#Weekly experiments / Wise

I still suck at small-talk, but I found a way how to enjoy meeting new people

[Experiment: Shay Carl – Creating the Care Bear Stare]

I had a great “lunch” last Monday. It’s “lunch” in parenthesis because Monday is my fasting day, so I only had (decaf) bulletproof coffee. And it was great because I met like-minded person excited about improving life in any way available. I told him about some of my experiments, and he showed me great tool for memory training using spaced repetition (Anki) which I already installed into my phone and desktop and plan to use it.

I met him through the Life Hackers Singapore meetup group. Which I founded. Because Care Bear Stare.

Thank you Tim, thank you Shay Carl, that was a valuable advice.

To recap – the idea proposed by Shay Carl was that a group of enthusiastic people can create way much more than enthusiastic individuals alone – because their ideas, skills and enthusiasm will amplify. So if you are interested in something, find a group of people who are too. Either join existing community, or build a new one.

Again, this is one of those “Captain Obvious” claims that absolutely makes sense, but I kind of ignored because of my slightly asocial inclination.

Because it’s easier to brood at home about the fact that there is not enough of like-minded people in Singapore. Easier then to go out and try to find those people, risking some embarrassment or failures on the way.

It’s not that I don’t like people, or avoid people. I just don’t have the skill to immediately connect with anyone. For example I suck at small-talk.

I know that my tendency not to be socially active is slowing me down. How does one build relationships and cooperation, learn and practice new things, if one is reluctant/afraid to meet new people? Truth is that it’s almost impossible.

But not anymore. Since the week I started the Care Bear Stare experiment, I

  • Joined new Biohackers Singapore meetup, met interesting people from this group and am still active in our WhatsApp chat
  • Went for acro yoga class in US when I was there for 2 weeks. I even went to my first acro yoga jam (free outdoor event where acro monkeys meet and play) in Orlando when I was there. Great people too.
  • Went to 2 Strengths Finder meetups and cascade of interesting events followed
  • Instead of being sad that minimum of 5 people were required for stand up paddle boarding and doing nothing, I organized (with my husband’s help) group of friends and went there
  • Founded Life Hackers Singapore group and I’m organizing the first meetup.

Strengths Finder meetup was a great example of chain reaction. I joined group’s WhatsApp chat after the first meetup and ended up getting coaching session from one of the freshly certified coaches there. We talked about my job and among other things I mentioned that we were contemplating starting a (bulletproof) coffee stall with my husband. Not only this coach helped me to clarify my thoughts about my job through talking to her, but she immediately connected me to another lady who I met just yesterday. She recently left her well paid job (setting up businesses for other people) and started small salad stall because she believes in healthy affordable food. Not only she helped me to clarify things through her questions, but she also offered help and cooperation if we really want to setup the healthy coffee place. I’m not sure where this will lead, but I got a few new ideas that I want to try.

Of course, not all groups will work magic. I will probably never meet the acro group from Orlando. I don’t think most of the guys will go paddle boarding again. And my Life Hackers group only has 36 members as of now. But even if I’ll only stay in contact with a few of them, it’s already a win.

Just going out of my shell is a great win for me. And as with any practice, it’s becoming easier each time.

Meeting new people through topic groups makes things so much easier. I still suck at small-talk. But if I go to a specific meetup I already know what interest we have in common and we can talk directly about that. It also filters lots of people who we would not be compatible with anyway. It’s a clear win-win, and it’s a clear Hell Yes result for this experiment.

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