I’m a big believer in meeting new people. Based on speaking with tens of thousands of people for my book Social Wealth and TEDx Talk, most people are settling in their relationships because they don’t have the options to choose other people.
Why? Because their universe of options is quite limited.
I think the only way to really know if the people you who you surround yourself with are the best people for you is through a combination of deep self-inquiry, analysis of the people you surround yourself with, and what your goals are and what the goals are of the people you are spending time with.
But there are very few people that will do that.
So instead of advising you to do that, I’ve got a quicker way.
Join an interest group.
I joined an interest group attached with one of my main goals for 2018. That group is The White Rock Running Group, here in Dallas. I’ve met some incredible people in a very short period of time (less than 5 weeks). And remember, I’m running as part of the time I spend with them.
You can go to meetup or google any interest you have: reading, movies, dancing, running, biking, swimming, painting, volunteering, etc. And if you have never done it, just start! I never ran over 4 miles before I started running, and ran my first half marathon in two and half weeks after my first outdoors run. So if I can do it, you can too.
Most of these groups have 5 to 50 people that go. People are opening, and welcoming (for the most part). It’s very low or no cost. It only requires an hour or two of time. It’s during the middle of the week usually. And if you don’t like it, you don’t have to go back.
BUT, you can meet a lot of people quickly. I’ve met probably 30 people, and I’ve gotten to know 8-10 pretty well. Who knows where these relationships will go, but I’ve just expanded my social circles and I’m doing it along with an activity I’m excited about.
Where to start:
- Google whatever interests you and see what comes up. Next, go to meetup and see if there is a group nearby. Also, you can go on Facebook and their may be a group too in your area. That’s how I found my running group on FB.
- Go to the event. I advise showing up on time or slightly early. Tell people you are new, and want to meet new, fantastic people. You can also contact the organizer ahead of time, and let them know you are coming. That way they will be on the lookout for you.
- If you don’t like the event or people, don’t go back. Find something else. It may take a few weeks to find a group you enjoy.
What to say:
- The easiest thing is to ask questions. The great thing is it is more important to get people to talk about themselves than you talk. So the pressure is off you already!
- “Hi, my name is Jason. I’m new to the group and I look forward to meeting some fantastic people.”
- “Tell me a little bit about the group and what you all do.”
- “What are your passionate about outside of this group?”
- “What’s exciting that’s going on in your life right now?”
- That’s all you need!
The key is to show up consistently for a while so you can spend time with people and get to know them.
Here is another option you COULD do (not required). I like to stand out, and do something people won’t expect (in a positive way). For example, in my running group, on Saturdays someone brings out water and gatorade for people on mile 7. So I’m volunteering on 1/27 to do it. That’s nothing unusual other than stepping up and doing it. AND I’m planning on making a “champagne mimosa” stop at the parking lot when the run ends. No one ever has done it, and it’s way to do something fun. It doesn’t even matter if people drink or not, they will see it, and it shows I care and took time out to do it.
By joining an interest group, you’ll meet new people and possibly make some great new friends. You also can look at your current relationships and see where they are.
By the end of 2018, you may find five people in the group you joined you have become your closest friends. Or you may just have made some new good friends. Either way, you are enriching your life!
What group are you going to join this week?
PS: You can download directly my TEDx team building game I created, Cards Against Mundanity. You can play it in groups of 4-12 at work or with your friends. The results are incredible. In 45 minutes, you’ll see results. One company and several groups increased revenue/production by more than 25% in a year due to it. It’s based on research on the #1 factor for high performing teams at Google. And also a research study where people built the closest relationship in their life in 45 minutes.