that haven't worked, or leaving it to chance. You probably thought very carefully before accepting the job you now have; you prepared a resume to reflect who you are and what you're looking for. You spent many hours researching job openings, and you probably examined the company as thoroughly as they examined you. All of this preparing, planning, and strategizing seems quite natural when it comes to our careers, but we sometimes forget that we can use these same skills to select and meet the people we want to meet.
It isn't that our social life is less important than our work life; some studies say it's more important. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley found that people without spouses or friends had a death rate more than twice as high as those with social ties. This held true for both sexes and for all age groups and social classes and seemed to have little connection with other lifestyle factors such as drinking, smoking, or stress. The more such social ties, the lower the death rate.
Another Berkeley study of 3,000 Japanese-American men found that those who retained strong ties to the Japanese community showed a markedly lower incidence of heart disease, even when they smoked, drank, and were under stress. On the other hand, those men who had little or no connection to the community had five times as much heart disease. Researchers could only conclude that close social ties made the difference.
But meeting people is far more than a human need—it is a lifetime adventure. If you look back over your life, you'll notice that the best times you've had were times you shared with other people. Take a few moments right now to think about some of those great times and persons who've enriched your life. Just as those you have met have shaped who you are, so the people you have yet to meet will have a profound impact on your future. In light of this, don't you think that actively pursuing a social plan is at least as important as career planning?
If the people in our lives are so important to us, why do we so often leave meetings to chance, fate, and others' ideas of what we "ought to do" to meet people? For one thing, most of us grew up believing that we meet others "naturally." And most of us did through our families, on our block, at church or school. When we were in high school, and even college, an entire community of our peers was available to us daily. But now that we are adults in a highly mobile society, our workplace and communities may not provide this ready-made pool of potential friends. Many forget this and passively wait for the right people to come along. Or, they haunt the singles' bars, hoping the right person will cross their paths there—even though they sense they don't have a ghost of a chance.
People are often reluctant to actively plan how they will meet others because having a plan seems to directly contradict the romantic notion of the "magical meeting" with an exotic stranger. Let us assure you that designing and planning doesn't destroy the magic, but actually increases the chances of it occurring with the right person. By looking in the right places, you're most likely to find the ones who'll be magic for you-those likely to like you for who you are.
The principles we spell out in this book are simple, but often overlooked as you search for friends and lovers in settings that may be right for others, but are wrong for you. If you have the sense that you are the right person in the wrong milieu, you'll find this book a friendly guide for doing the things you love to do with the individuals you'd like to meet, and helping you create a network of friends-and maybe even for finding a life mate. We can't guarantee magic, but we can help you increase the possibility that magic will happen simply by shifting the emphasis from pressure to fun. This book will also help you:
Zero in on your favorite social activities and turn them into enjoyable ways to meet the right people.
Identify those you want to meet so you'll know them when you meet them.
Discover and select the right people-meeting settings for you.
"Grow your own fun" instead of waiting for it to come to you.
Prepare for having fun by having fun preparing.
Feel comfortable and confident in new social situations.
Establish rapport easily, ask for future contact comfortably, and if necessary, exit gracefully.
Use fun activities to turn acquaintances into friends.
“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic”. — Peter Drucker
The shift from manual workers who do as they are being told — either by the task or by the boss — to knowledge workers who have to manage themselves ↓ profoundly challenges social structure …
“Managing Oneself is a REVOLUTION in human affairs.” … “It also requires an almost 180-degree change in the knowledge workers’ thoughts and actions from what most of us—even of the younger generation—still take for granted as the way to think and the way to act.” …
These pages are attention directing tools for navigating a world moving toward unimagined futures.
It may be a step forward to actively reject something (rather than just passively ignoring) and then figure out a coping plan for what you’ve rejected.
Your future is between your ears and our future is between our collective ears — it can’t be otherwise. A site exploration starting point
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