Monday, May 14, 2012

Turning Strangers into Friends

An excerpt from Social Networking: Turning Strangers into Friends
By Elizabeth Carter, Spain
April-June 2012

Confession time: My name is Elizabeth, and I’m an introvert. I love people, but I definitely need my alone time.

Real-life reality: As we’ve been traveling around the country on homeland ministry assignment, I get to meet—and talk to—many different kinds of people.

Here is our quick guide for The Introvert’s Guide: Turning Strangers into Friends:

1.Find common ground with the “stranger.” Take a class or volunteer for a project that will bring you into contact with people you might never have met otherwise. You may have nothing in common except for the class or project, but that’s a great starting point.

2.Use “free information.” (Thanks to my mom, Glenda Moon, for this point!) Using free information is drawing on common topics to start conversations. We have learned people love to talk about their towns.

3.Ask questions. Make sure that you’re genuinely interested in the answers or this one won’t work! Most people are knowledgeable about at least one thing and are happy to share their expertise.

Social media isn’t a substitute for real-life friendships and connections, but if it’s used properly, social media can definitely enhance and strengthen those relationships.

ACT: As you read this article, has someone come to mind that you need to take some steps to get to know better? Reach out to that person today.

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