Social Craft

We’ve all heard the saying that friends come a dime a dozen, but that dime doesn’t go as far as it did once we grow up. For many of us, the new playground is our local watering hole or networking pub crawl where the drinks (and conversation) are flowing.
Text by Eric Nathal | June 9, 2018 | Lifestyle

Next time you shimmy up to the bar to order a drink or jump aboard a pub crawl, take advantage of the social situation and try to make a few new friends. Yes, there’s no shame in admitting that you’d like to have more friends, closer friends or different types of friends beyond the time and space where you’re initially introduced.
When it comes to approaching strangers, the trickiest part is often just feeling brave enough to initiate the conversation in the first place. Usually a few drinks helps ease nerves, but downing too many can make the wrong impression. Moderation is key here, and offering to buy a round is always a great ice-breaker.
Start with a quick “hi” and handshake introducing yourself. If your new potential pal is receptive, spend the next few minutes on standard getting-to-know-you questions like: “What are you drinking?”, “What part of town do you live in?” or “What do you do for a living?” Although these questions can be uninspired, they get things started by helping you fish around for a more interesting topic you can discuss. If you’d prefer to make a more memorable impact on people you meet, you may want to ask bolder questions like: “Tell me something most people don’t know about you.”; “What do you hate about this city?”; or “What’s your earliest memory?” These inquiries are a bit more probing, but they can lead to some great conversations.
Once a dialogue gets rolling, remember to focus the attention on the other person and talk about yourself only when asked. In general, people like talking about themselves. If you do this, you’ll be considered a great conversationalist with as little effort as possible. However, it’s important to strike a balance: too many questions fired one right after the other will make the exchange feel more like an interrogation, and too many comments won’t give the other person a chance to talk.
If everything goes well, don’t be shy: Ask for a phone number, business card or make plans to do something together. The key is to stay in touch. In any relationship, it’s the maintenance part that requires work and effort, everything else should be fun.
Finally, don’t forget that your first friend is you. If you’re comfortable with yourself and act with confidence, you’ll find friends everywhere…just make sure anyone you decide to share your valuable time with is worth it.