Connecting with other human beings can be hard for some of us. When you’re the kind of person who is intimidated by social interaction you find yourself saying nothing or saying the wrong things. People in the real world are way harder to understand than any of the fictional characters you relate to and it’s nearly impossible to know whether or not they would like to be your friend.
People tend to like me. For the most part anyway. It may take a few conversations but a lot of people enjoy my company if not for nothing more than as the occasional novelty. Why? I couldn’t tell you exactly but I have my theories. Most of these theories revolve around the idea that most people have deeper seeded emotional issues than they think that result in them lashing out against themselves by choosing to hang out with socially oblivious assholes. That or I’m charming as fuck.
I joke that I only have four friends but that’s an exaggeration. I’m up at least six now even if I only see one of them on a regular basis and that’s because I live with her. Ok, I may not be the most popular girl on the block but I like to think that’s at least partially my choice. I could have more friends if I wanted to. I could. And so could you!
I know everyone can’t be as trouser dropping charming as yours truly, but believe me you can learn to fake it. Tricking people into hanging out with you isn’t as hard as people think and I’m here to help you. What do you say? Let’s make some friends!
Pretend To Be Interested In What They’re Saying.
People are dull, I know, but the thing you have to understand about people is that they think their opinions matter. One of their opinions will no doubt be that you give a fuck about their cat’s antics, what they had for breakfast yesterday morning, or their cousin’s wife’s bosses’s wedding and how crazy drunk all those complete strangers got. It’s important to humour them. You don’t really have to listen to what they’re saying just nod when it feels right and give a little laugh when they pause. Don’t worry about remembering anything from these stories, people love to tell them over and over. Chances are you’ll hear it again in a week.
Gage Their Pop-Culture Knowledge Before Going Hard On Reference Jokes.
To be truthful I myself have yet to master this. I know you’re understanding of social interaction is based almost entirely on what you’ve seen on television and in movies but many people you’ll encounter in the real world will have had actual hands on social development and they wont be able to link real world occurrences to fictional happenings as easily as you. They also probably only watch a few of the same series as you do and sometimes you even run into those pompous jerks who “don’t watch TV”.
You’ve gotta feel them out and slowly introduce the real you so as not to scare them off.
Engage In Small Talk.
Small talk is a delicate art. You want to construct a launch pad for your potential friend-ship but remain clear of all hazardous materials and obstacles to assure for a smooth take off. You have to develop common interests and positive interfacings through conversation.
Now, what you want to do is begin with a few open ended questions to get the spacecraft powered up. If you do this successfully the other person will hopefully take over command of the vessel and the conversation can find a steady rate of acceleration that will allow the shuttle to leave earth’s atmosphere without blowing a gasket. Does this metaphor still make sense?
I don’t know. How about some examples of small talk?
-Where did you get that shirt?
-Do you follow any sports and/or teams?
-Do you prefer cats or dogs? Why?
-What’s Vladmir Putin’s deal?
-Would you rather fight Godzilla or a giant robot?
-What do you think would be the best method of murder if you wanted to get away with it?
Stuff like that. You can also use small talk as an opportunity to figure out what kind of media they partake in as discussed above.
Refrain From Making Racial/Holocaust/Dead Baby Jokes Until At Least Your Third Hang out.
As much as you and I appreciate a good ethnic infant genocide joke not everyone feels the same, especially not with people they don’t know. Humour is important. People are drawn to funny people but they also don’t like having their morals challenged by strangers. Try to stick to lighter joke topics when first meeting new people. Instead make jokes about your own short comings (people love it when you’re self deprecating) and take jabs at a celebrity’s weight.
Provide Compliments and Ass Kissing.
People love to be liked, that’s why you’re reading this now. You can make someone think you admire them by offering up simple compliments and gestures of kindness. Things like telling them they have great shoes, or offering them your pen when appropriate. Human’s are naturally narcissistic beings and confirming their delusions of how amazing they are is sure to win them over. Honestly the fastest way to make a new friend is to let your interactions be all about them (refer back to the first tip).
Remember They Can Smell Fear.
We may be more detail oriented, better at puzzles, and have total recall of the works of Joss Whedon as lone wolves, but when dropped into a collaborative ecosystem it’s the social butterfly who has the advantage.
They’re popular, they’re masters of subtly and more importantly they know how to read people, without the help of sound cues and reaction shots.
You have to be extra careful not to show how nervous you really are at the prospect of being in contact with them lest they think you’re strange and spread the word. You have to make them think they’re fraternizing with an equal. Confidence is essential even if it’s not real.
Act Too Cool For School.
Lets say none of the above has worked. Somehow you can’t manage to make them think you have any real interest in them beyond having someone to send you tickets to get to the next level on Candy Crush. Time for Plan B. As you’ll find some socially competent people are riddled with terribly low self-esteem.
These people are likely to gravitate toward friendships with people who don’t give a shit out of a twisted need for approval. In which case all you have to do is act disinterested in them and soon enough you’ll find them trying to impress you. In order for this to work you really have to commit to an act of indifference and be emotionally corrupt enough to be ok stringing them along for an undetermined amount of time.
Buy Their Friendship.
Pretending that you didn’t want to be their friend didn’t work either. Good thing I have a Plan C all worked out for you. It requires only minimal effort and cash. When I say “buy their friendship” I don’t mean walk up to them and tell them you’ll toss them a few hundred dollar bills if they be your friend, that would be pathetic.
What you do is invite them to spend time with you doing activities for which you foot the bill. Dinner? It’s on me. That sweater does match you’re eyes let me buy it for you as a gift. Wanna see a movie tonight? My treat! Who says money can’t buy happiness?
Time to Resort To Good Gold Fashion Blackmail.
By chance lets say you’re friend of choice happens to be the last honourable man in Westeroes (I’m just REALLY excited for season four!). Well, fuck! Have you ever thought about setting your sites lower? Geesh. Fortunately for you I’ve foreseen such failure and have constructed a foolproof Plan D.
So the object of your plutonic affection doesn’t like the idea of being bought huh? Well, it’s a good thing you’ve watched plenty of Veronica Mars, Sherlock, and True Detective to hone your sleuth skills because it is time to dig up some dirt to use against them. Perhaps a stolen inheritance, a drunken make out session with a second cousin, or a string of satanic sacrifices? Maybe just an embarrassing photo pre-nose job or from when their mom made them take ballet.
Not good enough? As we learned all the way back in the first season of Game of Thrones there was only one way to make the Lord Eddard Stark confess to false treason and that was a threat on his daughter’s lives. I understand not everyone has a daughter who’s welfare you can endanger but there’s always siblings, parents or pets…
Now that you’re a friend making powerhouse you might be ready to take the next step and find a friend who will let your genitals touch theirs. Need help landing a date? Luck for you, I’ve already written that article. You’re welcome.