Fun is the currency of any non-restaurant venue of anything open past 6 P.M. Everyone wants it. Everyone. It’s what makes us like people even though they cannot hold any sort of conversation that goes deeper than Step Brothers and football. It’s what everyone wants when they drink, when they go to bars, when they hang out with friends, and when they’re bored.
And so few people are really good at it.
For our sake I’m going to talk about having more fun in social situations. People go to bars with friends with the possibility of meeting new people and leave never even trying to talk to someone. They make tons of excuses. Some people don’t ever leave their house because they “know”they aren’t going to enjoy themselves. People don’t try new things or move to new cities and cling to a teenage mindset of saying no to any new activity that crosses their path. I used to be one of those people.
While nothing can ever and will never compare to having a great group of friends, there are some things that you can start doing right now to put your day on steroids.
First things first: smile, laugh, and watch standup comedy regularly. Go to the bathroom right now and smile at yourself for one minute. Do it. Right now. Please. This one time. For me.
Somewhere science proves this, but if you smile, even if you force yourself, you literally become happier. Even a little bit. It’s the most basic fake-it-till-ya-make-it biological trick ever discovered. The same goes with laughing. I think somewhere it says that laughing is actually healthier for you too. If you simply do these two things, even if they are forced, you will be a little bit happier.Dr. Ian dropping knowledge. Force yourself to smile at people as you walk by them.
This is one of the biggest life hacks I know. The extra laughing and smiling that you do will be contagious. I swear. Try it. Also, standup comedy is amazing. By watching enough (and enough types), you actually become funnier. You start seeing everyday things in a comedic light. You think about jokes to make and become quicker, wittier, and have an overall broader sense of humor. I like comedians that seem like they would be funny in real life (Robin Williams, ChrisD’elia, Hannibal Buress) that tend to be more charismatic.
Second things second: You go to a bar. You head to the bar. You get a drink and find an empty place to stand with a friend. You put your arm in the air for a second to pretend-dance while you scan the room. When you finish the drink you head back to the bar to repeat this whole process again. Repeat.
How did it come to this?
People literally only go to bars and clubs, either consciously or unconsciously,to meet (or have the possibility of meeting) new people. Why would you go to a bar and pay 3x the amount for a drink if you could just sit with your friend at home? But so many people do it so wrong. Also if you don’t go out, you really should. It’s a great way to meet new people who want fun. So force yourself to, at least once in awhile.
A few tips. Most of them will sound a little crazy and a little scary. But they’re gold. They all require that you cut through your fear of being judged.
Instead of going straight to the bar, go straight up to a few people. Introduce yourselves (or yourself). Assuming you’ve been smiling and laughing recently, people are pretty open to meeting new people.Shoot the shit. High five. Have a ton of energy.
There is no right way to meet new people. Things can seem natural or not. It really doesn’t matter how you do it. What matters are the energy you bring and how much you can relate to them. A sheer willingness to have fun is usually enough to get over an awkward five secondinitial introduction. You don’t need a reason to meet new people. If you really feel uncomfortable, just ask a question.
If there is a place to dance, dance as soon as possible and as ridiculously as you can. Similarly to smiling, dancing like a loon instantly gives you a lot of energy. The crazier you dance, the funnier it is, the more people look at you and the more fun you have.It’s cyclical. Really, you don’t need to know what you’re doing. If you dance crazy (and have a fat smile on your face),it is also much easier to meet people. I have gotten complemented on my dancing before. I am a terrible dancer.
Realize what conversation is for – that is communicating things that are important to you and, well, fun. People don’t want to hear about a list of facts about your life unless you are Indiana Jones or this dude I met last weekend competing in the Redbull Snow Kiting 100km race in Norway. Realize what people are telling you about themselves with what they say. What is important to them if they do yoga?If they are a vegetarian? If they went back to school? You may not have done any of those things, but if you dig deeper, you find that these are just ways for people to say that they care about growing as a person, about the environment, about learning new things. Boom. You probably have a lot in common.
Also, while humor is insanely hard to teach (watching standup comedians really is amazing), a good way to have fun in conversation is to be ridiculous. I’m talking extremely sarcastic responses, and sometimes making fun of people. You can do too much of the latter, though. If people are asking you boring, factual questions, feel free to give ridiculous answers.
For example: I live in Spain. People ask me what my job is. I could say that I am a retired bullfighter looking for my next life challenge.Teaching English to kids.Which is way harder. Note to self – I should say this.
Anyways, that is all for now. Key takeaways – smile, laugh, and standup comedy.The rest will come. There are many more things you can do, but for common social situations, this should be good. Also, send me videos of yourself dancing like crazy.