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Single and Ready to Mingle? Best Places to Meet People That Aren’t Bars

Single and Ready to Mingle? Best Places to Meet People That Aren’t Bars

A lonely guy, dejected and broken by recent events, enters a bar and calls for a Vodka Martini. He is feeling down and is in no position to strike up a conversation with the folks around him. Just as he’s thinking of nothing but finishing his drink, paying his tab and calling it a day, something miraculous happens. A beautiful woman enters the bar and immediately lights up the room. Our forgotten hero cannot believe his eyes as she heads toward him, smiling. He is in seventh heaven. They chat like they’ve known each other for years; it is love at first sight.

If this sounds like a story, then that’s because such an unbelievable turnaround in fortune is indeed the stuff of fairy tale. Truth be told, if you’re looking for romance, then a bar is a terrible place to start. Fret not—the world doesn’t quite end right at the bar.

1. Parks

romance at park

    Parks are great places to get to know the people living around you. People from all sorts of walks of life and interests gather at the park. Parks offer a great environment to relax and take your thoughts far away from the troubles of your day-to-day life, so the casual and cheerful spirit of park visitors could help a great deal in your cause to team up with someone. Whenever you feel lonely and need someone to date, jump off your couch and take a few strolls down to the nearest park.

    2. Health and Fitness Clubs

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    romance at gym

      The main purpose of visiting health and fitness clubs is obviously to maintain the physique and keep up the good health. But, with mixed gender health clubs, you could have added incentives. The health clubs could come in different forms, such as saunas, gymnasiums, yoga and aerobic centers, and you could choose any of them based on your interests and practicalities. But wherever you go, you could meet a similar soul with the same interests as yours, all while you’re sweating to keep yourself fit. The only way to make new friends is to go out to new places, and health clubs are fun ways to do this. You could very well meet a special friend in the process.

      3. Sporting Events

      romance at stadium

        A lot is at stake during even local sporting events, not to mention the grandest of stages like the World Cup, Super Bowl or Wimbledon. And when the team and the athletes plying their trade at center stage are the ones you revere, your feelings are hard to describe. You heart oscillates between highs and lows, before finally setting on a level based on your team’s result. While you’re having this compendium of crazy emotions, there could be a charming guy or a girl nearby who echoes your emotions. You could have a say on proceedings of the game and start to converse, casually in the beginning. And, if you’re willing, you could evolve things from that starting point.

        4. Social Sports Clubs

        Photo by Steven L. Shepard

          Sporting events are not the only way sports can provide you with opportunities to find a partner. You could do the same by being part of the game as well. And for this, social sports clubs are highly effective. Such social sports clubs provide great opportunities for socializing and making new friends. They provide an encouraging environment for having fun, which immediately breaks down barriers and develops talking points, without you having to think of a witty conversation starter. Depending on your preferences, you may need to pick a mixed gender sport, which could be beach soccer, tennis, badminton, dodge ball or any other sport you fancy. Pick a sport that you will genuinely enjoy, and don’t worry too much about it being something you are particularly good at—the rest will follow.

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          5. Parties

          romance at party

            Parties are fine occasions to find a partner. So many people are gathering in one place, so you can easily find someone you’re intrigued with. A great thing about such parties is that it’s quite easy to break the ice if you’re interested. If you have a friend or relative at the party, ask them to introduce you to that person. The beginning is half done, so you’re that much closer landing a date.

            6. Festivals

            romance at festival

              Whether it be religious, musical, or cultural, festivals are one of the best ways to get to know other locals, with whom we would otherwise never be acquainted with. At festivals, the mood is cheerful and a major populace of the region gathers in one place. As said earlier in the article, the best way to meet people is to go to new places. As this kind of event is usually casual and everyone is in lighter spirits, it’s easy to pair up and start a conversation. Hence, a local festival can provide you with a chance to find a partner, living right in your neighborhood.

              7. Volunteer Activities

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              romance at volunteering

                Each and every one of us possess a certain bit of altruistic self within ourselves, although it could be in varying degrees from person to person. Volunteering activities may seem to be too much trouble. But if you have a sense of longing to serve the community and desire to contribute to the overall good of humanity, volunteering is a great thing to do. You don’t only enhance your personal development with it; you’ll also meet new people. And, along the journey, you could also meet someone who shares your interests and whom you are compatible with. You could foster a great relationship with him/her as well. Therefore, even if you’ve never felt like doing it, spare a thought for it, as the incentive is too huge to turn down!

                8. Classrooms

                romance in class

                  In many romantic movies and novels, lovebirds emerge from within the classroom walls  And, rightfully so, since in real life, classrooms are often a great place to find someone to form a bond with. Generally, most of us have our first crushes on our classmates. And often, the first romantic endeavors are with the ones we shared classes with during high school years. Our classmates are frequently the ones with whom we spend the most time at a particular stage in our life, and they are also the ones with whom the chance of developing a connection is highest. So look around the seats in your classroom, single folks out there!

                  9. Libraries

                  romance in library

                    Libraries may not hold much appeal as the likeliest of places to find someone to date, but believe me: you’d be wrong to laugh off at their potential to hook you up with a companion. Imagine how romantic it will be when you’re holding a copy of Pride and Prejudice in your hands and are completely propelled by the unfolding of events in the book. And when you lift up your looks to people around the room, you find a dazzling beauty sitting across the table, holding a copy of the same novel herself. Your eyes meet and as they say, the rest could well be history. So, if you’re enthralled by reading, libraries could help you find someone with similar interests and save you from being forever alone.

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                    10. Long Distance Transports

                    romance in travel

                      We often like to dream of a charming companion by our side while we’re travelling, whether it be on an airplane, a train or a bus. We want this even more we’re travelling long distances. Sometimes, we may not get exactly what we’d wished for, having to travel with complaining aunts or boring uncles. But sometimes, we can get really lucky and meet the prince charming or princess of our dreams right there. When we’re accompanying him/her for such a long distance and time, there’s plenty of opportunities to communicate and get to know each other. And, it could well be the start of another great love story!

                      In reality, love at first sight very rarely occurs. Affection grows over time, strengthened by shared experience and appreciation of events around you. People don’t fall in love based on physical appearance, but on personality—so looking for ways to show your personality is the best way to “mingle.” The inherently flawed notion of “fate” is simply an occurrence due to the weight of circumstance. But it is these circumstances that you can affect by giving yourself the opportunities to connect with others, based on shared interest and experience.

                      Featured photo credit: Laughing couple via wikimedia.org

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                      Nabin Paudyal

                      Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                      Published on May 18, 2021

                      How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

                      How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

                      We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

                      The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

                      Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

                      Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

                      Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

                      There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

                      Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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                      Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

                      We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

                      Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

                      A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

                      The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

                      Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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                      Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

                      Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

                      Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

                      While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

                      Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

                      These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

                      Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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                      Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

                      Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

                      Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

                      Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

                      Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

                      Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

                      As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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                      This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

                      Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

                      Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

                      These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

                      Actions Speak Louder Than Words

                      Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

                      Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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                      Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

                      More Tips Improving Listening Skills

                      Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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