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Don't Be a SocStag: Step by Step Guide to Making Friends
If you are a young professional in your mid 20s, you are likely having the time of your life. You are likely living in a new city. You are traveling for work and fun. You are making decent money. You are progressing nicely at work. You are paying down student loans and saving up. You are renting a nice apartment and thinking about maybe buying a place. You are dating and having fun. Life is good!

Except, do you have friends? More specifically, do you still know how to make new friends?

It's a serious question. Look at all the people you spend your time with and do the following math.

(People you had conversations with this month) - (Family members) - (People you work/worked with) - (People you know from school/hometown/childhood) - (People over 50 miles away) - (People you would not want to share a meal with) - (People you have dated) = New friends.

What is your result (post it in the comment, please.)? If your answer is less than 10, then it most likely means you have lost your ability to relate to people who want nothing from you and you want nothing from. I would personally consider you to be socially stagnant, or "SocStag"!

So, for all you SocStags, here is a step-by-step guide to how to make some new friends.

1. Stop your isolating routines

Break out of your daily routine and try some new stuff. Throw a party if you haven't had one for a long time. Crash a party if you haven't done that for a long time. Instead of driving your car, walk/bike/bus. Join a poker game. Just try being with other people without a good reason.

2. Speak like a human being, not a jargon spewing robot

Do you know why all of your current friends seem to mostly do the same thing you do? A big part of it has to do with the fact that you all speak the same language. Not everybody knows what a STX, BRQ, eYTN or TQM is. We use jargon because it saves us from having to really learn about each other. When you use real words, there is a chance that you might sometimes come across as a doofus, and that's ok. Try using only words you can find in a dictionary.

3. Stop being so full of yourself

Remember that guy that always raised his hand to ask questions just to sound smart? Remember that girl that brought up all the scholarships she had won and all the clubs she led without anybody asking? Did you want to be friends with those people? Well, the same rule still applies in the real world, hot shot. You might be a rising superstar at work, but try to keep in mind that other people are just as impressive in their own ways. Don't be a douche.

4. Learn something new and interesting

This advice requires you to get out of your comfort zone, for sure. Learning a new language, taking a rock climbing class or cooking up a new cuisine can definitely be challenging, but it opens up your mind to new things. Learning new things gives you something new to talk about. Many of these learning venues will also be great new grounds to meet new people.

5. Listen to what other people are saying

When other people are talking, do you listen to what they are saying or do you rehearse what you plan to say next? You need to remember that when other people's lips are moving, there is a good chance that works are coming out. Words are important because they represent what other people's ideas, passions and thoughts. You might want to pay attention next time.

6. Invite new people to your gatherings

Do you have a regular dinner party, a regular poker game, a regular jog, or a regular sports watching get-together? Try bringing some new people to these regular events. It will not only spice things up, it's also a good way to see whether your regular routine has room for some new people or not. It's a good trial run for new friends.


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