How to get cool friends
Sunday 27 April 2014, 2.35am HKT
9.44pm local time, 25°C (77°F), warm and rainy
YOU might believe me when I tell you that this post had been left forgotten in draft mode since 24 Jan 2009 — till now.
Of course, this is a none-too-subtle hint to some ‘friends’ of mine in the Outernet (i.e. real life).
* * *
Everything You Wanted to Know About Being Sociable But Were Too Mopish to Ask
(Or, the world’s shortest guide to picking up girls or boys!)
Cool friends. Dontcha wann’em? Arentcha sick of ’em?
Everyone wants to hang out with ‘beautiful’ people.
The short answer is, you’ve got them already! You should start off with ‘ordinary’ friends first.
You have to have a realistic idea about what ‘friends’ ARE in the first place — a healthy mix of BOTH sexes. Friends who WANT to hang out with YOU, not the other way round.
First — you must ‘engage’ people in general.
This is what young folks call ‘interacting’ — or ‘communicating’ for us oldtimers. Engaging others is to understand the general run of those walking objects called ‘people.’ The byproduct of that is you get to meet boy or girls you find things in common with.
What can YOU offer?
It’s a fact — we tend to hang out with those who bring us something. We judge everyone and everything. Call it mercenary or selfish, but we ARE hardwired to survive. If we don’t get a benefit, forget it. You think like this; they think like this too. People are bored and have a ‘gap of nothingness’ to fill with ‘entertainment.’ Help them fill that gap.
Get out there and get flexible!
Meet people every day and all the time. Sitting at home watching TV or glued to a computer isn’t going to help you become more social or sociable. You don’t get to meet cute chicks/studs.
Tons of places. And you’re familiar with them too:—
Secondary school (high school, etc) is the practice ground for developing your social skills for The Big Game (college, university, work, etc). Here, mistakes, putdowns, rejections, etc, are no big deals — shouldn’t be at your age. Here, it’s important to learn how to socialise. You don’t go to school for education. You go there to get edjumacated — to get a social life that you could call your very own, my little cricket.
College/university, work, etc, is where YOU MUST SHINE. If you’re not in college/uni or work, you’re missing 80% of your life experience. Your whole career, social life, future spouse, etc, will depend on how well you do socially. Socialising shapes how your life will pan out.
Second — do ‘popular’ things that everybody else does.
Remain in the world of reality. Be ‘popular’ — not in the sense of being famous or desirable, but being RELATABLE BY OTHERS to you. That means doing the most popular sports, speaking in the most popular language according to the company you’re with, joining the most popular events or activities — that sort of thing. You CAN be ‘different’ in those groups — even social rebels such as punk rockers, skinheads and emos have their own groups.
Third — join clubs or groups as many as you can.
Through these, you find things in common with others — and vice versa. It doesn’t matter what kind of clubs, groups, etc — it’s no friggin’ big deal. Take flyers and pamphlets when they’re passed out to you. (Within reasonable limits, of course; use your initiative.)
If you’re still a student, join Orientation Week even if you’re in your second or third year. If you’re already out in the dog-eat-dog world of employment, join induction sessions for new employees. Realise that people are anxious and a little scared of new situations. This is where an old hand like yourself can shine and shine.
Fourth — learn your cliques.
Know who’s who and who’s whose friend. See who’s got beef with whom. But keep your claptrap shut about it. Mum’s the word. You could learn a lot about people’s insecurities, mental projections and whatnot just by listening to rumours about them (and their own rumouring). Realise that nobody’s perfect and everybody’s afraid of something.
Fifth — find the least intimidating cool guy/gal.
That person might not be the coolest crème of the crop, but start somewhere. Talk to him/her about ‘stuff’ — anything, cars, sports, boys/girls, whatever. Have something to contribute to the conversation. People won’t remember what you said, but they WILL remember the fact you contributed (or not!). It’s not hard, peep’l.
Sixth — don’t sweat it.
And don’t let them see you sweat it either. Ever. Don’t worry about your social status. If you ever show desperation, you lose the respect of everyone around you. If you worry too much about being liked, you won’t be liked. Simple as that.
Not ‘sweating it’ is a helluva lot easier to say than to do. I once had a friend in London who came down with tuberculosis of the lungs and flat out refused to seek treatment solely and exclusively because TB’s historical reputation of being The Poor Man’s Disease. WTF, right?
Seventh — resist sounding ‘big’ and clever.
I shouldn’t say this (but I must) — this is a big problem with many Far Easterners (Orientals, Asians, choose the words you like best).
Those who have been trained in psychology or linguistics will know this already. Research shows that using short words make writers and speakers seem brighter, more intelligent, cleverer (choose the words you like best). Yet many people think they have to use long, complicated, $5 words or sentences to appear smart. Dumb.
We don’t need psychobabble to tell us that. Just look at the movies. The ‘hero’ of the piece is nearly always straight-talking. Many Far Easterners tend to equate straight-talking with bluntness, unfortunately.
Realise that people usually think of themselves as smart. Short words are more easily understandable — they’ll more likely think you’re as smart or smarter than they are because they understand everything you say. People who want to be The Authority are usually laughed at behind their backs. No effing kidding.
Eighth — read more, read widely, read differently.
I got bad news for you, pal. We’re in the 21st Century now. Your parents and/or grandparents belong to the generation of the see, look, watch, listen, speak up, stop babbling, and learn. You’re not. You’re hitched with the Intarwebz and the smart’aleck-phone — it’s all reading stuff, I’m afraid.
Reading keeps you in touch with what’s happening. Read something in an unfamiliar field (unfamiliar to you, that is). You are allowed to do things beyond your interest. Do something that, at the very least, you’re not uninterested in.
Ninth — know what you enjoy talking about.
List the topics, if that helps for you. Consider this homework set by yourself for yourself. You’ll never know when that article of Scientific American will come in handy while socialising with that cute physicist — as it happened to me before… Heh.
Tenth — forget ‘speed’ or ‘foolproof’ opening lines.
No such thing. The Internet and books are full of that shite. Only fools on speed fall for it. Honestly speaking, if you’re the type who needs opening lines, you’re probably not going to be smart enough to use them effectively, I don’t think.
Overall, women are more comfortable going out with you (guy) when they FEEL like they’ve known you for a considerable amount of time and as a ‘safe’ person.
Likewise, men are more comfortable going out with you (gal) when they FEEL they’ve known all your quirks and yee-yee-ass slutwhore antics (sorry, but men are not generally finicky about slutwhores).
Some places are easier than most that allow that comfort zone to develop:—
- small classes (10–20 persons)
- charity-type work (suggests selflessness and kind-heartedness: admired by women)
- religious services (easily the easiest place in the world for pickups)
- dog parks (walking the dog)
Broadly speaking, women rarely talk to strangers in large, public places or auditorium-type lecture theatres. You have nothing in common with the next person in a public place. But in a place like those above, at least they feel you’ve got something in common with them.
I lie. There is an all-purpose opening line that works for nearly everyone, nearly all the time, nearly everywhere:—
“Hi, I’m Robert. You’re new here. You’ve met the others, right? Oh, John, let’s get a drink for the new lady/gent here, that’ll be great. Fabulous. I talk to you in a bit, okay?”
It’s called being friendly, you schmuck.
Eleventh — avoid anything that distracts or contradicts the other person’s experience.
Even momentarily. Read EXPERIENCE, not attention. If your words or mannerisms are not within the other person’s experience, you’re distracting — and a goddamn distraction. The younger they are, the quicker they’re turned off by you (because they have less experience in handling this sort of thing). No FQQN joke.
Twelfth — don’t (ever) present yourself as ‘all good’ or ‘all bad.’
It’s not believable, and it’s unbelievable. (That being said, the bad is usually more believable, unfortunately.) Show contrasts — suggest your vulnerability before exercising power, doubts before making a decision, etc. Not asking you to be disengenuous, but you’re a complex person, not a simpleton.
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
Thirteenth — killer opening line, if you ever have to use one.
Something that demonstrates your nature in all 15 words or less (fewer), preferably under 10 seconds. Like, “Hey, me and my friend just converted a synagogue full of Jews and we’re celebrating like it’s the ’04 Republic National Convention. Wanna join?”
Okay, that’s not a great example, but you get the idea.
Fourteenth — introduce a false time constraint.
“I gotta go meet up with some friends, but I can stay a bit with you before [we burn an effigy of [whoever]. [O’Reilly] comes on in a few minutes.”
Before he/she gets a chance to lie his/her way out of the encounter, neg him/her. And, really, don’t hold back. No neg is too severe.
Alright, ‘negging’ used to be a way to pick up girls, but everything’s equalised and sordidised in our day and age so it applies to men and women now. It’s using remarks that tap into the person’s insecurities and shake his/her confidence. So the neg will confuse and intrigue the person, maybe enough for them to fall from the clouds and be interested in talking to you. It’s a way to overcome their defences at pubs and the like.
You are nearly as tall as me … I like tall girls. (LIFT) Are those heels 4 or 5 inches? (DROP)
You: Ahh, that’s so funny … your nose moves when you speak … (pointing and being cute) … look, there it goes again … it’s so … quaint … haha, look.
Her: Ahh, stahp! *blush*
(Now she’s self-conscious and in a state where you want her to be in. You have ‘neg-hit’ her.)
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE COMATOSED FIRST-DATE IDEAS
“Simple but important point to keep in mind. New ideas, by definition, sound like bad ideas. If they sounded like good ideas, someone would have already thought of it and done it. But they didn’t. Why? Because they were focused on what was line of sight, what made sense to their existing world, what was well inside the box.”
— Heinz Marketing Inc., 25 JUN 2013
(Photo: Heinz Marketing Inc.)
Fifteenth — don’t alienate.
Don’t FQQN screw up your first contact, date, etc, with that hot babe/stud by taking her/him to some strange, scary place where you know everybody but she/he doesn’t. A lot of people do this stupidness, and a lot of Asians are particularly good in this department, thankyouverymuch.
Bad ideas are universal. They don’t work. That’s why there’s so much porn all over the place.
Comatosed ideas for the brain-dead:—
- private tutorial lessons (she’s/he’s supposed to be studying)
- family gatherings, e.g. weddings, birth showers, funerals, etc
- religious rituals (but not places of religious worship)
- wargame roleplaying field missions
- cybercafés (unless you’re addicted to online chats)
- outdoor hiking (pain is inevitable, suffering is optional)
Bad (and clichéd) ideas:—
- movies (can’t talk and get to know her/him)
- dinners (he pays: girls always anticipate this so refuses to pay)
- clubs (no fun usually)
- window shopping (especially if you don’t buy anything!)
Good ideas (easygoing and fun):—
- walk in the park (works up an appetite: leads to lunch or dinner)
- rollerblading or skating (fun and fairly affordable)
- coffee (Starbucks and such will have to do) + one other on this list
- gallery/museum hop (gives lots of topics to talk about)
- beer or wine tasting (and she knows she can’t get drunk even if she tried)
- boat or ferry ride
- ferriswheel (if available and not too far away)
- comedy shows (she/he associates the fun with you)
- rock wall climbing (if she/he is the athletic type)
- mini golf
- pool or billiards (if she’s not too shy about ‘exposure,’ geddit?)
- shopping (only if you’re loaded!)
- … think! be creative!
I’m not answering questions about her…
Even the most conservative, ice-cold snapdragon is a free-flying, fun-loving woman at heart.
Even the most conservative, emotionless mannequin is a freedom-lovin’, fun-addicted man at heart.
(Photo: The Brigade)
DocID: B14126 (2,285 words)
Created 24 JAN 2009 @ 06.43 HKT and left in the draft bin since
Published 26 APR 2014 in an almighty accident
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