Before we get into tonight's chat, it's essential to know that none of this will work if you aren't willing to meet new people. I can't tell you how many men I have worked with who tell me they are lonely and isolated while simultaneously being unwilling or even terrified to meet new people. Not surprisingly, a little unpacking of their resistance to meeting others almost always leads to a lack of confidence about 'what to say' or 'what to do.' Because so many men in our society have been conditioned to believe that we are supposed to know these things inherently, we feel insecure or inadequate when we don't. If you were taught this stuff, tonight will be a refresher. If you weren't taught this stuff, it's pretty counterproductive to expect yourself to know it, let alone be confident about it. To grow, you are going to have to meet people. I am blessed to have many great people in my life, and not a single one of them showed up at my door looking for me. Meeting new people can be uncomfortable, but it isn't hard, which is why you should do it.
Check-out The No-Comfort Zone for more on the topic of discomfort. Roll it!
How to meet anyone with style:
1. Stand up.
Always meet new people, challenges, and experiences on your feet. Plus, standing is a powerful way to say, without words, that you already value this person. Everyone, regardless of their background, position, or status in life, deserves a baseline level of respect. Everyone. If you don't know this by now, it's because you had shitty parents.
2. Extend your hand to offer a firm, not crushing, handshake.
The COVID-19 pandemic has, understandably, damned-near killed the handshake for a lot of folks. My advice, offer it anyway. If they decline, don't read into it, don't take it personally; smile, and respond in a validating fashion. "I get it," "No worries," etc.
3. Say your name.
Or whatever you like to be called—no need to be creative here. Avoid tacky responses like 'My friends call me...' and 'Mr. Smith was my father...' These responses are unnecessary crutches used by those who are insecure.
4. When they say their name, repeat it.
This does two things. It also allows them to correct you if mis-hear or mispronounce their name. Better to clear that up now than to call them the wrong name for the next two years. It also sends the message to this person that you care about retaining their correct name inside your dome because they matter to you. When you make someone feel like they matter, they remember that shit.
5. Engage them.
Follow-up with a simple, non-intrusive question. No need to overthink this or re-invent the wheel. 'Are you from around here?' is a personal go-to of mine.
As a general rule of conversation, if you ask someone a question, it's polite to listen to their response. Listening is not rocket science. If you are thinking about what you want to say, you're not listening. Ask more questions than you answer. Everyone likes to talk about themselves.
During the entire interaction, look the person in the eyes. Look, don't stare. Smile, don't gawk. Nobody likes a weirdo.
After you've mastered the above steps, it's time to up your game. For an extra classy touch, pay your new friend a compliment about something (shirt, shoes, hair, etc). Everyone loves compliments; it's the world's worst kept secret. You like them, I like them, everyone likes them. Complementing someone validates your engagement and attention to them. It says, "I see you." Most importantly, it demonstrates confidence.
Confidence is a people magnet.
How to meet women with style.
Take a deep breath, Cowboy; we are talking about merely meeting a female person here. This is not dating advice. It may be a shocking insight to you, but women are just people, and generally, aren't any more dangerous than men. You meet them the same way you meet anyone, with one caveat: The ONLY thing I do differently when meeting a woman is to always allow her to initiate the offer of a handshake. For many reasons, this helps avoid awkward situations.
As always, be conscious of your body language. Stand tall, stand proud, and look to what's in front of you. You're not going to find the man you're meant to be on the ground.
Now put your phone down, and go meet someone new.