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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 February 11, 2021

    Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

    Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

    How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

    Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

    The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

    Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

    Perceptual Barrier

    The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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    The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

    The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

    Attitudinal Barrier

    Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

    The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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    The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

    Language Barrier

    This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

    The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

    The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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    Emotional Barrier

    Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

    The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

    The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

    Cultural Barrier

    Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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    The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

    The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

    Gender Barrier

    Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

    The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

    The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

    And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

    Reference

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