For a lot of us, meeting people is far from our favorite thing, but the reality is that we’ve had to meet everyone in our lives up to this point. Meeting people is not only an everyday skill, but a life skill, and the more time we put into mastering it, the more Connected, Confident, and Comfortable we are.
The trouble starts when we remember the times where we messed up meeting someone, and that drives up our anxiety worrying over our next mistake. The reality is we’ve done it right plenty of times already and the people we love are proof of that. There are billions of people on this Earth and the next person we meet could be another loving and supporting person to include in our lives.
The practical side of this is: We’re constantly meeting people. Family, Friends, Teachers, Bosses, Coworkers, Business Professionals, Lovers, Soul Mates, Staff, and even Animals. Society doesn’t exist without meeting people. Life gets substantially easier the more we polish this skill set. Practice reduces our anxiety, give us more control, and prepares us for what’s new.
Meeting people is the starting point for every connection. We adore the people already in our lives because we’ve already invested the time and effort into those relationships to make them feel safe. Our assumptions about new people are often wildly inaccurate. People are not always as we expect and we owe it to them to let them show us who they are.
The best way to prepare to meet new people is to understand our own social habits and preferences. The important thing about being comfortable is knowing how we like to meet people, and what are our limits. Playing to our strengths is the best way to push our comfort zone. Unless we live under a rock, we’re going to meet people, so becoming comfortable with it is an invaluable life skill.
Networking and careers, in general, are all about meeting people in order to be successful. Whether it’s searching for a job, starting a business, or working for a promotion, it’s about who you meet, who you know, and how they perceive you. Meeting the right people makes an incredible impact on, not only our personal lives but our professional success as well.
The opposite is also true. Meeting people also gives us the opportunity to make an impact on them. Everything from lending a hand to someone in need, to sharing a compliment and a smile with someone, can make a huge difference in someone’s day. Meeting others gives us the opportunity to be a positive influence on someone’s day, if not on their life.
Meeting people is the most important and influential skill set I’ve developed in my life because it’s been the source of everything that makes up our social lives. In middle school, I made the decision that I would rather know what would happen than wonder what could have been. That’s been the driving force for me to take risks. In fact, without that mentality, I wouldn’t have some of the most influential people and experiences in my life.
The challenge is taking the control needed to build a deeper connection with the people we want to know and limit the interactions with the people that make us uncomfortable. For anyone with the desire to improve their skills at meeting people, come meet me and we’ll work on it together. How do you want to meet someone new?
Want more? Look for my article on The Ins and Outs of Small Talk.