You’ll be glad to know, I’ve decided to write a comprehensive guide to mastering any social scene, and to explain the process, I have developed some organic principles to apply throughout. With these principles, you’ll have no problem in effortlessly growing your social circle until you reach the tipping point, whereby your social value begins to snowball by itself.
Okay, let’s paint the picture. I’m assuming that you are starting completely from scratch, maybe you’re a first-year student at university, you’re starting a new job, you’ve picked up a new hobby, or you have a few existing friends and want to grow your social dynasty. The first principle to begin applying right away is to always give value. Social relationships are based upon an exchange of value between people within a social circle. A person of high social value is so, because by definition, they are valuable to other members of the social circle, and the strength of their social value depends on the quality and quantity of their supporters. This shows that the only way to be popular is to give value to other people.
Now, I’m not telling you to buy everyone you meet a bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates, because the simple fact of the matter is this: Whilst seemingly the highest form of value is whatever people perceive to be valuable to them, good emotions tops that every single time. Say for example you have a good friend who is becoming more and more successful with their business. You’ll notice that he begins to distance himself from many of his old friends who he previously considered ‘cool’ as he begins to associate with higher status people, yet he still always has time for you because you make him laugh and you’re never needy – you add a kind of value to his life that is completely independent of your social status. I say independent, but remember that when you provide good emotions to people, your social status directly grows as a result.
Okay, so here’s what you do. Once you enter the social environment, you need to begin working the room– giving value to everybody you can, until you find out who the social connectors and value connectors are (don’t worry, we’ll get onto that in the next post!). Now of course, it isn’t easy to just start conversations and give value unless you’re a natural, so what I’m going to do is give you some simple steps on how to do this:
Opening a conversation
The most natural way to open conversations within any social environment is by making a situational, observational statement such as “You look like you’re…”, or “I love how…”. This is a hybrid between the direct way you might say, “Hey, I’ve seen you around a lot but we’ve never met – I’m Jake.”, and the indirect way in which you might ask “Excuse me, do you know where Starbucks is?”.
The way in which the whole conversation flows relies on the fact that you’re making a statement or assumption about something related to them – because as you may know, everybody’s favourite conversational topic is themselves! You simply observe, make a statement (don’t forget that cheeky smile!), and then most importantly of all, you listen. You’ll never run out of things to say if you genuinely listen, because that is how fuel your next statement. Be genuinely interested in people’s lives, talk about the emotional aspect of things, and use emotive language – it’s the gesture that counts. Begin to talk positively about other people, indirectly giving them value through positive buzz. “Buzz” is the substance of true value – what people say about you behind your back, therefore it is important to never create negative buzz for anyone else, since the general rule for the social game is: the more you give, the more you get.
Now for the meaty stuff – get ready for part 2!