What’s the difference between someone you consider a stranger and someone you consider a friend? Isn’t a part of it found in the fact that, with a friend, you know things about each other and about each other’s lives?
And if that’s true, how do you intentionally go about getting to know things about other people and sharing things with them about yourself? How do you go from talking to someone for the first time, building on that interaction, and turning that meeting into a friendship or relationship?
Would you say you have that skill right now? Could you walk up to someone you don’t know, talk to them for several minutes and then leave, knowing that they would be open to seeing more of you?
If not, isn’t this a skill that would greatly enhance the quality and enjoyment of your life? If you could meet people easily and quickly turn them into friends, wouldn’t that empower you to be in complete control of your social and maybe even your dating life?
Besides perhaps health, what’s more important than our skill and ability to meet people and create connections with them? What’s more important than our ability to get along with people? Doesn’t it affect practically every area of our lives, from professional to personal, since most of our time is spent around or dealing with people?
So if you currently don’t have the skill or confidence to approach new people and turn them into friends, is this something you’d like to learn how to do?
Well, what does it take?
I’ve discovered it takes learning the strategies or applications responsible for creating enjoyable conversations with people, putting them into action through practice, then gaining proficiency and confidence in applying them until it becomes “second nature” to you. In short, the simplified strategy to meet people and turn them into friends is to begin by asking them questions about themselves so that you learn things about them and their lives. You get a vague picture of their lives and continually seek to make it clearer and clearer. And in the process, you either volunteer to share things about yourself as it relates to the line of questioning you’re asking them about or whenever they ask you a question. Then turn the conversation back onto them, and repeat the cycle.
The secret to getting to know people and turning them into friends is to focus your conversation on them and what’s going on or most important in their lives, as well as your own.
So how do you do that?
First, you have to learn how to talk to people and keep the conversation going, and how to deal with situations where people don’t volunteer information about themselves that you can work with. Second, you have to learn how to lead conversations and direct them onto topics you want to talk about – which are the subjects dear to the other person’s heart. Once you have developed these skills, it’s merely a matter of following up on their “state of affairs” every time you see them.
How do you do this?
Well, remember this: Part of the purpose of striking up a conversation with someone is to uncover things about them and their lives that you can talk about the next time you chat with them.
For example, if you meet someone and, after chatting with them, you discover they have exams this week, the next time you talk to them, you could ask them about how their exams went. Or if someone tells you they’re going to a party tonight, the next time you see them, you can ask them how the party went.
This is a big piece of the puzzle in turning strangers into friends. The secret is to get involved in what’s happening in their lives and take an active interest in the goals or events that mean something to them by following up with them and keeping up with their recent news.
Why not think about yourself for a moment.
Do you have goals that are important to you? Or do you experience events that are meaningful to you? And don’t you love to talk about them? And furthermore, wouldn’t you be thrilled if someone took the time to find out what these most important things in your life are – and then asked you about them to keep up with your progress almost every time they chat with you? Wouldn’t you find yourself quickly developing a connection with someone like that?
Well, that’s who you want to be if you’re interested in learning how to meet people and turn them into friends. You have to be a good friend to make new friends. And this is how you become a good friend; by applying these conversation and relationship building skills until you gain confidence with them and achieve a level of optimal competency.