Hit or Miss

In my ongoing quest to make some new friends, I tried going to 20SomethingNYC again last night. And just like before, I could handle the scripted icebreakers and group discussion just fine. But afterwards when everyone mingled for snacks and drinks, I stood by myself for about 10 minutes trying to find a conversation to join before I bolted in defeat. I still can’t figure out how extroverted people do it.

4 responses so far (Respond)

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i’ve found the trick is to always ask a lot of questions and really listen to the responses and ask more questions based on what the other person says. You’re showing an interest in them that way, rather than trying to sell yourself (which, of course, you are doing, but it doesn’t look like that).

Conversation is a fine art. I’m good at starting conversations but I’m terrible at ending them.

jon | 3 Dec 2003
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That’s what I did during the icebreaker, thanks to the questions sheets and the fact we were supposed to rotate to a new person every few minutes . But free-form conversation afterward is another story. People seemed a little clique-y, and I couldn’t figure out where I could join in on a conversation without intruding.

Matt | 3 Dec 2003
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I believe I understand how you feel as I’m lousy at voluntary mingling. But …

Please don’t overlook your successes: (1) you went Tuesday night — action, (2) you went for the 2nd/3rd (?) time — persistence, and (3) you stayed for 10 minutes of the social — effort. Sure you could have stay longer and socialized more. Yet on the flip side, you also could have just stayed home and bemoaned “fate.” Instead, you acted to achieve your goals of making new friends and being more interactive. They may seem small but you have three solid accomplishments on which you are able to continue to build.

I realize you this and I’m not being Pollyannish but …

Just as we enhance our physical appearance by exercising, we have to work out to improve our social skills. Like guys who are physically graced, extroverts are social gifted. Yet for most of us, it takes action, effort, persistence, and time to get our social life where we want itm to be.

You’re trying. You’re succeeded. You can get what you want. Keep going.

Christopher | 5 Dec 2003
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Hi….Just remember that there are other people like you at these events. I have experienced the same at Jewish singles events. Basically, no one there knows you or knows that you are introverted. So, do something that makes you uncomfortable, like smiling at someone cute. Being uncomfortable is a great reminder that you are alive. A good way to start chatting is to congregate around the table that has brochures or food, etc. This way you can simply say hi and maybe ask if that person has been to an event before. It really is easy…even if a little awkward. Good luck!

Tamara | 7 Dec 2003