Category Archives: Get a social life

How You Can Recreate Your Social Circle: Why People Lose Touch and Why They Find It Difficult To Reconnect

Other articles from “Get a Social Life From Scratch” series.

Okay, so you don’t have any friends. Don’t fret! You can still get a social life from scratch. There’s help for you in recreating your social circle – the steps you should take and your view of the situation – so that you can get back in touch with those folks you once knew but haven’t seen in some time.

You know the ones – friends from school/university/college or a previous job – people you haven’t seen in some time. If you’ve had a social life before but just lost touch with friends, then don’t look any further to learn how you can create your social circle from the ground up.

Why Did The Break-Up Occur

There are various reasons in life why friends no longer speak to one another. Even best friends, who swear to be friends for life, will break up. What are some of the common reasons for friendships ending?

1 – Separate Interests

One of the more common reasons that friendships end is the sharing of separate interests with each other. If there’s nothing to unite the two of you, then sooner or later each of you will follow his/her own path. Just because a friendship ends a long time ago doesn’t mean it cannot be revived once more today.

Things tend to change with time. What does that mean? It means that you have a chance to rekindle the friendship if you meet up with your friend after a long period of time. You might even have similar interests, new and old.

2 – Moving

Another common reason for friendships ending is that one of you moved either to another city or country to take a job or school. This tends to occur after high school or college when students go off to college or a job in various regions of the country.

Just because you move, it doesn’t mean the friendship is over. Keep in mind that young people are exposed to a new environment – things they haven’t known or seen before. School life appears dull compared to the adult life, which is why many friendships fall to the waste side.

3 – Fighting

Many times a friendship will end over a disagreement or fight. But, believe it or not, there is a possibility to renew a friendship even when fights have occurred and not speaking to each other for a significant period of time has happened.

Fearful Of A Reunion

Do you have fears of reuniting with your old friends? This is the point in time where you need to alleviate those fears. Of course, there are four common doubts and anxieties people have about rekindling friendships with old friends:

1 – Fearful Of The Past

If you and your friend have had some issues in your relationship, you may worry that those rough edges will rear their ugly head again.

Assume for argument’s sake that you’d like to get in touch with an old classmate. It does sound like a good idea; but, then you remember they used to act foolish from time to time. You allow those negative issues to enter your mind. Thus, the enthusiasm fades and the idea of reuniting with them is all but gone!

There’s nothing unusual or wrong about being emotionally attached to those memories. You still have old images of what your friend was like and you’re projecting that image from the past onto the present.

Remember though… times change, which means people change. You have changed and it’s likely your friend has changed too. You both have life experiences behind you. Your classmate that you regard as being goofy and aloof may actually be considerate and serious today! Time has made you learn to accept other’s shortcomings and forgive them for mistakes made.

While the new version of your friendship is going to be similar to the previous one, it’s not going to be the same.

2 – Fearful Of Rejection

One of the biggest fears people have is being rejected. If you’re going to reunite with an old friend, you may have a lot of negative thoughts going through your mind. You might think your friend doesn’t need to hear from you or that he/she doesn’t need you anymore. You might think they see you as a loser.

Believe it or not, you can dissolve this fear by acting upon what you want to do. Don’t let it stop you from taking action. Once you do it, review the results of the encounter afterward.

3 – Afraid Of What Your Friend Has Achieved Compared To You

This is another common fear people have about reuniting with folks. People fear that they’ll be less successful than their friends – better car, better job, better home, more friends, etc.

I have also had this issue and overcoming it was difficult. Even when friends caught up with me by phone or Internet, I found it hard to keep the relationships up for this very reason. In fact, I had a classmate call me up for an invite to a party. I decided not to go. I thought to myself, “They’ve got lives and I just spend my time just cruising the Internet with nothing to show for my life.” What I later found it was that their lives were just a bit more interesting than mine. However, in that very moment they asked, I believed my life was far more disastrous than theirs and I wasn’t going to take a chance of being the object of ridicule.

Despite the fact that I wanted a social life, if I saw someone I knew in the city, I just ignored them and kept on walking. Logic was all but gone!

4 – Insecurity

Insecurity can play a big part in getting in touch with someone that you haven’t seen in some time. It’s normal and everybody experiences it. You may feel insecure and it’s very likely that they feel insecure as well. When you understand this, it’s a little less stressful. Of course, you can eliminate the fear by taking action and meeting them face to face.

How To Start The Reunion

If you catch yourself thinking about your friends, recalling the good old days – wondering where they are, what they’re like and what they’re up to now – you need to go ahead and get in touch with them. There are all kinds of ways to communication with them today.

For example, make a short phone call or text SMS. If you don’t have your friend’s phone number, look for him/her in social networks – it’s very likely that you will find your friend there. If you still cannot find them, get in touch with a mutual friend and ask him/her for the phone number.

When calling or messaging, keep the conversation short. If you’re in town, consider asking them to meet up with you. It’s better to appoint the meeting now rather than later, as you might never meet.

What Should You Talk About During Your Conversation

You might be wondering what you talk about once you meet up. After all, you probably think you’ve got nothing to talk about. Wrong! Begin with general conversation. Ask them what’s going on in their life, what kind of job they have, where they went to school, etc. Consider talking about mutual friends or classmates.

Don’t be surprised by the pauses in your conversation: it’ll happen!

One of the best ways to kick start a conversation between you two is to recall the old days. While you might see them as someone completely new, funny stories about the times past can bring back the person you once knew.

If you have a good time during this meeting, consider keeping the connection open. Meet up at least once a month. Bear in mind that reestablishing a friendship isn’t always done in one meeting so you’ll need to keep the lines of communication open to become friends once more.

There’s always the possibility that your friend will not accept the invitation. Don’t take it badly, as it may or may not be about you. They may be tired or extremely busy. The thing to remember is that you did try. Stay connected with them and give it a try again after some time. You never know!

It’s possible that you get a cold response from someone you have lost contact with him. Don’t be discouraged by this attitude because he/she won’t know you’re calling or your number may or may not be in their phone. They may not know who was calling them and why. Just keep talking and allow the conversation to flow.

Be Proactive

There was a time where I would rely on others to build interpersonal relationships. Whether it was friendship or love – I used to take a reacting position in communication. I wouldn’t bother getting in touch with someone. I was that shy person standing in the corner of a party, waiting someone to approach him and doing nothing virtually.

In my late teens, I found myself in a situation when everyone was a part of some social group and I was completely outside of any. Thus, I changed my approach from reacting to acting. And, this can help you too!

Do you find yourself taking the reacting position? You may not have been into having a social life back then; but, you probably are now! You need to take the initiative to have a social life. You need to be the one that pushes ahead with relationships and contribute something to them. Don’t forget though that building relationships takes the two of you but you need to approach the situation consciously.

You must be proactive to build up your social circle. How do you do this?

1 – Should you call him/her? Do it!

2 – If there’s something kind of event going on in your town, invite them to go with you.

3 – If you see them in town, consider making small talk.

4 – If you see a schoolmate, walk up to him/her.

5 – If there’s a friend’s birthday, wish him/her a Happy Birthday. If invited to their party, go!

6 – Go to your high school/college reunions regularly.

7 – If your friend has a hobby that you’d like to take up, consider asking him/her. Be interested in their hobby and you’ll have loads to talk about.

Bear in mind that building relationships is hit and miss; it’s not possible to read a person’s mind. If you don’t succeed right off, don’t become discouraged. You’ll need to try a variety of approaches to find what works for you – it’s all trial and error. You may need to repeat several steps to get the results you want. Just remember to work consistently at building friendships and you’ll have a social circle before you know it!

August 12th, 2012

Making Your Social Life Your Number One Priority

Other articles from “Get a Social Life From Scratch” series.

You know that if you are to succeed in something – improving an area in your life or attaining a goal you’ve been pursuing – you have to put the time and effort into it to see it come to fruition. And, when it comes to having a social life from scratch, the theory holds true.

Now, when you focus on just one thing in your life, other aspects in your life will suffer. The consequences of prioritizing will depend completely on you. If you put all your time and effort into getting a social life, it will significantly hurt other parts of your life.

For example: you may need to get rid of your hobby, as you won’t have time for it. Or, you may get fired from your job because you’re consistently late spending your nights socializing in clubs, bars, etc.

Only you can decide how far you want to go with it. For me, when my social life saw improvement, my career started to suffer. I didn’t have the energy to do both – social life and work. I was performing badly at work, and if I had been the boss with an employee like me, I’d have fired him/her.

Right from the get-go, I had decided that my social life was my highest priority. I was eager for so long to have it, and I knew I could get another job eventually. I didn’t really care! My social life was more important. I wanted to spend my time with friends into the wee early morning hours. I didn’t care I went to work sleepy. I can definitely say today that it was all worth it!

You may decide to go a different route; but, you should always do your best and use every opportunity to improve your social situation. You can always reallocate your time and energy later. However, when you’re just starting out, it’s vitally important to give your social life all your attention.

In this article, I’ll tell you what it means to make getting a social life your key priority. I will also provide you with some real-life cases and explain what actions you need to take to attain your goal.

1 – Become Obsessed

Get ravenous about having a social life. Don’t miss any opportunity to interact with folks. Small talk with a salesperson in a shop or at a big event – New Year’s Day party, it all counts!

Fall in love with all kinds of social events. Perhaps you’ve been invited to a social event that looks to be boring. Go anyway! You never know how it’ll turn out. In fact, it could be one of the best days in your life – something you can share with your future grandchildren.

When something – God/Universe/Higher Power – provides you with an opportunity to improve your social life, you should take it. Put everything else on the back burner – hobby, work, etc. – and focus on just your social life. You can balance them later in life.

Maybe you’re used to moving slowly through life – thinking and planning – and this can be fine! However, it’s time to be a bit irresponsible and unpredictable.

2- Do Something You Normally Wouldn’t Do

If I was going to improve my social life, I had to change how I went about deciding things. When I had no social life, I used to have the following pattern of behavior:

I’d turn down almost every opportunity to socialize. Whenever I had a choice: to stay at home or to go out and interact with people, I would definitely stay at home (or do some other non-social activity).

When I became aware of this bad pattern, I began making decisions that I normally wouldn’t have. In essence, I started accepting nearly every socialization offer. The idea behind the behavior was if I had a choice to stay home or socialize, I’d do the opposite of what I normally would have done.

See, in the majority of cases, I would choose to stay home and read a good book or watch a movie. However, by doing the opposite of what I normally did, I had to go out and participate in life. And, this is what I was doing. It’s my hope that this small tip helps you with your social life.

4 Cases Of Social Life Situations and The Actions You Should Take

Now, it’s time to look at some situations that you should take advantage of when it comes to your social life as well as the actions you need to take to improve your social skills. It’s easier for me to explain things from a personal standpoint so each of the four cases is based on my own experience.

1 – Too Tired To Communicate

Someone calls you to invite you to a party or just to have a chat in the nearby café or have a walk together. But, you don’t feel like socializing so you decline and stay home. Wrong!

That was a frequent mistake on my part!

It’s obvious that if you wish to improve your social life, you need to accept the offer and go socialize. But, at the same time, you feel tired, don’t you? You probably think that you won’t be all there if you go? How do you overcome the issue?

The trick here is to remember that motivation follows action. There were many times when I thought I was drained and exhausted. But, I made a step out of my house and some inner resources would unexpectedly pop up and give me strength and energy to be cheerful and sociable again.

So, if you don’t feel like going somewhere this evening, do it anyway.

2 – Stick To Your Priorities

Sometimes you just cannot kill two birds with one stone. Thus, you’ve got to choose. And, the clear vision of your priorities will help you in this case.

My friends invited me to go fishing with them one evening. Unfortunately, I had a study class to attend. However, I chose to go out with my friends and miss the study the next day. Yep, I had some issues with the class later on based on the choice I made. But, I didn’t regret going out with my friends! I felt it was more important to go out with my friends and have a wonderful time socializing than attend class.

3 – Unexpected Change Of Plans

One evening, a friend of mine came to town and gave me a call. He offered me the chance to go walking with him and some other friends. It was around 11 p.m. and I was rather exhausted. I declined the offer.

You know what? I regret that decision. If I had went, my social life would have been boosted and I could have attained my goal quicker.

If you’re going to have a social life, you need to change your plans every now and then. It’s common to hang with friends for a couple of hours or stay up until dawn the next morning.

I was sluggish when I had to change my plans, and it was difficult for me to alter my day agenda. However, it’s helpful to accept those social interactions even when they don’t fit into the schedule you laid out. You must be ready to accept changes because they can happen at any point in time.

4 – Spend Money

It can be expensive getting a social life – cafés, traveling, bars, etc. It’s none of my business what your income is; but, if you want a social life, you don’t want to be stingy. You need to invest some of the cash into the goal.

One Final Thought

Making your social life the number one priority is essential if you plan on being successful at it. Take a second gander at what your life is like. Ask yourself what areas in your life can be sacrificed for some time to put your resources into improving your social circle. When you do that, act upon it!

July 7th, 2012. Revised: October 18th, 2012

Making Friends: How You Can Become More Visible To The World

Other articles from “Get a Social Life From Scratch” series.

Alright, you’ve spent more of your time outside your home. You’ve visited various events and public places than you have ever. That’s wonderful! Really, it’s really great! You’ve made a giant leap forward, and I am so happy for you.

Now is the time to connect with folks. At least, it’s time to start making attempts without focusing on results. You just need to act. How do you do it? The trick? It’s to become visible to folks.

To use the analogy from computer-related field:

Every element of every application installed at your computer (like the button “Refresh” of your browser or its address bar) has the property of visibility.

When a programmer creates an application’s form, he/she decides whether the element is visible to a user (you and me) or not. Of course, the visibility can be changed throughout the application’s operational process (runtime). The algorithm of the program toggles the visibility on and off when needed.

I have used the same approach when building my social life. And now, it’s your turn to switch the visibility of the element “You” on.

Here are some of the methods I applied back in the day:

1 – Online

If you’re going to become visible, you need to find ways in which to show yourself to other folks; they need to know you exist. Technology is making that happen more and more. With a vast array in technological choices, you can let people know about you really fast.

Yes, I am talking about the Internet and social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. You might have some negative opinions about Facebook – waste of time, useless and more. Well, it can be like this.

The goal is to become more sociable, overcome social anxiety and build a social life. You need to consider all opportunities that will help you do this, regardless of how you personally feel.

Like the old saying says, “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business”. If you use Facebook for business purposes only, and your business is to get a social life, and not as a distraction from your work, study or other activities, then it becomes another helpful tool on your path toward the goal.

You can reduce the use of Facebook or abandon it later. But for right now, you’ve got to use every single opportunity you can. Consider getting a Facebook or other social media account to get connected with other folks.

When I was in the process of getting a social life, Facebook wasn’t that well-known. In fact, Livejournal.com was where people were interacting – at least in my region they were. I was hesitant to create an account and, after a bit of time, I broke down and created it. (Read Devirtualization to learn what benefits this brought.)

Perhaps you feel alright about creating a social media account now; but, you don’t really want to be like other folks. But, you need to remember your goal. I didn’t really want to create an account withwww.livejournal.com but I did it because I wanted to get in the crowd. Of course, I thought about what a smart person would do – if it helps you reach your goal faster – then do it!

The question isn’t whether you’re like everyone else or not. The actual question is how smart are you to take social media and make it work for you. You’re no doubt smart enough to make things work for you. Yes, it’ll require some self-discipline not to become addicted and waste time on it… but you can handle it.

2 – Devirtualization

The main goal of building online contacts is to one day move it offline (to the real world). Convert online communication to face-to-face communication. Simply put: devirtualization.

What is devirtualization? The Urban Dictionary defines it as the following:

It is the act or process of meeting someone, with whom one has previously only had contact with on the Internet, in real life for the first time.

Devirtualization has to be your primary goal and focus when using social networks (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or any other online discussion board).

If you’ve met someone online and have talked to them by message for quite some time and it seems like both of you could get along in person, you might want to consider meeting them. Ask them if they’d like to hang out – go to the movies, have a drink, etc. Do something that both of you have interests in. If there’s a social event – concert, event or something of that nature – consider asking them to join you. This would help to learn more about folks and make friends with many of them.

Consider my situation:

Remember, when Livejournal was all the rage, I had an account. I set it up but had no “real-life” friends to add. So, I just added a couple of folks from the online discussion board where I spent my time. As I commented on other people’s comments and posts, my friends’ list increased. These folks added me to their friends list as well and, before I knew it, I had 30 virtual friends.

We had meetings of virtual friends from the Livejournal community. People would get together at a local park or café to devirtualize and learn more about each other. So, I placed my focus supporting my online connections with my virtual friends and waited for the next meeting to take place. When that happened, I made the decision to go.

I took the train to the city where the meeting was being held. The host of the meeting met me at the train station and took me to the meeting place. It was breakthrough! I got in touch with some unknown folks and had some great conversations with them! The folks were friendly; the atmosphere was warm and I was enjoying the day. It would definitely be something I’d remember.

Let me reiterate this one more time: the goal of online communication is to devirtualize it. The longer you take to do this, the higher the possibility of you becoming a social networking junkie with no friends in real life with thousands of friends online. You don’t want that to happen to you, do you?

3 – Offline

Now that you’ve grasped the main idea of how to get your social life built with online tools, it’s time to figure out how to become visible to folks in the “real” world. I have two pieces of advice to help you do this:

– Offering help

– Asking for help

To apply the first approach, focus on helping folks – relatives, friends, co-workers and acquaintances. It could be as simple as driving them somewhere or, a more tedious task, helping them with computer issues. Anything you feel you can handle, you should try. These people will know that you can help them and you’ll be visible to them. They may even spread the word so more folks will seek your audience.

On the second approach, be visible to more folks by asking them for help. If you need a problem solved and you know someone who can do it for you, ask him/her to help you.

For instance, if I needed study material or to print a couple of documents, I would have called a person I knew could help me. While waiting on the pages to print, we’d have a small talk at his/her place.

One Last Thought

The focus of this step is to remind folks more often that you do exist.

Are you afraid that you’ll be annoying? Don’t be! Just use your common sense. Yes, you should never call someone 10 times an hour, asking them the same question repeatedly. And, you’re not likely to do that. It’s unlikely you’re going to bother someone to the point they don’t want to deal with you anymore.

You’re, no doubt, a great person but unless people see it, they don’t know about it. The reason you have a bad social life is NOT because you’re terrible at socializing. Potential friends have no knowledge about you and they don’t know that you exist.

It’s similar to a business creating a product and telling no one about it and expecting the sales to grow. It’s not going to happen. The same thing applies to socializing. People are not given information about you. You have to provide them that information.

June 16th, 2012. Revised: October 18th, 2012

Get a Social Life From Scratch Series

Other articles from “Get a Social Life From Scratch” series.

For the next several weeks, I’ll devote my time to writing on how you can become more social beginning at ground zero. The articles series will cover a range of topics including how to get out of your shell, how to feel more confident around people, how to become more outgoing, how to handle rejection, how you can reveal your hidden social abilities, improving your communication skills and many other social skills.

This article, which explains some key points for the subsequent articles, is an introduction to the whole series. The goal of this series is to arm you with information that helps you to build your social circle from the ground up to the degree at which you would feel “social enough”. I can’t teach you how to become a highly extroverted person and I don’t want to (as my strong belief is that you should honor your true personality).

The primary focus of the next few articles is to provide you quality advice that you can use to get an average social life (like a group of mates to hang out with on weekends). So, that in the end, you’d feel less anxious and needy and more comfortable and relaxed with your social issues overall.

We’ll begin with how you can get a social life without anyone’s help. I’ll provide you some important tips on how you can get started on enjoying a social life without any interference from anyone. What you’ll discover, as you do this, is that you are already a self-sustained person. This approach will enable us to build a solid foundation of the most basic social skills and gain vital “real world” experience. As a result, you’ll become more confident and less needy.

Once this is done, we’ll transition into establishing connections with other folks. During this step, we’ll cover how you can become more noticeable to other folks and devirtualization. There will be a lot of attention given to the topic of creating (or recreating) your social circle. We’ll be looking at the various ways you can make new friends and reconnect with old ones as well.

Another article will highlight the controversy of leaving some friends that you currently communicate with in order to attain the goal of having a social life. We’ll also look at how you can find the balance between the neediness of having a social life to the necessity of getting time alone.

The series comes on the heels of what I took while trying to become socialized. Thus, you will have personal, real-life stories and examples to work with.

When giving advice, I’ll try to make it as universal as I possibly can so anybody – man or woman – can use it. With that in mind, I’m not going to make use of general thoughts and phrases. With a step-by-step guide, you’ll get a tremendous amount of information and recommendations to help you on your way to gaining a social life.

Bear in mind that you probably won’t be able to apply the advice I give right away because of your own situation and circumstances. Thus, you can make adjustments in the way you feel it’s more effective for your predicaments.

What Happened When I Hit Rock Bottom

When my 19th birthday approached, I was completely broke socially. It was the most awful birthday I’d ever had. I was having difficulties in my studies at the university. I was suffering from panic attacks. And, because of that, I was waiting for them to strike at any point and unable to relax and be myself. I lost all my old friends and didn’t try making new ones. I literally felt like a social outsider.

It seemed like I had already missed the important parts of my life, never going to parties nor having a girlfriend. There was that strong feeling that my life was just passing me by and I was completely letting it.

Remember the phrase, “it’s always darkest just before dawn”? It was a phrase that people would use to cheer me up especially on this birthday. However, it was the starting point from which my social life began getting better.

Are you desperate about your current social issues? Do you spend your weekends at home… alone? Were you, at one time, a social person but lost all connections with your friends? Then, with the help of this series, I hope I can get you to improve your social situation.

You will face some obstacles along the way. And, you might become discouraged at some point. However, you have to keep going if you want to see an improvement in your social situation. It may take months or years, but you don’t want to give up at any point especially if you don’t get immediate results.

According to one proverb, “Hope dies last”. I’d rather say, “Persistence dies last” since it’ll take persistence to succeed. You may lose your hope; however, keep taking actions, day by day, and when the first results start to show up, the hope will come alive too.

I Sincerely Ask You for Feedback

Do you have a question, comment or just a thought regarding this series? Don’t hesitate and send it to me via my contact form. Your feedback will help me better understand what you’re interested in, what kind of value you expect to gain out of my articles and what issues I should pay more attention to while writing my next article.

If you’re reading this article in the year 2020, and have got a question – you can still contact! Why? Because, I plan on keeping this site up and running for as long as I can… just to help you and others like you.

June 2nd, 2012. Revised: July 31th, 2012