Tag Archives: Similarities

How To Make New Friends Anywhere, Anytime

One of the things I find most fascinating is how quickly you can get to know some people. Most people, it generally takes a while. You need to share experiences, become comfortable enough to talk about things until you can feel you know this person. Maybe you only see them for a little a couple times a day. Maybe you only see them once a week. And then you feel you know them in this particular context, you begin to share other things. Your family, funny stories about your childhood. The teacher you had a crush on in second grade. That thing that your partner or significant other did (and hopefully still does) that drives you insane with desire.

I remember once I was talking to this lady. We’d only been acquainted for a total of about two hours. It was the third time I’d seen her. Either she is a really outgoing person, who is able to feel really comfortable with almost anybody, or she just felt she really trusted me. She started telling me things about her daughter that I thought were kind of personal, but interesting. Nothing too terrible, just typical mother daughter stuff that people talk about sometimes. It’s funny when you feel really comfortable with somebody you’ve first met, so that you can experience.

I remember once I was by myself in a foreign country. And most people didn’t speak much English. I was feeling brave enough to venture out of my hotel room. My hotel was a large international one, and some of the staff spoke English, so I was comfortable enough while in the hotel. But once I left the hotel, it was a totally different ballgame. It was a totally different sport. I started walking around, figuring that I’d be ok, as long as I could make a beeline back to my hotel if I ran into trouble. I saw what looked like a large shopping mall. I decided I’d have a look around, and see if I could find something interesting. Who knows, maybe I would feel brave enough to go and try to buy something.

Suddenly I spotted something interesting. Across the mall, was a guy that looked to be about the same age as me. He was wearing a sweatshirt from my alma mater. Suddenly feeling courageous at the sight of those big black letters which evoked many fond memories, I decided to go and talk to him.
I asked him if he spoke English, and he replied that he did. I asked him about his sweatshirt, and it turns out he graduated the same year as I did! We had an amazing time chatting over a meal at a small restaurant that he showed me where they serve the local cuisine. It was fantastic.

The funny thing was, I would have never have guessed that this person was so interesting, and that we share so many things in common. Had he not been wearing that sweatshirt which immediately caused me to remember good memories and feelings, I never would have been able to develop the courage to go and talk to him. It made me wonder. How many other people am I missing out on meeting simply because I don’t allow myself to feel the feelings that will make a chance meeting turn into a great afternoon?

And it turns out that the lady was preparing me to meet her daughter. She was telling me the bad things about her up front, because she was planning on introducing me later. I guess her strategy was to respect me enough to give me a fair idea of her. Because when I finally did meet her, she was absolutely stunning. Had I not heard the stories about her from her mother, I might have fallen into the trap of thinking, merely because of her looks, that she was a stunning angel devoid of any human frailties. As it turns out, she wasn’t my type, and I wasn’t hers, so everything worked out.

I think a great idea when meeting new people is to always look for similarities. Because we are more alike than we are different, you can’t go wrong, and you’ll always be able to make new friends wherever you go.