How to meet people–dealing with jerks
Today I want to talk about a problem some of us have–learning how to meet people. A lot of you guys want to know how to do it, and how to do it well. I’m still going over my journal from the first SE Asia (Thailand/Laos/Cambodia) trip that I took, way back in November of 2007. I was in country for four years, and this was the first extensive traveling that I did while I was there. And I know how you guys feel. I’m an introvert at heart and have had to learn how to deal with a lot of situations that make me feel uncomfortable, and how to turn them to my advantage.
I know you want to learn tricks, or maybe better put- philosophies for how to meet people. I found some things I wrote about dealing with people who make you angry, which I though fit nicely into this category.
When you’re out to make friends, meet people and be more social, it’s inevitable that you’re going to meet people whom you don’t like and who upset you. Take a look at a real life account of something that happened thousands of miles from home, how I handled it, and maybe you can take something away from it. From my journal:
First of all, and most important, I have to do what Vickie said and beat people at mind and verbal games rather than getting angry.
the most noteworthy incident was this afternoon when we arrived where I am now and where we’re all staying overnight. As we get off the boat, a shy, unassuming kid asked me if I wanted to stay at his family’s guesthouse. I said yeas and we got to talking. He said they were poor but had good rooms. I like the kid–he was definitely honest in a country full of people trying to rip you off.
The kid (age 22), Sungi, was explaining to another couple about his hotel when another, older guy, maybe 28, tried to interrupt and sell the tourists on his hotel. This pissed me off and I told him to mind his own business and let the kid explain what he had to offer.
This was fine, but I did it in a way that was too confrontational. Of course, I talked my way out of it–but still. Then while the guy was within earshot I told the kid not to grow up and be like that; that he should always be an honest man. After all, every day you have to look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of the person you are. I said this and looked occasionally at the older guy, who obviously understood. That, I think, was ok.
The kid later told me that the guy was a rich sort of mafia guy who owned 4 guest houses. That made me happy for two reasons. One, I cut him off and indirectly said he was a piece of shit. And two, because the guy gave me the creeps from the start and my intuition was right on. I really need to work on trusting and dealing my instincts on this trip.
The key for me is to stay calm and relaxed so I get an honest read on people.
Also, I need to keep my wits about me and stay calm when I start to feel angry. Then redirect that and stay distract or subtly make a fool of the other person. Like with this guy, I could have simply asked him questions or seemed interested in his hotel or complimented his shirt until the kid did or didn’t make a sale.
Now that was just one incident of something that happened. But it happened thousands of miles from home, in a country that wasn’t mine. Talk about meeting people–I didn’t even speak their language!!
You’re going to find people in your every day life, in your own country and language, that piss you off. How you deal with those people is up to you.
By redirecting and distracting you can diffuse a tense situation. In a group of women that you’re trying to pick up, this can work wonders.
It makes it so when you meet the faux-alpha guy trying to punk you, he looks like what he really is: a douche bag.
And it makes you look like what you really are. The alpha male.
Learning how to meet people and build relationships isn’t a destination. It’s a journey. Go out, meet new friends. Meet the cashier at the supermarket, meet the bartender at the tavern down the road, meet some fellow fans at a Motley Crue concert, meet the girl who puts out the produce at the super market. Just meet people and apply the principles day by day. When you realize you messed something up, chalk it up as a learning experience and keep going. Fail forward and grow every day.