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How to Build a Social Circle: A Two Step Formula

How to Build a Social Circle: A Two Step Formula

Why do some people lose friends faster than they’re making new ones… while others get more and more friends, without seeming to make any effort at it? For starters, people in the second category have learned to build a social circle, the right way…

By knowing the critical parts of a social life, some people get more friends than they know what to do with. They always seem to be having fun, going out, and sharing their lives with interesting people. Others seem to run in vicious circles, making a huge effort to meet people, make almost no progress, and find it hard for them to actually keep the friendships. Some of them just give up and get used to being alone, frustrated, and unhappy.

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But that’s not a way to live. And it’s definitely not for you. This article will make sure that you “start right” at having a great social life, filled with the fun, and the energy you need.

The Two-Step Formula for Building a Social Circle

This is what I call “Explore the New – Nurture the Old”, and it’s a key part of the “Get The Friends You Want” methodology. The two parts work like a cycle, you need BOTH… let’s dive into them and if it seems too simple at first, it’s fine. Just stay with me.

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explore the new

    Step One – Explore the New (constantly be meeting new friends)

    I always say that “If you’re not making new friends, you’re actually making LESS!”. It’s because people change, move to other cities, develop new interests, or get into new relationships, and that results in changes in their friendships. If you’re not constantly making new friends, then you’re going to have less and less people to hang out. It doesn’t mean they’ll stop liking you or reject you, they’ll just be doing something else, somewhere else, with someone else.

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    • To make this easy, make the new friendships ABOUT something (a hobby, an interest, a cause, or an activity)
    • To make it extra-easy, pick an interest or hobby you ALREADY love.
    • To make it extra-extra-easy, join a group that meets regularly, so you don’t have to think about it. The meetings take place once or twice a month, and all you have to do is show up!
    • To make it extra-extra-extra-easy, join the ORGANIZING team. Whoa! When you give some of your time to help the team, everyone is grateful to have you. Meeting people, in this position, is as easy as it was when you were four years old.
    • To motivate yourself to do this, think of someone you know that is involved in a team that holds regular events… recall how many people they got to know throughout that process, how much fun they got to have… now imagine if YOU were in that position… would you like to be there? ;-)

    Step Two – Nurture the Old (meet existing friends, and introduce them to new ones)

    This is critical. It consists of regularly meeting the friends you want to keep, and introducing them to the new ones you meet.

    Why? Because…

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    • Friendships are FRAGILE… you need to keep meeting the people regularly. Once a week is ideal.
    • By introducing people to each other, you make them STICK. It gets easier for them to keep in touch with you, because by doing so, they’re also staying in touch with a whole bunch of people. It’s often, the best use of their social time.
    • Because by doing so you prove that you’re CONFIDENT. You’re not afraid of losing anyone. And you can make new friends at any point of your life, and that’s attractive and respectable.
    • Because it gives everyone the opportunity to grow, have more fun, and be happier within a group.

    Now, how many friends you need in a group? It really depends on you. 4 to 5 is great if you’re an introvert, 10 or more if you’re an extrovert.

    Of course, you can build one or two social circles, that have different interests that you share with them. You’ll be amazed on the good influence it’ll have on your life. you’ll never feel all alone again, you’ll have people to go out with, celebrate holidays, celebrate birthdays, go to summer vacations with, and so on.

    Now, always keep in your mind the simple formula: explore the new – nurture the old.

    More by this author

    Paul Sanders

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

    How To Be More Social If You Are an Introvert 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

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

    “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

    Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

    You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

    Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

    1. Take a step back and evaluate

    When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

    1. What is the problem?
    2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
    3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
    4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
    5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

    Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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    2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

    If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

    At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

    Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

    3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

    Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

    4. Process your thoughts/emotions

    Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

    1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
    2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
    3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
    4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

    5. Acknowledge your thoughts

    Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

    By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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    Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

    6. Give yourself a break

    If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

    7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

    A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

    Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

    After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

    8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

    As Helen Keller once said,

    “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

    Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

    9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

    In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

    1. What’s the situation?
    2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
    3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
    4. Take action on your next steps!

    After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

    10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

    A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

    Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

    For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

    11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

    No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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    12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

    No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

    13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

    There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

    After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

    Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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