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How To Quietly Build A Social Life

How To Quietly Build A Social Life

As an introvert, you love to spend time by yourself, or with a few old friends, but also feel a deep need for meeting new people. You also don’t want to pretend to be a big schmoozing extrovert.

Lucky for you, there is a middle ground. You don’t have to change your nature to have the friends you want.

The Key Is Efficiency

Because many of you are introverts, I will only share techniques that produce great results with little effort.

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So, how do you become  efficient in your socializing efforts? You focus on habits and automation, instead of motivation and effort. Here are two life hacks to get you started.

1. Go Out And Meet New People Once A Month

It seems simple when you read it, but getting out to meet new people as rarely as once a month can make a big difference. The fact is that you always need to be meeting new people. Not everyone will be a good fit for you, and not everyone will stick around forever, especially if you’re in your 20s or 30s.

The key here is to get out and meet new people once a month, every month. Make it a habit and stick to it. After all, once a month is very low-stress. At the same time, never confuse “meeting new people” with “meeting people”. It’s very important to go out and meet people you never knew before.

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What I recommend is to commit to helping some sort of community group that has the kind of people you want as friends. When you find a good  group, go to the organizing team and offer to help.

The easiest way to do this is to approach a social group or community and join them as a volunteer.  Commit to helping with every monthly event.

This little change will instantly make you genuine connections with people from that community, and you don’t even have to sweat it. People tend to come to meet you when you are part of the group hosting an event.

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And because there is a commitment there, even small, you’ll never need motivation to do it; you’ll just go. This is actually the easiest way to build a genuine circle of friends.

2. Think Of Your Friends…Once A Week

Again, if you have to remember to take care of your social life, you probably won’t do it. This is why I suggest that you focus on building the habits, once and for all, so that you don’t have to think about what to do or when to do it.

With lots of trial and error, I’ve found out that for an introvert, it’s ideal to do all your socializing once a week, at a specific time, and then move on. If you have to force it, if it’s a drag on your schedule, you probably will let go of it.

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Here are some specific steps you can take…

  1. Go to your online calendar app…
  2. Create a “recurring event”…
  3. Name it “let’s do some socializing”…
  4. Save it for Tuesday at 8pm…
  5. Move on!

Once you’ve done that, you can enjoy the rest of the week, without worrying about “Am I alienating people by not reaching out?” or “I really need to be more social.”

This works because on that specific time of the week, you can call, text, email, and make plans with the people you know, and the new people you meet at those events. All you have to do is spend an hour per week and reach out.

The magic of the calendar reminds you to do your weekly socializing, and you can enjoy your work and your “me time” for the rest of the week.

Are you ready to give it a try? Let us know in the comments below…

More by this author

Paul Sanders

A communication expert who tries to help people improve their social skills and make friends anywhere.

How to Keep a Conversation Going and Never Run Out of Things to Say What to Do When You Have No Friends and Feel Lonely 7 Tips How to Make Friends During College 5 Reasons Why Your Social Life Isn’t Improving, And What To Do About It How To Quietly Build A Social Life

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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