Welcome to edition #9 of our news series, where we share with you the latest resources we’ve found on social skills, making friends, and more. In this edition, we discover a woman who met as many people as she could in a unique way… by using services in the sharing economy.  Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss any future editions!

A Radical Experiment in Meeting New People…

meet new people

Motherboard shares this article about a woman who drastically quit her day job to meet as many new people as she could using the sharing economy. For all of 2016, Maria Eriksson slept on the dining room floor of her apartment in Uppsala, Sweden. Her bedroom and spare room were occupied by strangers—from New York acrobats, to a Korean family. She successfully used sharing economy services as her main source of income, but her main objective was to meet new people and make interesting new friends.

This article mostly focuses on the economics side of the experiment, but I was more interested in what Maria learned in terms of social life and making friends aspects. So I decided to interview Maria, who is in Argentina right now. Here is what we discussed:

When she started her “366 days of sharing” experiment, Maria had an essential goal of meeting as many people as she could. She was perceived as reserved and maybe a little shy, by others. She did have a few friends she saw regularly, but she wanted to experiment more, socially.

The experiment helped her become more relaxed and comfortable meeting strangers, it helped her connect quickly with new people. Before, she had a little trouble meeting complete strangers, but she did overcome that issue as more and more people came into her home.

Maria said that, before, she was skeptical of small talk, but after a while, she realized that small talk still has its place in social interactions. As I say regularly, small talk is how you get to find things in common with other people… so you can segway into more meaningful conversations.

She also said that one-on-one conversations cannot be substituted by online chat, or just by exchanging photos. An online profile will never replace a real conversation, if you want to get to know the other person and make friends with them.

Maria also discovered just how much she was able to trust people. She found that most people she interacted with that year were nice and respectful. This is great news, as many people around her were telling her that she took a big risk by doing the experiment.

Most importantly, we discussed how many great/nice/considerate people don’t trust themselves enough, and come across as uncomfortable and even insecure. That is a sad fact, as if anybody deserves to be confident it’s these people. In fact, once you know how to behave in social settings, once you know how it really works, all that hesitation and insecurity goes away.

  • You start to know what you could, and couldn’t do.
  • You start to get a real grip on what depends on you and what doesn’t. That way, you’re never “phased” by somebody behaves badly or seem upset. (don’t let people make you feel guilty, alright?)
  • You can get from “hi” to getting to know them, to actually building the friendship and hanging out.

This is why I wrote my book, Get The Friends You Want. To share with you the tools that took me many years to discover and polish. You can use these tools to overcome all social hesitation, meet people and have great conversations, make friends and build your social circle.

You can give it a try right here.

– Paul Sanders

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