“People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.”
Joseph F Newton
If you are like I am you know some really shy young people and some really shy old folks. One of the things I enjoy most is learning more about my introverted friends for more often than not they have hidden attributes that make them really interesting. It’s like cleaning off the surface of a stone only to discover a precious gem.
What is even better is when our conversations result in them seeing themselves in a different light and seeing that they do not have to be alone in their walk through life. Many discover that there are latent friends all around them. We all need others in our lives and sometimes we just need to take the initiative to step out and let us know them.
Here selections from a piece written Sarah Williams on the change blog that can help those who want to enrich their lives by building new friendships.
Here are keys to becoming more social:
Don’t try to suddenly take huge steps. To become more social you need to learn how to expand your comfort zone, slowly. If you have a tendency to do things alone or with an old friend, just try going a step further. Go to a place where there’ll be plenty of people you don’t know well. Don’t sit in a circle and talk to only the people you know.
Chat with strangers
Master chatting with people you’re unfamiliar with so you can speak to people who you actually want to get to know later. You might never be an accomplished conversationalist without trying small things first. Find your own way to approach strangers and open your mind to them.
You can come up with a variation of the method I developed when I was a kid. My teacher suggested that I ask random people what time it was. I thought it was for fun but now I see that it was a simple exercise to teach social skills. Just asking people about the time quickly went into much further conversation and so I advise you to try the same… Chat with a taxi driver, passengers seated next to you on a train, or a shop assistant. You can ALWAYS say something more than “hi” or “how much does it cost” or “thanks.” Whatever matches the situation and is said in a friendly way with a smile will be great. You’ll be surprised by the positive effect!
Learn to act like likeable people do
If you want motivation for becoming more social you need positive feedback from others. There are certain things all likeable people have in common. Try to incorporate some new ways of communication.
Smile a lot. There’s no person in the world who doesn’t like an honest smile.
Speak loud and clear so people don’t have to struggle to understand what you’re saying. When people talk to you ask them questions and follow the conversation. It’ll pleasantly boost their ego, because everyone needs to be listened to.
Ask open questions so the conversation doesn’t get stuck on “yes” or “no” responses.
Find a hobby that’s social
Find people in your area with similar interests.. It’ll be easier to expand your social circle with people who share your passion.
You should definitely consider joining Toastmasters (there’s a club in almost every city). It’s a club of regular people who come together 1-4 times a month to practice public speaking. The topic of your speech is totally up to you and the people in the clubs are very nice and polite, so if you have stage fright, you can be sure there won’t be any harsh feedback, because everyone’s there for the same reason. This might be a big step for some introverted folks, but it’s definitely worth the work!
So, what are you waiting for now? Go and smile to someone!
Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.
These announcements were found in synagogue newsletters and bulletins.
- Don’t let worry kill you. Let your synagogue help.
- Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our congregation.
- For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
- Thursday at 5:00 PM, there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All women wishing to become Little Mothers, please see the rabbi in his private study.
- The ladies of Hadassah have cast off clothing of every kind and they may be seen in the basement on Tuesdays.
What’s the difference between a boyfriend and a husband? About 30 pounds.
Two college seniors had a week of exams coming up. They decided to party instead. Their biggest exam was on Wednesday and they showed up telling the professor that their car had broken down the night before due to a very flat tire and they needed a bit more time to study. The professor told them that they could have another day to study. That evening, both of the boys crammed all night until they were sure that they knew just about everything.
Arriving to class the next morning, each boy was told to go to two separate classrooms to take the exam. Each boy just shrugged and went to two different parts of the building. As each sat down, they read the directions: “For 5 points, explain the contents of an atom. For 95 points, tell me WHICH tire it was!”
I walked in a bar the other day and ordered a double. The bartender brings out a guy who looks just like me.
He said there are ten things that only a woman understands.
- Cats’ facial expressions
- The need for the same style of shoes in different colors
- Why bean sprouts aren’t just weeds
- Fat clothes
- Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time
- The difference between beige, off-white, and eggshell
- Cutting your bangs to make them grow
- Eyelash curlers
- The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made
AND, the Number One thing only women understand: OTHER WOMEN
God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind, I will live forever.
My friend likes to read his two young sons fairy tales at night. Having a deep-rooted sense of humor, he often ad-libs parts of the stories for fun. One day his youngest son was sitting in his first grade class as the teacher was reading the story of the Three Little Pigs.
She came to the part of the story where the first pig was trying to acquire building materials for his home. She said “…And so the pig went up to the man with a wheelbarrow full of straw and said ‘Pardon me sir, but might I have some of that straw to build my house with?'” Then the teacher asked the class “And what do you think that man said?” and my friend’s son raised his hand and said “I know! I know! He said ‘Holy smokes! A talking pig!'”
The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration.
Pearl S. Buck
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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