How healthy is your social life? Does it need improving?
Be honest now – I won’t tell anyone.
I can honestly say that right now, my social life needs improving, but that’s mainly because I’m one of those highly sensitive individuals that likes to hide away from the world when things get a little hectic.
I go through stages of introversion and extroversion – like some kind of Bi-talker disorder.
The thing is that I am not worried – many times in the past I have kick started my social life with several of the techniques that I will shortly introduce you to.
If your life needs a shot of social juice then I’m the guy to help (that sounds worse than it is). I’ve been there and I’ve successfully changed my life from one of boredom and no one to hang out with to one where I have options for a plethora of social situations.
It’s incredibly easy to do. The chances are that if you are a little bored and want something exciting to happen in your world, it’s only because you have allowed the laziness bug to infest your life.
You don’t even need to call an exterminator… just call a friend instead.
That’s often all it takes to make a difference to your day. Unless you’re a truly horrible person (and you wouldn’t be if you’re reading this, you’re awesome – really), you will have friends, colleagues and family that would love to hang out with you.
I know it’s tempting to get home after a long day and curl up on the sofa with just your cats for company, but they’re only interested in your ability to use a tin opener. They aren’t your true friends. Your real friends, whether from your past, your present or your future, are waiting for you to meet them halfway – and the only way to do that is to…
1. Start saying YES
Think about the best moments of your life – those memories that have lasted you a lifetime. Maybe the childhood summer that seemed to stretch for an eternity or that amazing first holiday away with your friends.
How about your first date with that special person or maybe the time when you last did something that really terrified you.
You know what all of these situations have in common? They were all filled with the word ‘yes’.
Every single one of them – filled with positivity and opportunity – a step into the unknown.
When you start saying yes, things happen. One of the reasons why your social life may be stagnating is because you have turned saying no into an art form. It’s an automatic response to protect you from the scary world.
You make excuses – ‘Sorry I can’t come out tonight, I’m washing the cat’.
Really, you WANT to do something new and exciting but somewhere down the line you lost the ability to be a yes person.
If you haven’t read the book ‘Yes man’ by Danny Wallace then I insist you go visit this link and purchase the damned thing. It is 10x better than the awful Jim Carrey movie and I really believe that it will change your perspective on life.
2. Get back in touch with your old friends
Are you worried that you don’t seem to have many friends these days? Do you struggle to think of people to text when you want to arrange a night out or a movie to see?
Put the thought of finding new friends out of your mind for a second and consider a new approach.
Think back to your best friends from 5 years ago – who were they? Write their names down and then see how many of them you have seen in the past 6 months.
Do the same with your friends from 10 years ago – how many are you still in contact with?
Having someone on your Facebook friends list does NOT count as being in contact.
Pick out your favourite 2 people from yesteryear and get in touch, see how they are doing, become genuinely interested in their lives.
If you’re wondering if they would welcome a blast from the past then fear not, of course they will. If you were genuine friends before, then you will still have a lot in common even if your lives have taken drastically different paths. What bonded the two of you initially will always be there.
Seriously, hearing from you will put a smile on their face and immediately put them in a good mood.
3. Join a club/team/class or group
One of the most effective ways to improve your social life is start hanging out with like-minded people.
Who? Where? How? You may be asking.
Well, what are you good at? What’s your passion?
- Are you good at drawing? Then join an art class
- Do you love sports? Join a team or a club and start playing
- Do you play a musical instrument? Advertise for other musicians to jam with or join a band
- Do you want to learn? Take up an evening class or go back to school/college
- Are you religious? Start going to church or an equivalent place of worship
- Do you have an altruistic side? Volunteer or link up with a charity organisation
All of these activities will put you directly with people who share your passion. I used to be the only person in my social circle that actively played a musical instrument but there was a guy I worked with (whom I hadn’t met) that I knew played the guitar. I introduced myself to him and we immediately started chatting and found out we liked similar bands and musical styles. I suggested we meet up for a jam and 10 years on, we are still friends.
Your passion is a key to a better social life – don’t be afraid to use it.
4. Become a connector
By far the most powerful method of creating an exciting and vibrant social life is to be the glue that binds everybody together.
To do this, all you need to be is a connector of people – and it’s not as difficult as you may think.
For example; if you know someone who is complaining about their broken fence and you happen to have a friend who is a landscape gardener – bring these two people together.
Maybe you have 2 single friends who you think may benefit from getting to know each other. Play Cupid and set them up on a date.
Bringing people together to the mutual benefit of both parties will put you in a positive light. People remember those who have served them well and you may even receive a phone call in the future from someone who has been referred by one of those people you helped in the past.
You can expand this idea to provide a service to many people at once. Think of party hosts or club promoters – they are tasked with making sure that everyone has a great time and if they are successful, these people will often come back in the future.
Organise a night out, a holiday, a trip to the cinema – it doesn’t matter what it is just gain a reputation as someone who actively arranges cool activities and people will flock to hang out with you. It’s a no brainer.
5. Embrace the dating scene
If you’re currently single then you could be missing out on a great way of increasing your social opportunities. Think about it logically, if you are in a relationship then you can cheekily ‘steal’ their friends too.
People come as a package – you don’t just share your life with them, they will share their life with you too. You will meet their friends and start hanging out with them as a group, exchanging phone numbers and making new connections.
Being in a relationship is all well and good but it’s not that easy to find someone whom you have that chemistry with. So what do you do?
I’ll tell you what you do – you start dating.
Even if none of these dates turn out to be the man or woman of your dreams. Just getting out there and meeting new people will do wonders for your social skills and your confidence.
Some of these dates will go nowhere but some of them may turn out to be future friends. I’ve been on dates where there wasn’t an obvious connection but I’m still in contact with some of these women and I even meet up occasionally to go for a drink or to the cinema.
If your next date turns out to be the one – well, that’s a bonus.
So what happens if your social life is non-existent and you don’t get the opportunities to meet new people?
Enter, online dating.
Come back, don’t be scared. It’s 2013 and these days meeting someone online isn’t weird or dangerous. It’s almost the norm.
One third of US marriages begin with online dating and data shows that these people are actually happier in the long run. Thinking about it, this makes perfect sense. When you meet someone through work or in a bar, you don’t know THAT much about them, if anything.
The beauty of meeting someone online is that via their profile or even their Facebook page, you can easily see if they match up with what you are looking for.
In my opinion, here are some of the best dating sites out there right now.
- Okcupid – This is free to use and in my opinion, the best all round site out there
- Match – Probably the most famous but it does cost money to use
- eHarmony – Another well-known site that also requires a monthly fee
- Badoo – Primarily a networking site and is popular in Europe. Merged with Hotornot a few years ago. Free to use
- Plentyoffish – Has a bit of a reputation for casual meet ups, but it is free to use and has a huge database of both men and women. Possibly the most popular free dating site.
I have been meeting people online on and off for almost 10 years and while I still prefer meeting people the old fashioned way – there is something exciting about going on a date with someone you have never met in the flesh.
Exciting is exactly what a social life should be.
6. Just get out of the house more
There is a world full of wonder out there – go embrace it.
I would like you to contribute by using the comment section below to share your ideas about how to improve your social life. Maybe something you have done in the past or something you are planning to do in the future. I’m open to new ideas so show me what you have! 🙂
Picture – Just hanging with some of my oldest friends
Jamie, you pretty much hit it on target! Every point on this list is something I’ve completely embraced the moment I headed back to California for my vacation one month ago. Been meeting amazing people, creating friendships with old friends whom I never talked to before, and having a blast. 🙂
Vincent recently posted..What Happens When You Get Stuck Wondering What If
It’s amazing isn’t it how much you can achieve socially when you are willing to meet people halfway (so to speak). Just reaching out and being proactive makes such a difference.
Really helpful for me . Thanks for the info
Jamie, I’m also one of those highly sensitive individuals! You’ve got some very good ideas and the one that beats them all is ‘say yes’. It becomes so much easier to say no to every invitation, and too much of a botheration to make an effort. Ultimately friends and colleagues stop inviting! I’m definitely saying yes more often!
Saying yes is awesome, but be careful to set boundaries. Don’t say yes to something that conflicts with your integrity or your beliefs. Pick the friends you want to spend more time with and see them as often as possible! Thanks for your comment!
Hey there! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me
of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this.
I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
Many thanks for sharing!
Arts recently posted..Arts
Being the glue is more or less the same thing described as the halo effect, tho I suppose halo effect has a more daunting implication perhaps for a wallflower, which I do consider myself. I guess a problem for me is being uppity and unnaproachable. Such a simple social defense default. And so tragic. I also suffer from a touch of bisexual crotch and boob centricity, so I mostly have my eyes down. Sad but maybe a little bit funny. Guess sunglasses would help but i think sunlight on the eyes is too important. Regarding uppity, I guess that’s messy old bill I used to drink Magnum 40’s with would often greet me when we were first getting acquainted by jovially proclaiming
“I am an asshole”