How to be Social Anytime Anywhere Using Simple Math
It all started 5 years ago. I was at a campus event with a friend of mine. Being an international student, I was very hesitant to talk to anyone and had a hard time socializing with others, since I didn’t have anything in common with most of them.
I used to look for students with the same ethnicity hoping that I’d have more in common with them and could have a decent conversation. But most of the time I would just stand beside my friend(s) holding my drink looking at my phone pretending I didn’t want to talk to anyone. The times when I did talk I would run out of things to say and end the conversation awkwardly.
Math was one thing I was averagely good at. Most people find it easier to learn new things if you relate it to previously known patterns. Humans love patterns and we have been using them since the beginning. Moon revolves around earth, earth around sun, sun around the Milky Way. All these patterns (repetitions) help in analyzing further about space and its science.
Back to the point, how can this help us in “socializing?” Turns out human behaviour has patterns as well. It doesn’t matter where we are from or what we do, we still have a lot of similarities.
Most of us react to a situation in a similar way. For example, if someone compliments us on something, even if we don’t know them, we kind of start liking them — and vice versa if someone is swearing or getting mad at us. Enough about patterns, let’s do the real talk.
What my genius friend told me 5 years ago at that party is that socializing has a pattern. You follow/do a few things and you are good. Here is the list of things I do.
The introduction is very important, especially in a new environment or setting. I know sometimes it can be hard since you don’t know anything about the people around you.
In UVic or in any school setting, one of the few things you can use is ask about what they are taking in school or classes or bla bla bla, it’s very common. I personally try to make a small compliment as soon as I can to be on their likable side. For guys, I usually use hair, shoes or jersey shirts. For girls, I try to use hair colour, bracelets or similar things.
2. How to keep it interesting.
Make the talk about them. Unless they ask anything about you, keeping saying what you think they want to hear. Your job here is to find what are they excited about in life. If you find that — BOOM!! The only thing you have to do now is ask questions after that. Why they like doing it, how long they have been doing it, or things related to it.
3. Talk to everyone.
Don’t try to stretch the talk with anyone. If you feel you are running out of things to say, tell them you’ll be with them shortly with a smile. They will get the hint and now you know one more person. If you are talking to a group of people, don’t just talk to one person. Introduce yourself to everyone if you have a chance.
4. Don’t try too hard.
If someone is giving you one word answers or you feel they are not that interested, tell them to have a nice time (always with a smile) and move on to the next person.
Most of the things I mentioned can be used in a new environment or around new people. There are also some things you can do to be likable around the people you work, study, and live with.
Having friends in classes is really helpful when it’s midterm week and especially when we are struggling with assignments.
Compliment people when they make small/big changes to their appearances e.g. new hairstyle or hair colour. If you feel someone is getting compliments on their looks all the time, then comment them on being smart or other things rather than looks.
Humans get bored of the same thing. It doesn’t matter how much we like it in the beginning, we are always looking for new excitement. You can be that excitement for people around you. You just have to listen to them and analyse what they want to hear. That’s the key to socializing.